Sure is an example of an industry trend towards “on demand” insurance.
The app-based business provides micro-duration insurance for people taking flights. They call their proposition Episodic Insurance (TM) – and a noticeable feature of this startup is the number of trademarked terms they have!
The process is simple: travellers find their flight on the app, enter their details, make payment and get cover.
The only curiosity is this: get covered for what exactly? There is absolutely no reference on the website about the type of cover they’re offering – are they catering for the nervous traveler, who is convinced that they are moments from death, or is this something for musicians worried that baggage handlers are about to break their guitar? (If you’re confused by this oddly specific reference, you need to watch this video.) It turns out, after considerable investigation, that Sure provides cover for travel, property and life, but at this stage only in the USA.
But what Sure does or doesn’t cover isn’t really the point; no doubt we’re looking at their “MVP” and there’s a lot more to come.
The point is that there’s a growing trend of “on demand” propositions being peddled by startups; the most well known at present is Trov, which recently raised $25m from a consortium led by VC but with industry participation.
We think “on demand” has good mileage – and we’re sure that Sure (no pun intended) will not be providing its niche airline travel product for ever, but will soon expand.
The challenge for insurers will be making money; if people are only insuring their camera for the 20 minutes where they are wading through a river and not for the other 525,580 minutes of the year where it’s in the cupboard, logic would suggest that the 20 minute premium will have to be pretty high for underwriters to make money. No doubt the startup founders have this covered.
Chris leads engagements across strategy and transformation, focusing most of his time on global reinsurance and UK & Ireland retail insurance.
Chris started his career at Munich Re where he was a D&O underwriter. During this time, he gained his ACII qualification. He then moved into consulting, where he has spent 20 years advising (re)insurance management teams around the world on topics including strategy development, operating model redesign, governance optimisation, underwriting transformation and innovation. Chris lives in London and spends a lot of his time with clients in Bermuda and Continental Europe.
Chris frequently authors Oxbow Partners papers and articles. He was the lead author on our InsurTech Impact 25 series. He is a dual British and Austrian citizen and speaks fluent German.