An American startup is hoping to overhaul the stuffy insurance industry with a couple of swipes.
On Monday, Trov launched its latest product in Australia: On-demand insurance for single items through its mobile app. Founded in 2012, the company’s free iOS and Android app previously allowed people to create a digital inventory of their possessions, but it’s now adding an extra level of service. The insurance offering is currently iOS-only.
To insure an item, users simply load the details into the app, select it and swipe right to turn on protection. A toggle allows them to change the time period it is insured for and how much excess they’re willing to accept.
Trov is spearheading a move toward “micro-duration policies,” Trov founder and CEO, Scott Walchek, told Mashable Australia.“It’s a wholesale reinvention of the way people protect their things.”
Users can also make an insurance claim on the app via the technology of the moment: an interactive chat bot.
“On our server side is an intelligent learning bot which is providing the very empathetic language around helping someone make the claim,” he explained. “When did it happen? Where did it happen? Do you have photographs?”
According to Walchek, the company aims to automate up to 90 percent of claims.
At launch, Trov only offers insurance for portable consumer electronics laptops, tablets and phones but hopes to expand its range of items shortly.
While from the user’s perspective they engage only with Trov, the company is working with underwriters to obtain the insurance.“They provide their balance sheet and the heavy regulatory cover for us to operate,”Walchekexplained.
In Australia, its partner is Suncorp and in the UK, AXA.Suncorp is also an investor in Trov. The company has raised almost $40 million (A$56 million),with the latestSeries C funding round of$25.5 million (A$35 million) announcedin April.
According to Walchek, there’s plenty to appeal to the insurer. “They have this bridge to a generation that is demanding on-demand services, unbundled, fully mobile … They have this bridge to a generation they can’t serve through arcane practices and legacy technology,” he argued.
Typically, when people choose an insurance provider they shop around to find the lowest price for the best cover. One potential drawback of Trov is that it worksonlywith one provider and doesn’t offer price comparisons.
While Trov may consider expanding its insurance offerings in the future, Walchek said the lack of marketplace is not a problem.
“We actually don’t believe that is the right experience for users,” he said. “When you protect a single item for some micro-duration, it’s really pennies per day. Giving a distinction, ‘do I chose 17 cents from Suncorp or 18 cents from IAG?,’ doesn’t really seem like the experience users are looking for.
“They care about convenience and control over discretionary price.”
Of course, the insurance industry is hardly the most trusted of industries, so users will have to decide if they’re comfortable with that lack of choice.
AlthoughWalchek is an American entrepreneur,Trov decided to launch in the Australian market first thanks to its relationship with Suncorp, as well as the country’s comparatively simple regulatory framework and embrace of mobile.
“Historically, Australia really is the most tech-forward country in the world,” he said. “Particularly with smart devices … it’s a perfect launch pad for us.”
The app will launch in the UK later this year, and 2017 in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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Originally found athttp://mashable.com/