Consumers can buy insurance “on demand” to cover electronics and other valuable goods and once Trov Inc. rolls out it services in the U.S. in 2018. Insureds will be able to turn protection on and off with a simple command via mobile phone. Google is reportedly in talks with Waymo to extend its technology to future coverage of driverless cars.
Launched last year in the UK and Australia, Trov is currently approved for property insurance in 31 states, and anticipates its launch this year.
Trov’s on-demand insurance offers protection against damage, loss and theft for common electronic and personal items. The process of selecting and maintaining Trov insurance is achieved entirely through Trov’s app on the insured’s smartphone, offering the insured more flexibility than generally offered by traditional insurance policies. Trov further integrates smartphone technology by reviewing claims directly in the Trov App, and conducting immediate live-chat with Trov staff.
Trov insurance is characterized as “on-demand” because it offers the freedom to select which electronics to ensure, and the option to obtain coverage for any of the 31,000 types of insurable items currently listed in Trov’s database. Insured consumers may choose the exact duration to maintain insurance protection by “swiping” their coverage on or off.
In all, the on-demand approach places more power and discretion into the hands of consumers who wish to protect their electronics and other insurable products.
This method of insurance protection is made possible by Trov’s technology, which defines measurements in “micro-durations.” Coverage is activated only during times when the consumer “swipes” on insurance protection. Trov seeks to modernize insurance coverage with its new platform.
Trov’s Solution May Apply to Driverless Cars
Trov’s emphasis on micro-durations may be applicable to other complex challenges brought by modern technology. Autonomous or “driverless” vehicles, for example, present new problems for insurance companies, and may prompt changes to state regulation of automobile insurance coverage. Waymo LLC, the driverless-car company owned by Alphabet Inc., the parent corporation of Google, has sought to collaborate with Trov to offer insurance to passengers of these driverless vehicles.
Trov’s efforts to modernize the field of insurance has captured the interest of Waymo’s CEO. Ultimately, Waymo aspires to revolutionize the future of the auto industry, and, ultimately, make driverless vehicles available to the public. With the help of Trov, Waymo may be one step closer to making driverless vehicles a realistic and feasible industry in the future.
Like Trov’s on-demand insurance, Trov’s method of quantifying risk through “micro-durations” may be the key to offering insurance specifically tailored to the unique needs of driverless vehicles. Specifically, Waymo expects that Trov’s micro-duration approach may be applied to measure risk by the length of a passenger’s ride inside a driverless vehicle.
Beyond its collaboration with Waymo, Trov’s goal is to encourage growth in other areas of technology. Trov executives hope their efforts will motivate innovation in “personal mobility” services, such as bike-sharing and on-demand delivery, as well as other services oriented around affordability and convenience.
Implications for Insurance Defense Law Firms
By offering consumers greater control over the availability and timing of property insurance protection for mobile phones, PCs, musical instruments, cameras, television sets, and other valuable, Trov may open up large new markets for claims. On the other hand, these will be relatively low value claims that generally will relate to damage or theft rather than personal injury. Carriers are likely to pay them quickly in an effort to avoid litigation.
Today consumers have to make long term commitments to insure valuables like jewelry or other expensive possessions, typically through the use of a rider or specialized property coverage that is commonly associated with a homeowners policy.
The Trov approach puts power in the hands of the consumer, which may result in more coverage and potentially more claims.
Insurance defense law firms will want to take a look at this technology, and gain an understanding of when service will be available in their state. This would make an excellent blog topic or possible continuing seminar for law firms that want to stay at the forefront of their practice.
A related consideration is to watch how traditional P&C carriers respond to these technical innovations.
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