Ride and homesharing technologies like Uber and Airbnb are now ubiquitous. Slice, an on-demand insurance provider, seeks to fill the gap between the demands of these on-the-go services and traditional insurance contracts, which may not cover home rental or car sharing. Slice users can pick and choose the dates for which they receive coverage. So, for example, a homeowner that rents her home to Airbnb renters for two nights can obtain coverage solely for those two nights.
The insurance tech startup acts as an intermediary and a subsidiary of Munich Re underwrites the product. Slice officially launched its homesharing insurance product in thirteen states in May. Slice is now testing its rideshare product, and according to The Insurance Journal, will release the product to one state at the end of the month. Future expansions may include on-demand insurance for personal services, like dog-walking.
Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of Slice, sought to eschew “traditional bureaucracies” with his novel pay-per-use coverage. According to Attia, users need not fill out an application. Instead, users input their address, type of rental, and occupancy dates to receive a quote, which averages $7 per night. Slice covers typical homeowner concerns like theft, property damage, loss of income, and infestation, and coverage tops out at $2 million. On-demand ridesharing coverage is more complex; time, distance, and location all factor into insurance pricing, as the app syncs with ridesharing apps to offer coverage from “app on to app off”.
As discussed on our blog in January 2016, traditional insurance companies have also recognized the changing market: insurance providers like GEICO, USAA, American Family Insurance, and Allstate and Farmers Insurance have begun testing or offering ridesharing and homesharing coverage. Last fall, Allstate debuted HostAdvantage in six states, a $50 per year add-on for those renting out their homes, providing coverage of up to $10,000 for personal property damage. However, these services are add-ons to a policyholder’s existing policy, unlike Slice, which requires no commitment beyond the selected coverage dates.
While this inexpensive and efficient coverage may cover gaps in sharer’s existing policies, the lack of case-by-case underwriting necessitated by on-demand coverage may result in some buyers paying too much. Others, conversely, may reap significant benefits based on an average $7-per-night charge. Ultimately, the uniformity, ease, and peace-of-mind that Slice provides to homeowners renting their homes to strangers or drivers giving rides to strangers may far outweigh any drawbacks.
Kelly R. Oeltjenbruns is a law student at Washington University School of Law who joined Hunton & Williams as a summer associate in 2017.