Bitesize InsurTech: Pluto
November 7, 2019 Dougie Willins
Pluto are a Distribution InsurTech providing travel cover to the digital generation of young travellers.
Pluto was founded by keen travellers Alex Rainey and Harry Williams in 2018. They felt that traditional travel insurance products were outdated, especially compared to the new generation of banks like Revolut and Monzo. Pluto is aiming to disrupt the £160bn millennial travel market with the £780m UK travel insurance market the first target.
Pluto provides insurance via smartphones. They differentiate themselves from traditional insurers by using jargon-free policies with transparent pricing. Customers can claim on their phone in a process taking under ten minutes and with human help available around the clock. After Pluto has collected all the necessary documentation, they pass the claim to Zurich, their carrier partner, for authorisation and payment.
Pluto has become the top ranked travel insurance provider on Trustpilot.
In October, the InsurTech closed a successful crowd-funding campaign on Seedrs raising over £600k and exceeding their original target by more than three times. The campaign takes Pluto’s total funding for 2019 to almost £800k.
Using their recent funding, Pluto have plans to launch a mobile app to provide their customers with instant access to airport lounges if their flight is delayed and 24/7 access to a virtual UK GP, via healthtech startup Babylon, if they’re feeling unwell while abroad.
Looking forward to 2020, Pluto have plans to grow the team and the business. The London-based team will recruit three additional staff, while the business will launch new marketing campaigns and is exploring new partnerships predominantly with travel start-ups (e.g. LuckyTrip) and challenger banks.
The Oxbow Partners view
This post has been written by a happy Pluto customer. The quote and buy journey stood out against traditional propositions. The claims experience, fortunately, remains untested.
The main challenge, as with all InsurTechs, is making the customer care enough about insurance that they switch from traditional propositions. This is particularly true in travel insurance, where many people have insurance embedded into other products such as bank accounts and credit cards and therefore do not buy stand-alone cover.
Pluto have created a product that more closely aligns to the needs of young travellers and integrates with other travel apps that they may already be using. Pluto have certainly built a product that exceeds what is available from traditional providers.