Blockchain Case in Point: fizzy
The highs and lows of AXA’s blockchain flight insurance experiment
AXA is known to be one of the early adopters of blockchain insurance. In 2017, it made headlines when it launched fizzy, a flight delay insurance product built on public Ethereum blockchain to store and process payouts. Two years later, it closed the chapter on fizzy, citing the lack of industry appetite.
Fizzy may no longer exist but, in our opinion, it still makes for an interesting study on blockchain applications in the travel and tourism industry.
Pitched as a ‘smart insurance’ tool, fizzy was a product that travellers could use to insure their trips if their flight was delayed by two or more hours. According to AXA, blockchain played two key roles — maintaining an accessible but tamper-proof record of the insurance contract within a smart contract, and serving as a mechanism for triggering the payment to the traveller once the two-hour mark is passed.
A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of agreement between buyer and seller written directly into the code. It is triggered once certain conditions are met on a blockchain. In fizzy’s case, the trigger was a two-hour delay from the scheduled arrival time of the insured flight. Once triggered, fizzy would automate a pre-determined payout to the traveller’s bank account without the need for the traveller to submit a claim.
With blockchain, AXA was able to place the customer front and centre – the product was fully transparent and payouts were automatic; no paperwork, no hassle. Even though AXA eventually pulled the plug on fizzy, the company says that it has gained valuable lessons in public Ethereum and customer centricity. AXA also continues its foray into blockchain insurance in partnership with Shanghai’s Global Risk Exchange and Singapore’s MVL Foundation, both announced in 2018.