About a year after its debut, insurance tech startup Slice Labs said it has completed a pay-per-use rideshare insurance app. The next step: testing the technology with “a select set” of rideshare drivers.
This phase won’t involve issuing policies but rather ironing out the kinks. Plans call for testing the technology and algorithms with a test group of 50 people “in multiple locations,” according to a Slice Labs spokesperson.
Tests are necessary because technology and pricing is complicated by time, distance, location and other sensors in the phone. According to the spokesperson, Slice will roll out the app in one state toward the end of the 2017 second quarter, depending on how the tests go.
Slice bills its product as a first-of-its-kind platform that protects the rideshare drivers while covering the liability associated with the commercial activity of ridesharing. The Slice policy is issued from the time the driver goes online and starts work to the time they go offline at the end of their shift—from app on to app off.
The market has untapped demand. Two recent surveys determined that most rideshare drivers don’t have the insurance they need when they are conducting business, but more are interested in the coverage.
Also, insurers including GEICO, USAA, American Family Insurance, Allstate and Farmers Insurance have started in recent months offering or testing rideshare insurance in select markets. These policies are not on-demand but are typically endorsements or extensions of policies designed to ensure drivers have coverage until they accept a ride, during the ride itself or both.
News of the impending rollout of Slice Labs’ rideshare product follows the launch last October of its first on-demand insurance product for homeshare hosts participating in platforms such as AirBnb, HomeAway, OneFineStay and FlipKey. The commercial insurance policy can be purchased via app or online, and it covers the time period hosts rent their home, whether it is a day, a week or another timeframe.
Slice Labs, which is based in New York, disclosed in March 2016 an initial $3.9 million of seed funding from XL Catlin’s XL Innovate and Horizon Ventures. Tusk Ventures is also a backer. Last July, Munich Re signed on as a coverage partner.
Slice and Munich Re have agreed to an ongoing rollout program of products and territories with Slice creating the technology platform to deliver unique products directly to the consumer. Service and processing of claims will also be handled by Slice.
The Slice platform will include automated underwriting rules agreed upon by Munich Re. The two companies are currently working together to implement Slice’s first product in the United States.
Source: Slice Labs