Archive for May, 2016


Market Snapshot: Crowd-based Insurance Startups on the Rise

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Above Image: Crowd Companies has identified more than a dozen crowd-based insurance startups emerging from financial industry hotbeds like London, more will emerge from each region.

Crowd- and peer-based business models have impacted the hospitality industry, transportation space, financial sector, and other industries as indicated within the latest Collaborative Economy Honeycomb 3.0.

We’re now seeing the rise of a growing set of startups in the insurance industry that are enabling P2P, pro-rata coverage or crowd-based models that leverage the crowd. These emerging insurance tech startups include mostly peer-to-peer offerings, with a handful that are also improving the delivery of insurance through new technologies.

P2P insurance allows for more people to be insured by aiding underserved markets. It provides coverage for gig workers in the collaborative economy, while collective purchasing yields preferential pricing (or even funds returned) to those subscribed to peer-based insurance programs. With most of the emerging startups acting as brokers, the insurance carrier startups are still forthcoming in the insurance world. Lemonade is a clear example of this (though they’ve yet to launch).

There are several companies popping up for specialized insurance, too. From insuring cyclists to pet owners, and one––Bought By Many––that specializes in ‘long tail’ insurance. This means insure those items that aren’t often insured. Then, there’s Trōvthat provides ‘on-demand’ insurance, for those who want to insure in the moment by simply snapping a pic in the app, granting fast coverage. It’s coverage for when people seek access over ownership.

The map above of crowd-based insurance startups isn’t complete; there are more emerging, and we expect for each geographic region to develop their own capabilities. See the table below for additional details.

Sample of Crowd-Based Insurance Startups: 

Startup Category Description
OnSource On-Demand Inspection On-demand visual inspection by a group of independent crowd workers
trov On-Demand Insurance On-demand protection for belongings – home, auto, personal property. Easy to turn on/off.
Tong Ju Bao P2P Broker TongJuBao is a P2P insurance platform that helps its users manage risks. TongJuBao was developed by QiBao Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, a WOFE (wholly owned foreign entity) and is ultimately controlled by its French founder, Tang Loaec. (CB Insights)
Broodfonds P2P Insurance – Crowdfunding Group of freelancers crowdfunding each other’s sick leave
PeerCover P2P Insurance – Crowdfunding Join group, pay fee upfront, users decide if claims are fair and can get up to 5x your balance to cover claims. ‘Crowdfunded cover’
MetroMile Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance Metromile is a car insurance startup that offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app. It is currently the only company offering pay-per-mile insurance in the United States.
CommonEasy P2P Insurance Broker CommonEasy is a peer-to-peer insurance platform that utilizes the power of the crowd to collectively insure and protect material possessions, homes, and livelihoods.
Besure P2P Insurance Broker Peer-to-peer risk sharing for property insurance, not currently launched.
Friendsurance P2P Insurance Broker Pools users into small groups. Brokers with 60 insurance partners.
Inspeer P2P Insurance Broker Users form small groups for auto, motorcycle, and home insurance. Users pledge to cover up to a certain amount.
Guevara P2P Insurance Broker – Auto Pools friends and acquaintances, or other small groups, for car insurance.
Gather P2P Insurance Broker – Business Business insurance shared across a group/community.
Bought By Many P2P Insurance Broker – Long-Tail Works with insurers to develop policies and negotiate discounts for long-tail insurance needs like pet insurance, cyclist insurance, etc.
SafeShare P2P Ins Broker – Share Econ Develop insurance products and partner with sharing economy businesses to offer users and providers insurance solutions. Work to fill in the gaps of insurance for Sharing Economy providers and users.
Cycle Syndicate P2P Insurance Carrier – Cyclists Bike insurance shared over a small group. Insurance held by cycle syndicate.
Lemonade P2P Insurance Carrier Lemonade is peer-to-peer insurance and one of the only carriers, but they’ve yet to launch. Groups of policyholders pay premiums into a claims pool, and if money is left at the end of the policy period, they get refunds.
Uvamo P2P Insurance Carrier Uvamo, which plans to launch by the end of the year, aims to cut administrative costs by offering property and casualty insurance direct to consumers online. Those policies can then be diversified and grouped into a pool, which collects all the premiums paid by the policyholders. -CNBC

 

Additional Resources:

Want to inspire Intrapreneurship in your company? Open this box

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Can you let your employees take charge of innovation – with little managerial oversight? When employees are empowered to make a difference on their own – to lead rather than follow a managerial directive – the innovation process takes on a life of its own.

