Friends and family offer gifts of money, time, a listening ear, and even food to the ones who are in mourning. Such assistance conveys empathy and allows those who are bereaved the time and space to grieve, even as nitty-gritty details are being looked after.

Similarly, Singapore Press Holdings, NTUC Income and LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation centre, will be helping the bereaved who place death announcements in to quickly check whether the deceased had a valid life insurance policy to speed up the claim process.

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.

During the pilot, family members of the deceased who place obituaries in SPH publications, The Straits Times and The Sunday Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao, Shinmin Daily News, Berita Harian and Berita Minggu, will be informed about ‘Lifechain’.

With their consent, the deceased’s NRIC number will be submitted into ‘Lifechain’ as hashed data* 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 alert Income to initiate the claims process.

Family members will also be informed by SPH when a match is not found so that they can make checks and file claims with their life insurers.

If you’d like to participate in Lifechain, call or email Singapore Press Holdings at 6319 5192 or [email protected]

Read more about Lifechain here: SPH in pilot to use blockchain to ease life insurance claims

* 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.

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