CoverHound Joins Rideshare Insurance Market, Eyes Autonomous Cars Next

  • Emma Sandler
  • April 21, 2017
  • 0

Online insurance comparison shopping platform CoverHound is joining in on the booming rideshare market, and eventually the autonomous vehicle insurance space as well, Mobility Buzz has learned.

The platform partnered with several large carriers to offer auto insurance quotes in 24 states for people who drive for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. The San Francisco, Calif.-based insurance technology company said it intends to expand the service nationwide by yearend.

“As ridesharing continues to disrupt public transportation and how Americans view their cars, the insurance industry is hurrying to catch up,” the company said in a statement.

For instance, although Uber and Lyft have been around for years, auto insurance operates state-by-state; some of the largest insurance providers like Geico and State Farm — which also offer rideshare coverage — are operational in only 20 or 30 States, Harry Campbell, founder of The Rideshare Guy blog, told Mobility Buzz.

“Some drivers don’t know they need rideshare insurance … and then when you know you need it, it is hard to find,” he said. “CoverHound can provide a lot of value not only in aggregating this information but also connecting drivers to knowledgeable agents.”

CoverHound is also interested in working with its insurance partners to develop other insurance products, such as coverage for autonomous vehicles, Keith Moore, chief executive of CoverHound, told Mobility Buzz.

It is anticipated that there will be 3.5 million partially self-driving vehicles by 2025, and 4.5 million by 2030, according to a published report. This could offer up monetary opportunity for insurers — as partially self-driving cars will still involve human drivers — but also extra components, like more frequent automotive repairs and maintenance that insurers could cover, according to the report.

“Long term, [autonomous vehicle insurance] is where we feel like we have all the bases covered,” Moore said, because CoverHound has a background in property, commercial, and digital insurance. Digital insurance is cyber security, as one example, which CoverHound began offering in late 2016 with partners like Symantec and Aspen.

“Where you see more digitization of insurance, you’ll see new products coming to market that didn’t exist before,” Moore said.

CoverHound’s new rideshare aggregator currently includes coverage options from among eight insurers, including Safeco, Progressive, Mercury, Foremost, State Auto, CSE, Kemper, and National General, with a ninth to be announced soon, Moore said. CoverHound is also looking to partner with larger insurers like Allstate, Geico, and Farmers as the platform expands, he added.

Many people like to bundle their insurance policies under one carrier, The Rideshare Guy’s Campbell said, and CoverHound’s smaller rideshare insurance providers might deter customers from using the platform — considering the larger insurers are the ones that can bundle personal auto and rideshare insurance. However, CoverHound does allow in many cases for a customer to have separate policies with separate insurers and still receive a bundle discount by going through CoverHound, Moore said.

To learn more about the evolution of transportation, join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com to register or learn more.

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