Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Blockchain Systems And Methods For Managing Usage-Based Contracts”, for Approval (USPTO 20220261920): Patent Application – Insurance News Net

Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Blockchain Systems And Methods For Managing Usage-Based Contracts”, for Approval (USPTO 20220261920): Patent Application – Insurance News Net

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2022 SEP 05 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Floyd, Matthew L. (Alpharetta, GA, US), filed on May 3, 2022, was made available online on August 18, 2022.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Usage-based insurance contracts (also known as trip based insurance) are short-term contracts that allow a driver to pay for insurance as they need it. In many cases, this insurance is based upon the combination of the user and the vehicle. However, as many drivers are no longer being tied to specific vehicles, it has become more difficult to determine the proper insurance for the individual user on a case by case basis. Furthermore, while the usage-based insurance (UBI) may include restrictions on the user, it is not always possible to determine when the user has complied with these restrictions. In some cases, a user may wish to modify already issued insurance to allow for a detour or side trip. There exists a need to collect and collate data about a user and a trip to allow for proper tracking of insurance policies and individuals.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventor’s summary information for this patent application: “The present embodiments may relate to blockchain based systems and methods for managing usage-based insurance contracts. The platform may include an Insurance Monitoring (IM) computer system associated with a vehicle, a User Based Auto Insurance Management (“UBAIM”) system, a plurality of sensors on the vehicle, a plurality of vehicle computer devices associated with a plurality of vehicles configured to act as nodes for a blockchain ledger, and/or an insurer auction network including a plurality of insurer computer devices associated with a plurality of insurers. The IM computer system may be a mobile device associated with the driver and/or a vehicle computer device associated with the vehicle. In some further embodiments, the IM computer system may be separate from the vehicle and be in communication with the vehicle.

“The IM computer system may be configured to: (i) receive a user request for trip insurance (such as via wireless communication or data transmission over one or more radio links or digital communication channels), where the user request includes a plurality of information about the user (who may or may not be the driver), the vehicle (which may be an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle), and the trip; (ii) transmit the user request to the insurer auction network, where the insurer auction network transmits the request to the plurality of insurer computer devices, which are configured to generate bids based upon the user request; (iii) receive, from the insurer auction network, a plurality of bids (or a selected winning bid) from the plurality of insurer computer devices for trip insurance based upon the user request; (iv) display the plurality of bids (or selected winning bid) to the user; (v) receive a user selection of a bid of the plurality of bids (or a user approval of the selected winning bid); (vi) transmit the user selection (or user approval) to the insurer auction network, where the insurer auction network notifies the insurer computer device associated with the selected bid (or winning bid), which may be the UBAIM server or may be in communication with the UBAIM server; (vii) store an insurance and/or smart contract that includes one or more terms (the terms may include conditions, clauses, vehicle or driver limitations, premiums, discounts, deductibles, endorsements, duties, obligations, etc.) for the trip using a blockchain structure, where the plurality of nodes store copies of the insurance contract, and where in some embodiments, the blockchain based insurance contract may be generated by the UBAIM server, and in other embodiments, the blockchain based insurance contract may be generated by the IM computer system based off of information from the bid and/or the UBAIM server. The IM computer system may further be configured to: (viii) receive, from the driver and/or a vehicle (such as an autonomous vehicle controller), a requested modification of at least one of the one or more terms of the insurance contract; (ix) transmit the requested modification to the UBAIM server; (x) receive a response to the request from the UBAIM server, where the response may include an approval or one or more additional terms; (xi) if the response includes one or more additional terms, display the one or more additional terms to the driver and/or vehicle for approval and wait to receive approval of the one or more additional terms from the driver; (xii) store the modification, the response, the approval, and/or the one or more additional terms in the insurance contract (which may be a virtual or electronic smart contract), in some embodiments, the IM computer system may (a) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the requested modification and the response, (b) update the insurance contract with the new block, and/or © transmit the new block with the plurality of nodes, where each the plurality of nodes are configured to update their stored copies of the insurance contract with the new block. In other embodiments, the IM computer system may transmit the requested modification and the response to the plurality of nodes, where each of the plurality of nodes are configured to generate a new block based upon the requested modification and the response and update their stored copies of the insurance contract with the generated block. The IM computer system may further be configured to: (xiii) receive sensor information from the one or more sensors associated with the vehicle; (xiv) with customer permission or affirmative consent, compare the received sensor information with the one or more terms (conditions, limitations, clauses, duties, obligations, etc.) of the (electronic and/or smart) insurance contract; (xv) determine whether the driver and/or the vehicle (such as autonomous vehicle) complied with the one or more terms based upon the comparison; (xvi) if the determination is that the driver or autonomous vehicle complied with the one or more terms, the computer device may be further configured to: (a) transmit a notification of driver or autonomous vehicle compliance to an insurance server associated with the insurance contract; (b) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the notification of driver or autonomous vehicle compliance; © store the notification of driver or autonomous vehicle compliance in the insurance contract; (d) receive an indication of a discount and/or lower premium for the insurance contract from the insurance server; (e) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the indication of the discount and/or lower premium; (f) store the indication in the insurance contract; (g) display the indication of the discount and/or lower premium of the insurance contract to the driver including an acknowledgement request; (h) receive the acknowledgement from the driver and/or vehicle; (i) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the acknowledgement; (j) store the acknowledgement in the insurance contract; and/or (k) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the notification, the indication, and/or the acknowledgement; and/or (xvii) generate a new block for the (electronic or smart) insurance contract that includes sensor information on a periodic basis.

