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Thomas is a Consultant at Oxbow Partners.Contact Thomas
September 14, 2021 Thomas Spiller
2018 InsurTech Impact 25 member GUARDHOG, a digital MGA that provides usage-based insurance cover primarily for the short-term rental market, have launched a sister company SUPERHOG.
GUARDHOG was established in 2017, with an insurance product that protects hosts property during short-term rentals. Whilst providing protection for hosts is important, GUARDHOG’s solution did not prevent claimable events from occurring in the first place.
Launched at the start of 2021, SUPERHOG provides access to technology that enables hosts, operators and guests to confidently transact in the short-term rentals space. SUPERHOG aims to create trust between the different parties, who are essentially strangers, using technology, data and embedded insurance to de-risk their interactions.
Tackling a $220bn problem, the technology behind SUPERHOG enables hosts and guests to demonstrate to each other their trustworthiness by stepping through an identity and biometric verification process. Artificial intelligence, predictive analysis, and machine learning are then utilised to help verify information across a multitude of platforms in real time building a complete picture and understanding of an individual’s short-term rental transactions.
Following a booking request, hosts receive a recommendation on each guest, outlining whether SUPERHOG believes they should proceed with the booking or not, and the reason why.
In the unlikely event that the tech fails, GUARDHOG’s insurance product is embedded into SUPERHOG’s solution and provides up to US$7m in cover for accidents, guest damage and liability. This feature links prevention with protection and is what the team sees as their unique selling point.
SUPERHOG’s customers are predominately property management companies who manage multiple listings. In post-covid recovery, face to face check-ins are in retreat, opening up the market to a company like SUPERHOG who can provide that additional security layer replacing the traditional reception desk and helping to identify bad actors and prevent them from booking properties in the first place.
SUPERHOG’s proprietary technology is integrated into the short-term rental sector via their API through property management systems, meaning they are connected to all major booking platforms including Airbnb, Booking.com and VRBO. With Airbnb only providing c.3% of short-term rental bookings, integrating with and across multiple bookings platforms is key for SUPERHOG’s future growth.
Leveraging GUARDHOG’s success and relationships, SUPERHOG has achieved strong growth quickly. The platform has integrations in over 25 countries, working with 75,000+ listings and have processed over a million bookings. Looking to the future, SUPERHOG just appointed Michael Friedman formerly of Sky Run, to lead their US operation, building on the inroads that have already been made in the largest short term rental market.
From a customer perspective, whilst it is reassuring to know that in the event of a claim your valuables and home will be repaired or replaced, it is even better for them to not be broken or stolen in the first place.
SUPERHOG enables this, allowing for a more secure, seamless and trusted experience for all players in the short-term rental sector. In the process of doing this, SUPERHOG builds greater customer affinity and loyalty for their solution than perhaps what a grudge purchase like insurance could offer. Creating this trust between different actors is and will continue to be critical in the sharing economy as it continues to rapidly develop.
Being primarily a technology company with embedded insurance, SUPERHOG can scale quick and more efficiently across borders. Growth will no longer be dependent on local regions regulation, but rather on the speed that SUPERHOG can integrate with operators. For now, SUPERHOG seem focused on executing well in the short-term rental market, but there is no doubt of its application across the whole P2P and sharing economy space.