Tomer Kashi is an InsurTech founder, a former software engineer and project manager within the cybersecurity division of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, and a self-proclaimed “tech geek.”

He says the problem-solving skills he developed working with the Israeli government to create interdisciplinary technology projects have translated to insurance, an industry he says he “stumbled into.”

“I used to say that before pitching VCs (venture capitalists), I was pitching the Prime Minister of the country,” he says, referring to Israel where he is based. “After my tenure for the government, I decided to basically start from scratch and tackle big problems, and I stumbled upon insurance.”

VOOM Insurance co-founders, CEO Tomer Kashi and Chief Technology Officer Ori Blumenthal

Kashi and his colleague Ori Blumenthal co-founded VOOM Insurance, where Kashi serves as CEO and Blumenthal serves as chief technology officer. The InsurTech provides digital usage-based insurance for “everything you can ride, drive or fly,” according to its website. Its expertise lies in various mobility segments across all categories, from drones and light aircraft to motorcycles, e-bikes, rideshare, delivery, and modern fleets, and the company focuses on customers in underserved niches. It has offices in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Palo Alto, California, and is a licensed insurance broker in all 50 U.S. states and Canada.

“In our minds, especially in specialty segments, there is an opportunity to provide meaningful innovation where no one else does,” Kashi says.

Over the past three years, VOOM has focused on creating usage-based insurance products for different niches in the mobility world, such as commercial drones, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and recently, gig economy workers and rideshare drivers. Kashi sees opportunity in these spaces, as a survey done by VOOM in 2021 found that 49 percent of respondents ride their motorcycle less than 1,000 miles per year and 70 percent of respondents ride less than 2,000 miles per year. The survey was distributed online and reached more than 400 motorcycle owners, with data weighted to ensure a fair representation of age and gender.

“No insurance company has ever created the pay-per-mile policy for this segment, and the reason is pretty clear,” Kashi says. “After all, it’s a niche market — maybe a niche market of several billions of dollars, but still much smaller than car insurance.”

With VOOM, insureds can go online to receive a quote that includes a base price and a per mile price. After purchasing a policy, they will need to take a picture of the odometer once every billing period, and they’ll be charged accordingly, Kashi explains.

“That’s with regards to motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and you know, it makes sense, especially in America where you have states where you can ride maybe three months a year,” he says.

Similarly, Voom’s AI-driven technology accounts for rideshare drivers’ usage patterns and mileage, creating a personalized insurance model. Using odometer readings and trip details from rideshare platforms, VOOM determines charges only for off-platform mileage while deducting the rideshare platform mileage.

“That’s actually a really interesting market,” he says. “You do not commute to work, right? You’re driving, so you’re at work as soon as you’re out of your home. You might not go on very long trips over the weekend because you’re tired of driving, so these drivers — from a personal risk perspective and from a commuting perspective — are actually very good risks.”

With this in mind, VOOM created a pay-per-mile insurance product that covers rideshare drivers for their personal mileage not related to the rideshare service.

“This way, these drivers can save significantly,” he says. “So, it’s a no-brainer for many drivers.”

Tomer Kashi
Photographer: Orr Zahavi

While Kashi was new to insurance to start, he says his problem-solving skills from the early days of his career in cybersecurity helped him figure out the insurance industry quickly and start solving problems in that field.

“Complex problems are everywhere, right? And once you have the skill set taking on something complex in uncharted territory, then you have potentially the ability to do this any place,” he says. “That’s something that I think really helped us in getting into a completely unchartered territory. You know, I didn’t know what the difference was between an actuary and an underwriter up until six years ago. Today, we have a much larger team and we have underwriters and actuaries. As a founder, I know enough to be dangerous in each and every field of the organization.”

With all of this knowledge under his belt, what’s next for VOOM and the mobility insurance space?

“I think the mobility segment as a whole is going through a lot of changes at the moment that create a lot of opportunities for new insurance products,” he says. “Connectivity allows for embedded insurance and better underwriting. The entire ecosystem is changing very rapidly.”

Artificial intelligence is contributing to these changes too, and it’s something VOOM plans to continue to embrace as it serves its customer segment.

“I think that the real winners from the AI revolution are actually not AI companies. They are AI users, and especially in the finance and the insurance industry,” he says. “The insurance companies that will move faster than others will win in this race, and the beneficiary of that will eventually be the customer. So that’s something that I think is inevitable, and we’re going to see a lot of changes in the coming years in this segment.”