“The present embodiments may relate to systems and methods for managing usage-based insurance. A computer system, as described herein, may include a vehicle controller or a mobile computer device. The computer device may be configured to (i) receive a user request for trip insurance, where the user request includes a plurality of information about the user, the vehicle (which may be an autonomous vehicle), and the trip (such as an upcoming, approaching, or impending trip using the vehicle); (ii) transmit the user request to an insurer auction network, where the insurer auction network includes a plurality of insurers; (iii) receive, from the insurer auction network, a plurality of bids from a plurality of insurers for insurance for the trip (or a winning bid); (iv) display the plurality of bids (or winning bid) to the user; (v) receive a user selection of a bid of the plurality of bids (or approval of the winning bid); (vi) transmit the user selection (or user approval) to the insurer auction network; (vii) generate an insurance contract (such as a virtual or electronic insurance and/or smart contract) based upon the user request and the selected bid (or user approval of the winning bid); (viii) receive the insurance contract from an insurance server associated with the selected bid (or winning bid); (ix) store the insurance contract based upon the selected bid (or winning bid), where the insurance contract is in a blockchain structure, where a plurality of nodes store copies of the insurance contract in the blockchain structure. The plurality of nodes may include a plurality of computer devices each associated with one of a plurality of vehicles, and the insurance server may be one of the plurality of nodes, and may include one or more terms (the terms may include conditions, obligations, duties, limitations (including driver or vehicle limitations associated with a specific trip or usage-based insurance contract), premiums, discounts, deductibles, clauses, and/or other terms); (x) receive, from the driver and/or vehicle, a requested modification of at least one of the one or more terms of the insurance contract; (xi) transmit the requested modification to an insurance server associated with the insurance contract; (xii) receive a response to the request from the insurance server, where the response includes one or more additional terms; (xiii) display the one or more additional terms to the driver for approval; (xiv) receive approval of the one or more additional terms from the driver or vehicle; (xv) store the one or more additional terms and the response in the insurance contract; (xvi) generate a new block for the insurance contract based upon the requested modification and the response; (xvii) update the insurance contract with the new block; (xviii) transmit the new block the plurality of nodes, where each the plurality of nodes are configured to update their stored copies of the insurance contract with the new block; (xix) transmit the requested modification and the response to the plurality of nodes, where each of the plurality of nodes are configured to generate a new block based upon the requested modification and the response and update their stored copies of the insurance contract with the generated block; (xx) receive sensor information from one or more sensors associated with the vehicle or user mobile device; and/or (xxi) with the driver’s or vehicle owner’s permission or affirmative consent, compare the received sensor information with the one or more terms of the insurance contract.”

There is additional summary information. Please visit full patent to read further.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A computer system comprising at least one processor in communication with at least one memory device, the at least one processor is programmed to: receive a plurality of bids for providing usage-based insurance to a user of a vehicle for a predefined trip; store in a first block of a blockchain structure the plurality of bids for providing the usage-based insurance to the user of the vehicle for the predefined trip, wherein each of the plurality of bids is associated with a smart contract that is configured to generate an insurance contract between the user and an insurer associated with the bid upon the user accepting the bid; receive, from the user, an acceptance of a bid of the plurality of bids stored in the first block; provide content for causing the smart contract associated with the accepted bid to be executed generating the insurance contract between the user accepting the bid and the insurer associated with the accepted bid; and store the smart contract associated with the accepted bid in a second block within the blockchain structure, wherein the second block is subsequent to the first block, and wherein a plurality of nodes hosted on a plurality of computer systems each store a copy of the insurance contract in the blockchain structure.

“2. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further programmed to: receive a user request from a user for trip insurance, wherein the trip insurance is for insuring the vehicle used by the user for making the predefined trip, and wherein the user request includes a plurality of information about the user, the vehicle, and the predefined trip; and transmit the user request to an insurer auction network, wherein the insurer auction network includes a plurality of insurers.

“3. The computer system of claim 2, wherein the processor is further programmed to transmit a user bid selection to the insurer auction network.

“4. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further programmed to electronically generate a smart insurance contract based upon a user request and the accepted bid.

“5. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further programmed to transmit a user bid selection to an insurance server associated with the accepted bid.

“6. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the computer system is included within the vehicle, and wherein the plurality of nodes includes a plurality of computer devices each included within one of a plurality of vehicles.

“7. The computer system of claim 1, wherein an insurance server is one of the plurality of nodes.

