On-Demand Insurance Platform Vendors Emerge

Created by Jeff Brown 04 May 2016 @ 13:30
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Interesting fundraising success for "on-demand" insurance platforms and companies aimed at the digital generation.

Trov Raises $39M
(by Andrew Simpson) Investors have pledged $39 million for a technology platform that allows consumers to insure their valuable things and turn the coverage on and off whenever they want with swipe of a finger on their smartphone. In the words of the founder of the on-demand insurance service, Trov, it is built around “insurable moments" rather than long term contracts. Trov allows people to insure valuable things such as smartphones, laptops, cameras and sports equipment for just the time they want coverage, directly from their smartphone, without the involvement of an insurance agent. Consumers can decide whether they want coverage for hours, days, months or longer and they can move the bar on a sliding scale to choose their deductibles. Trov today announced it has closed on $25.5 million in Series C funding led by Oak HC/FT, bringing its total funding to $39 million. Other investors in the latest round include major Australian insurer, Suncorp Group insurance technology provider, insurance tech firm Guidewire and fintech venture capital firm, Anthemis Group. According to founder and CEO Scott Walchek, the target market is the generation of “digital natives”—or young consumers who are comfortable with everything digital and many of whom up until now have not gotten very involved in insurance but whose involvement will grow as they age and acquire more. Walchek won’t divulge his research into the size of the market except to say that the current millennial generation is “87 percent” unprotected and thus whatever Trov captures is new money for the insurance system.
 
Down Under First
The on-demand insurance platform is being launched first in Australia this month with plans to enter the United Kingdom in the second half of 2016, and the United States and other territories in 2017. Walchek said the service is being launched in Australia and the United Kingdom ahead of the U.S. because there are fewer regulatory hurdles in these Commonwealth countries and because Trov hopes the experience it gains will give it data on “micro-duration single-item coverages” that it can use to develop rates that regulators in the U.S. might approve.
Trov will act as the agent, while insurers including Suncorp in Australia and AXA in Europe will assume the risk.
Underwriting Things
So what is it exactly that these digital natives own that needs protecting?
Trov’s founders cite phones, laptops, cameras, sports equipment, headphones and speakers, musical instruments and appliances as among the items they will insure.
“Anything that powers their lifestyle choices,” he says, adding, “Things that move with them that help them to either enjoy or to remember their experiences.”
Many of these items come with warranties but Walchek says those are insufficient. Trov insurance covers accidental damage, theft or loss.
Trov’s underwriting is more sophisticated than just having a bar code of an item and attaching a value. What and where people buy reveals a lot about them personally.
 
Jeff Brown is the Founder & CEO of Market Luminary. He previously served as the Founder/CEO/President of Blue Cod Technologies. He currently serves on Advisory Boards for Yodil Inc., Northeast Outdoors Foundation, and William J. O'Brien Lecture Series.
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