Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), NTUC Income (Income) and LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation centre, are embarking on an industry-first collaboration to simplify life insurance claims for bereaved families.
(L-R): CEO LumenLab Zia Zaman; SPH Chief of Digital Business Julian Tan; NTUC Income Chief Operating Officer Peter Tay, at SPH News Centre on June 10, 2019. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), NTUC Income (Income) and LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation centre, are embarking on an industry-first collaboration to simplify the life insurance claims process for bereaved families. When a death occurs, placing an obituary is one of the first tasks handled by family members, while more involved tasks like discovering if the deceased has valid life insurance policies and making claims are put on the backburner. Since these tasks require the same information about the deceased person, SPH, Income and LumenLab see an opportunity to use blockchain technology to automate the life insurance claim verification process for these families. (ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH)
When a loved one passes on, placing an obituary is one of the first tasks handled by family members, while more involved tasks like finding out if the deceased has a life insurance policy and filing for a policy claim are put on the backburner.
Given that both tasks require a lot of the same information about the deceased person, SPH, Income and LumenLab saw an opportunity to apply blockchain technology, ‘Lifechain’, to automate the life insurance claim process for grieving families. Developed by LumenLab, ‘Lifechain’ enables SPH to securely encrypt and share verification data used for obituary placement with Income to kick-start the claim process.
‘Lifechain’ will begin piloting this month targeting 1,000 randomly selected Income life insurance policyholders.
During the pilot, family members of the deceased who place obituaries in The Straits Times will be informed about ‘Lifechain’. Upon their consent, the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number will be submitted into ‘Lifechain’ as hashed data 1 to trigger a search for a matching life insurance policy. When a match is found, SPH will inform family members within one working day, while ‘Lifechain’ will send an automatic notification to Income via email to initiate the claims process.
Family members will also be informed by SPH when a match is not found so that they can proceed to make checks and file claims with their life insurers accordingly.
Mr Julian Tan, Chief of Digital Business of SPH, said: “SPH hopes to expand ‘Lifechain’ to include more insurers in time to come to bring greater convenience to family members attending to the deceased’s administrative matters securely. This initiative is also in line with our push for the digital business, tapping on innovation and growing our partnerships to serve our customers better. SPH aims to be the go-to partner for insurers to reach policyholders’ beneficiaries, as soon as advertisers place an obituary in the future.”
Mr Peter Tay, Chief Operating Officer, who heads Income’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO), said: “At Income, we are constantly looking to enhance customers’ experience with insurance. Through technology and innovations, we aim to influence the way that customers fact-find, enquire, purchase, claims and engage with us. Blockchain technology offers greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, efficiency and speed of transactions. These value propositions resonate with Income and we are excited to be the first insurer to come on-board Lifechain. We believe it will empower us to offer optimal protection of our policyholders’ personal information while enhancing their customer experience with Income.”
Mr. Zia Zaman, Chief Innovation Officer, MetLife Asia and CEO of LumenLab, said: “By making the customer experience simpler, this SPH – NTUC Income – LumenLab pilot yet again demonstrates the potential of blockchain to shape the future of insurance.”
1 Hashed data is generated by an algorithm and maps an original string of characters to data of a fixed length. This ensures the secure encryption of information submitted into Lifechain.