“8. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the processor is further programmed to: receive, from the user, a requested modification of at least one of the one or more terms of the insurance contract; transmit the requested modification to an insurance server associated with the insurance contract; receive a response to the requested modification from the insurance server; and store the requested modification in a third block of the blockchain structure, wherein the third block is subsequent to the second block.

“9. The computer system of claim 8, wherein the response includes one or more additional terms, and wherein the processor is further programmed to: display the one or more additional terms to the user for approval; receive approval of the one or more additional terms from the user; and store the one or more additional terms in a fourth block of the blockchain structure, wherein the fourth block is subsequent to the third block.

“10. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the insurance contract is at least one of an electronic insurance contract and a virtual insurance contract, and wherein the predefined trip is a currently occurring trip or an impending trip.

“11. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the user is one of a rider of the vehicle and the vehicle itself for insurance coverage for the predefined trip.

“12. The computer system of claim 11, wherein the rider of the vehicle includes at least one of a driver of the vehicle and a non-driver, passenger of the vehicle, and wherein the vehicle is at least one of an automobile, an autonomous vehicle, and a semi-autonomous vehicle.

“13. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the one or more terms of the insurance contract include at least one of: conditions, obligations, duties, limitations, driver limitations, vehicle operation limitations, time-of-day operation limitations, number of miles limitations, weather limitations, road condition limitations, autonomous vehicle operation limitations, premiums, discounts, and other clauses.

“14. A computer-implemented method implemented on an insurance monitoring (“IM”) computer system including at least one processor in communication with at least one memory, the method comprising: receiving a plurality of bids for providing usage-based insurance to a user of a vehicle for a predefined trip; storing in a first block of a blockchain structure the plurality of bids for providing the usage-based insurance to the user of the vehicle for the predefined trip, wherein each of the plurality of bids is associated with a smart contract that is configured to generate an insurance contract between the user and an insurer associated with the bid upon the user accepting the bid; receiving, from the user, an acceptance of a bid of the plurality of bids stored in the first block; providing content for causing the smart contract associated with the accepted bid to be executed generating the insurance contract between the user accepting the bid and the insurer associated with the accepted bid; and storing the smart contract associated with the accepted bid in a second block within the blockchain structure, wherein the second block is subsequent to the first block, and wherein a plurality of nodes hosted on a plurality of computer systems each store a copy of the insurance contract in the blockchain structure.

“15. The method of claim 14 further comprising: receiving a user request from a user for trip insurance, wherein the trip insurance is for insuring the vehicle used by the user for making the predefined trip, and wherein the user request includes a plurality of information about the user, the vehicle, and the predefined trip; and transmitting the user request to an insurer auction network, wherein the insurer auction network includes a plurality of insurers.

“16. The method of claim 14 further comprises: receiving, from the user, a requested modification of at least one of the one or more terms of the insurance contract; transmitting the requested modification to an insurance server associated with the insurance contract; receiving a response to the requested modification from the insurance server; and storing the requested modification in a third block of the blockchain structure, wherein the third block is subsequent to the second block.

“17. The method of claim 16, wherein the response includes one or more additional terms, and wherein the method further comprises: displaying the one or more additional terms to the user for approval; receiving approval of the one or more additional terms from the user; and storing the one or more additional terms in a fourth block of the blockchain structure, wherein the fourth block is subsequent to the third block.

“18. A computer system for managing smart insurance contracts, the computer system including at least one processor in communication with at least one memory device, the at least one processor is programmed to: receive a plurality of bids for providing usage-based insurance to a user of a vehicle for a predefined trip; store in a first block of a blockchain structure the plurality of bids for providing the usage-based insurance to the user of the vehicle for the predefined trip, wherein each of the plurality of bids is associated with a smart contract that is configured to generate an insurance contract between the user and an insurer associated with the bid upon the user accepting the bid; receive, from the user, an acceptance of a bid of the plurality of bids stored in the first block; provide content for causing the smart contract associated with the accepted bid to be executed generating the insurance contract between the user accepting the bid and the insurer associated with the accepted bid; and store the smart contract associated with the accepted bid in a second block within the blockchain structure, wherein the second block is subsequent to the first block, and wherein a plurality of nodes hosted on a plurality of computer systems each store a copy of the insurance contract in the blockchain structure.

“19. The computer system of claim 18, wherein the at least one processor is programmed to: receive a user request from a user for trip insurance, wherein the trip insurance is for insuring the vehicle used by the user for making the predefined trip, and wherein the user request includes a plurality of information about the user, the vehicle, and the predefined trip; and transmit the user request to an insurer auction network, wherein the insurer auction network includes a plurality of insurers.

“20. The computer system of claim 18, wherein the at least one processor is programmed to: receive telematics data for a period of time during the predefined trip; and store the telematics data for the period of time in a third block of the blockchain structure.”

For additional information on this patent application, see: Floyd, Matthew L. Blockchain Systems And Methods For Managing Usage-Based Contracts. Filed May 3, 2022 and posted August 18, 2022. Patent URL: https://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220220261920%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20220261920&RS=DN/20220261920

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