I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Emmanuel Young | Thursday, 11th March, 2021 | More on: HSTG Hastings Group Holdings (LSE:HSTG) stock managed to weather the Covid-19 storm last year, according to its 2020 interim results.The interim results released last summer showed a 5% growth in active customer policies year-on-year, from 2.81 million in 2019 to 2.96 million in 2020. Additionally, the company’s gross written premiums – a term referring to the total amount its customers have to pay for insurance policies over a set period – rose 3% to £514.9 million (up from £499.2 million in June 30, 2019).5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Comparatively, the UK car insurance market rose 8.1% in the six months to June 30, 2020, up from 7.7% in the six months to December 2019. Hastings attributes the gap between its active policy growth and the market’s growth to a reduction in the average premium paid by customers, due to policies intended to support customers during the pandemic.Nevertheless, the strong growth – despite both the economic environment and intentional customer support tactics – show Hastings’ robustness as an established operator in the insurance market. In fact, its adjusted operating profit after tax grew 43.5% from £38.2 million in June 2019, to £54.8 million in June 2020, quantifying that robustness in numerical terms.However, this growth pales in comparison to that of the newly developing insurance space in decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi (also called Open Finance) is an experiment involving opening up traditional finance products to individual ownership.Indeed, the current DeFi experiment is taking place in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Blockchain-based platforms, such as Cover Protocol (COVER) and Nexus Mutual (NXM), allow participants (users of the platform) to insure and take out insurance policies on a peer-to-peer basis.Like Bitcoin’s blockchain, that means no third parties (in this case, insurers like Hastings) oversee the insurance process. This allows premiums to be set closer to the market rate (given by risk and supply), as there are no intermediaries requiring compensation.Take Hastings for example. A DeFi model would remove the £38.2 million operating profit from the £514.9 million in gross written premiums, saving customers on average 7.4%. The saving could even be larger considering the fact that DeFi insurance platforms are solely based in programable contracts (smart contracts), which do not require offices or employees.Of course, these are just rough calculations, and both COVER and NXM take fees that are distributed to the platform operators as reward for running the platform. However, these fees are miniscule compared to Hastings’ profit margin.In fact, the cost saving manifests in the explosive growth of both platforms, with NXM alone having over £180.5 million ‘locked’ in the platform to provide liquidity for insurance policies. This figure is more than double what it was just two months ago.Undoubtedly, the DeFi experiment poses an existential threat to traditional insurers like Hastings. They’ll either have to adapt to the new model or weather the experiment until its conclusion like they have with Covid-19. Whether they succeed or these new platforms inevitably succeed, only time will tell. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Emmanuel Young has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. See all posts by Emmanuel Young Hastings Group stock weathers Covid-19, but can it face the DeFi insurance revolution? Image source: Getty Images Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. 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