Tech

Dennis Wafula

State Farm, USAA test blockchain platform for subrogation process

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and State Farm are testing blockchain technology as they seek to automate insurance claims at the subrogation stage. The two companies announced their joint subrogation process during the 2019 Dig in Conference. The test used real claims data from the insurance company. The objective was to improve the speed of the auto claims subrogation process with the help of blockchain technology.

In insurance, subrogation refers to the last phase of an insurance claim. This legal right allows insurance carriers to pursue a third party, which caused an insurance loss to the insured party. The insurance carrier recovers the amount of the claim paid to the insured.

Currently, the subrogation process is a manual process. This makes it time-consuming, as it requires insurers to mail physical checks, which is a major concern for State Farm as indicated by Mike Fields, their Innovation Executive. He goes stated:

“In 2018 alone, the total amount of dollars demanded and issued through the subrogation process was over $9.6 billion for all the insurance carriers. You can imagine the time and resource required to complete these transactions.”

USAA and State Farm are testing blockchain technology in the insurance process to gain efficiencies. The automation process should be able to compile all payments, net the balance, as well as facilitate a single payment between insurers on a regular basis.

The Vice President of Innovation at USAA, Ramon Lopez, outlined the potential benefits of including blockchain. He said:

“It helps us automate a manual process securely and creates a permanent transaction record of each payment which can easily be verified for accuracy. It also has the potential to decrease the amount of time for consumers to receive their deductible reimbursement.”

This Blockchain subrogation solution is a first in the industry. These two companies started working together in 2018. The testing process, undertaken by two major leaders in the industry, is still ongoing as they seek to determine whether the solution is a viable product for the insurance industry to adopt.

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