Adobe Kickbox, a physical box of practical tools and resources for employees to innovate rapidly and independently, fosters innovation in every pocket of the company. It helps capture grassroots innovation happening at the edges of the internal network.

At more than 11,000 employees, Adobe is a large software company in the heart of Silicon Valley. Such companies can struggle to keep talent when the best and brightest are often lured away by promises of lucrative start-ups and entrepreneurship. By focusing on fostering intrapreneurship in its employee base, Adobe offers the empowerment needed to keep staff engaged and challenged while directly contributing to product R&D and company growth.

Although today Adobe Kickbox can be used by any company, it originally began as the sole innovation process used at Adobe since 2012.
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Since its inception, more than a thousand new ideas have been prototyped using the Kickbox process. Once Adobe realised the potential for Kickbox to support innovation in all companies, it began offering its resources free for download at Kickbox.Adobe.com. Thousands of companies and organizations have already downloaded the kit in multiple languages.

What, exactly, makes Kickbox so different and so successful? Adobe Kickbox pulls employee innovation out of people’s brains and into action, using the following tools in a training session:

  • Prepaid credit card with $1,000 for project research and proof-of-concept (empowerment)
  • Starbucks gift card (caffeine)
  • Chocolate bar (sugar)
  • Complete directions for Adobe’s innovation process (some structure)

Once an Adobe employees completes the final phase of the innovation process directions, they’re then awarded a “Blue Box” (with its secret contents undisclosed) and assigned an executive sponsor to bring their ideas to fruition. Your guess is good as mine, as what’s in there – but that desire to get to the next level will drive motivation.

How to ensure quality ideas while still “failing fast”

The goal of the Adobe Kickbox innovation process is to increase the rate of failure by making small bets on ideas in a really fast, decentralized way. It intentionally “breaks” all of a company’s processes and requires leaders to completely rethink their innovation funnel. But, in the end, it will result in diverse ideas and products that customers actually want. To fail fast, employees follow the Kickbox’s six steps to innovation.

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  1. Inception. Motivating Innovation of new ideas.
  2. Ideate. Brainstorming to come up with new ways to help customers and employees.
  3. Improve. Polishing Ideas to refine before taking to market.
  4. Investigate. Talk to customers and test directly. (This is often where the $1,000 prepaid card comes in, as employees create a proof of concept to show that customers would want and adopt their idea. This may include advertising, A/B testing, or hiring the crowd to build a prototype.)
  5. Iterate. Evolve hypothesis based on findings from the investigation.
  6. Infiltrate. Pitch to management. (The final pitch in step six must end with a request for money – budget/resources – in order to secure c-suite commitment. Those with hard numbers from the tests stand to gain more traction)

Using this process, Kickbox teaches people to innovate when there is no innovation programme within the company. It requires no infrastructure, no leadership review and deliberation, and comes with complete directions. To ensure quality of ideas, Adobe also requires employees utilizing Kickbox to first attend an instructional class, a foundational course many other companies have since replicated.

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Kickbox innovation requires complete commitment, even to points of contention

In order for Kickbox to be successful within an organisation, companies must adopt the six-step process fully, without exception. In a Crowd Companies innovation council call, Mark Randall, VP of Creativity at Adobe, shared three big points of contention that companies most struggle with in Kickbox adoption:

  1. It must be open to all employees. Kickbox won’t be successful if it doesn’t embrace the fact that a good idea can come from anywhere, in any department, not just marketing or product development.
  2. Employees are empowered to pursue any idea. The empowerment for all employees to explore democratises innovation and puts trust into action.
  3. Intrapreneurs must receive “no-look funding” in the amount of $1,000. This is a critical part of the “special sauce” that makes Kickbox successful. It’s a significant risk to invest in ideas blindly, but Adobe found that people spent their money much more carefully than they did using normal budgetary allocation.

Kickbox inspires profound changes in employee behavior and their relationship to the company. You can download Adobe Kickbox here to begin the full innovation process today.

I’ve worked with Adobe for many years, and they’re currently a customer of my company, Crowd Companies, an innovation council.

This was originally posted on the Virgin business blog.