Earlier this month Slice Labs announced a partnership with Munich Re Digital Partners. It plans to be the first on demand insurance platform to support the on demand economy and it has come about as a direct response to the problems that providers of on demand services (“sharers”) face when trying to buy insurance.
Slice Labs was established in October 2015 and received $3.9m of seed funding earlier this year from XL Innovate and Horizon Ventures, Li Ka-Shing’s private investment vehicle with a strong track record in tech investments including Facebook, Spotify and more pertinently Friendsurance.
The problem sharers face is not insignificant and many sharers are uninsured or under-insured:
- Private policies generally exclude any commercial activity
- Commercial policies tend not to reflect that most sharers partake only on a part time basis and are consequently cost prohibitive
- Insurers that do provide on demand insurance to sharers tend to break it down into time periods and understanding whether one is insured is confusing and cumbersome, at best
- Some sharing economy businesses offer guarantees as a proxy for insurance and others are Named insureds. Both can offer protection to sharers in the event of a claim, however the sharers have few contractual rights – they are to a large extent reliant on a benefactor, albeit one with a reputation to build & protect!
Slice Labs, whilst not yet operational appears to be addressing an acute problem in a growing space – it plans to offer insurance only as sharers need it, at a swipe, and irrelevant of time periods. It has recruited from the tech space, from the insurance sector and of course, from Google. It has funding from a smart tech investor and a smart insurance investor. It is licensed in 40+ states and it has now partnered with one of the largest, and increasingly forward thinking, reinsurers.
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