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BRUSSELS–()–Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Zurich Benelux have debuted a first-of-its-kind
blockchain-based solution that helps the insurer’s customers in Benelux
manage surety bonds.

Surety bonds are three-party agreements designed to guarantee
performance or more general fulfilment of an obligation in a business
transaction, most commonly in construction projects. The total value of
gross written premiums and commissions for insurance-backed surety bonds
across Europe is projected to reach €3.26 billion by 2019, according to

Accenture has integrated a blockchain-based system with Zurich Benelux’s
existing surety-management back-end and created a new user interface
that serves as a one-stop, transparent digital hub. The solution
includes an easy-to-use dashboard that enables customers to quickly
check the status of their bonds, get detailed bond history records,
complete new bond requests and view bond forecasts.

Blockchain is a distributed database system in which transactions and
records can be signed, exchanged and verified without the control of a
central party, creating a level of transparency, security and trust not
previously possible. Flexible and future-proof, this technology is
poised to revolutionize operations across a multitude of sectors,
enabling additional stakeholders — such as notaries, brokers, reinsurers
and co-surety partners in the insurance market — to interact with each
other, creating a more-connected ecosystem while ensuring confidence in
the security and accuracy of the data.

“We are excited to help Zurich Benelux integrate cutting-edge technology
to improve its local customers’ experience,” said Kristof Lambert, who
leads Accenture’s Financial Services practice in Belgium and Luxembourg.
“Blockchain creates a new backbone for insurers to communicate with
various industry participants and simplifies processes.”

“What was once a cumbersome process for customers and beneficiaries done
over the phone or through e-mail with customer support representatives
can now be done seamlessly online,” said Didier Murena, Chief Operating
Officer for Zurich Benelux. “Blockchain technology transforms the way we
exchange information with our customers and others across the insurance
value chain. This product will reduce the administrative burden for
customers, third parties and our employees, allowing them to focus on
tasks that require greater levels of service and care.”

Antony Elliott, Group Head of Business Transformation at Zurich
Insurance Group added: “We believe that blockchain is an important
technology to leverage network effects across insurance ecosystems. This
is a great example where we are learning how distributed ledgers can
support this vision while delivering tangible benefits to our customers.”

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a
broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital,
technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and
specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business
functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network –
Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help
clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their
stakeholders. With 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120
countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world
works and lives. Visit us at

About Zurich

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that
serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 53,000
employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life
insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and
territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses,
and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational
corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where
it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
(ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American
Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on
OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at

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