IMA launches metaverse’s insurance research & development facility

Insurance brokerage firm IMA Financial Group announced the launch of IMA Web3Labs, the metaverse’s first insurance and risk management research and development facility. It will be located in Decentraland, a virtual world based on blockchain technology. Funded by IMA’s investment arm, IMA Investments, Web3Labs sets new industry expectations for exploring, testing and bringing to market risk and insurance strategies specific to the metaverse.

“IMA is known as a thoughtful and strategic partner that finds innovative and effective solutions to manage risk for our clients. Web3Labs allows us to explore the risks associated with digital and meta assets from within the metaverse, so we can better prepare our clients to manage such risks. Our investment in IMA Web3Labs will also enable IMA to explore the infinite applications of blockchain technology to best understand how it might fundamentally shift the landscape of the $1 trillion commercial insurance industry.” – Paul Washington, Executive Vice President of IMA Financial Group and head of IMA Investments.

IMA Web3Labs will initially research risk mitigation specific to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). With a long history of building risk management and insurance programs customized to clients in complex, emerging industries, IMA recognized a gap between the growth in NFTs and fundamental risk transfer and management strategies to secure them — a gap that leaves business operations in the decentralized finance market at risk, according to Washington.

In 2021, $20 billion of NFTs were traded, and the market value of the asset class today exceeds $40 billion. IMA plans to mint its own NFTs and use other tools to advance its expertise in the growing digital and meta opportunities ecosystem.

“We aren’t content to take the ‘wait and see’ approach that our industry often favors. Society is at an inflection point, proven out by the popularity of meta-platforms. We need the ability to swiftly test, learn and adjust in a meta-native environment so we can build strategies and products that manage risks beyond the confines of the metaverse.” – Justin Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Marketing at IMA Financial Group and architect of IMA Web3Labs.