Peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance is a decentralized network in which participants pool their resources together to compensate those who suffer losses. It is a revival of a centuries-old practice in many ancient societies where members care for each other’s financial needs in the event of misfortune. With the aid of internet technology, P2P insurance is becoming a transparent, high-tech and low-cost alternative to traditional insurance and is viewed by many as a huge disruptor to the traditional insurance industry in the same way Uber is to the taxi industry. P2P insurance took an unexpected twist in the Chinese market. A new business model called “mutual aid” is largely driven by many non-insurance tech firms, including the e-commerce giant, Alibaba. In less than three years, the mutual aid industry amassed close to 260 million participants, which is closely 20% of the Chinese population, or equivalently, 80% of the US population. Such an unprecedented development is causing huge anxiety for insurers and regulators in China and being closely watched by their peers around the world.Despite the fast-changing landscape in this field, there has no previous academic literature for the theoretical underpinning of P2P insurance. Our research team presents the first such effort to build the mathematical framework under which the design, engineering and management of mutual aid and P2P insurance can be studied.
This presentation is based on joint work with Samal Abdikerimova and Chongda Liu.