Galileo Platforms, a Hong Kong-based insurtech, says it has just completed a proof-of-concept project with Sun Life Insurance in one of its Southeast Asian markets for the startup’s blockchain-based sales platform.
Galileo first revealed to DigFin a year ago that it was lining up an insurer and an insurance broker for selling life insurance over a distributed ledger.
The pilot has shown how product sales can differ when done via blockchain tech, says Mark Wales, Galileo co-founder. The company built an entire product set for distributors to sell, including a simulation of the back-end processing, the distributor’s business environment and new business processing.
Currently the Galileo platform is still under development but is expected to go live at the end of this year.
“We are in discussion with two life insurance companies about having their products going live in our platform at the end of this year,” said Wales. The pipeline includes another two Southeast Asia-based insurers about incidental structured products (e.g., riders and other add-ons). “One is a global brand, another is a local insurer,” he said.
For now these carriers are using blockchain as an add-on to their traditional infrastructure. Insurers still have policies, administrative processes and counterparty relationships that make it hard for them to completely overhaul distribution practices.
Over time, however, he says DLT’s ability to foster real-time transactions and serve as a single source of truth about terms will make it become the new standard. “In the long term, we believe it will replace current distribution channels.”
Galileo is a blockchain platform connecting insurers, reinsurers and distributors (such as banks or insurance brokers). With the technology able to lower the cost of processing transactions, Wales says it could help insurance companies cater to mobile-savvy millennials, or emerging-market middle classes currently underserved by traditional insurers.