Etherisc, a Zug-Switzerland-based insurance platform startup, has begun offering blockchain-based flight delay insurance, called Flight Delay, which automates the process of getting an insurance payout in case a flight is canceled or delayed.
“The frustration of a flight delay or cancellation is a familiar feeling for many travelers – and an unpleasant experience that is often compounded by having to deal with traditional insurance,” said Stephan Karpischek, Etherisc’s co-founder and CEO.
One year after launching a pilot application for attendees of Ethereum developer conference in Shanghai, the company has now partnered with Atlas Insurance PCC Ltd., a Malta-based protected cell company, to bring the product to market in time for this year’s Devcon3 conference in Cancun, Mexico.
“Etherisc is delighted to offer a decentralized insurance to the Ethereum community and to showcase how blockchain is enabling customer-centric innovation for the insurance industry,” Karpischek added.
Etherisc noted that policies will be facilitated by an Ethereum smart contract, allowing travelers to share the risk of a delayed or canceled flight with fellow travelers. Passengers can choose their preferred premium, view their estimated payout, and make their purchase in online currency Ethereum (ETH) or major fiat currencies: U.S. dollars, euros and pounds sterling.
Unlike traditional insurance products, Etherisc’s product stores insurance contract data on the Ethereum blockchain, the company said, noting that it also acts as an autonomous risk bearing mechanism, risk pricing engine, claim administrator and a payment system.
Other insurance products (e.g., micro insurances) in this area will follow 2018, Etherisc said.
“This is clearly a sign that blockchain is here to stay for insurance,” Ralf Glabischnig, partner at Zug-based Lakeside Partners, an early-stage investment group with a focus on blockchain technology and its applications. Lakeside is Etherisc’s close strategic adviser.
“Etherisc was on the front line of innovation with their application already a year ago and now a fully regulated policy payable in fiat currency shows that this is capable of gaining widespread adoption,” he added.
Etherisc noted that an insurance-focused Blockchain Competition will be held on Nov. 22, 2017 in Crypto Valley, Zug. Lakeside Partners is an initiator of the summit, which brings together startups from 31 different countries to compete for a $100,000 top prize.
Etherisc is an industry partner of the competition, together with Pax, Suva, Helsana, Baloise and Die Mobiliar.
Etherisc describes itself as an insurtech startup with a mission to “reinvent insurance” by building a platform and an open protocol for decentralized insurance applications. The goal is to enable data scientists, actuaries, and entrepreneurs to design, build and bring to market insurance and risk transfer products that are transparent, open source, and provably fair.
As a protected cell company, Atlas Insurance PCC gives promoters the opportunity to own their own EU-based insurance vehicle with less capital and cost, to write third party risks and to subcontract cell management to authorized insurance managers, Atlas explained.