Challenge: Get rid of insurance

You need a bank for your finances. And to cover yourself against major damage, you can’t do without an insurance company. But is that true?

If we can share cars peer to peer, why can’t we do the same with our finances? It looks like the technology is in place. We are challenging you - although it will feel like volunteering to have a leg amputated – to come up with ways of making banks and insurance companies superfluous. 

Banks manage your money and insurance companies prevent a hospital bill from bankrupting you. In the Netherlands, that feels just about as natural as getting water from a tap. But for how much longer?

Cars, tools, houses, we are already doing a lot of peer-to-peer sharing online. So why shouldn’t we be able to manage our finances in our social networks? It would do away with the need for financial institutions. Technology-wise, it should also be possible. Just look at the bitcoin, and in particular, the system behind it: the blockchain. A public register that allows you to move money around without the involvement of a financial organisation because every couple of minutes, the system records who owes what to whom.

With a platform like this, insurance companies could simply be surplus to requirements. 

Suppose that ten thousand people sign up to the register. They agree to pay a monthly premium to build up a pot of money that can be used to repair damage or to pay a hospital bill if needed. It is an insurance system, but then without an insurance company. You could also save for your retirement this way, and it would probably be quite a lot cheaper than the current system, too. Because thousands of people would no longer have to spend eight hours a day in an office arranging it all for you.  

Assignment: Come up with something that does away with the services provided by an insurance company. Something new that puts an end to existing healthcare, non-life or pension policies, a system that people can use to cover themselves against risks (possibly collectively). 

Technical information
No technical information is needed to do this challenge

€2500 to donate to a charity of your choice
€2500 for a travel voucher

To Top