Adding to the momentum and driving further growth in this new economy is the pandemic. When states put lockdown measures in place last year, some sharing economy services saw an exponential increase in use. Apps like DoorDash, GrubHub, Instacart, Uber Eats/Postmates, and many others became essential due to restrictions on in-person shopping while micro-mobility and car-sharing boomed as customers sought alternatives to mass transit. Reports estimate the value of the sharing economy will hit $335 billion by 2025.
With people becoming more comfortable using these platforms and apps for services or assets, there arises, along with it, new legal liability challenges and unique demands on the insurance industry. Underwriting new businesses in the sharing economy is quite challenging! Emerging risks, the need for new product solutions, and the ability of platforms to scale and morph rapidly, and digitally savvy customers all require non-traditional approaches to underwriting, product & pricing, loss control, and claims servicing.
Another challenge with the sharing economy is understanding each State’s evolving laws and regulations. One example of this challenge is the ever-evolving body of law on whether Gig workers are to be classified as independent contractors or employees.
This not only impacts the product/coverage solutions that sharing economy companies need. It also has a material impact on claims management since Gig worker classification goes to the very heart of sharing economy business models and financial viability.
To that end, the swift-paced sharing economy platforms need the help of a solution partner with deep experience and expertise in insurance, risk management, and claims with leading insurance carriers and brokers specializing in delivering tailor-made insurance solutions. This is where InShare Services comes as a ray of hope for the market stakeholders.
Formed with the mission to empower the sharing economy by delivering tailored risk management products and services and safeguarding businesses, brands, and assets are a team of Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb alums. Founders Mark Warnquist and Sean Fitzsimmons recognized the highly specialized needs of the sharing economy, and built a company from scratch to meet the unique insurance needs of fast-moving platforms across Rideshare, Final Mile Delivery, Carshare, Homeshare, eMobility, and adjacent markets.
We launched InShare to be an MGA (managing general agency) offering unique and tailored solutions to address the problems the carriers and the platform companies faced
“We launched InShare to be an MGA (managing general agency) offering unique and tailored solutions to address the challenges that carriers and platform companies faced in the sharing economy. We first focused on bringing together the best talent possible across all insurance functions—underwriting, pricing, distribution, actuarial, loss control and claims -- and then built our tech foundation around this core. As the market shifted with Covid and other macro developments, we’ve expanded our offerings to also bringing much needed solutions to broader segments of Final Mile Delivery and the Logistics industry, in addition to the sharing economy,” says Mark Warnquist, CEO, InShare Services, on the genesis of the company.
InShare has a team dedicated to Final Mile Delivery, which includes the independently owned and operated Amazon Delivery Service Partner companies that deliver Amazon Prime. Just as it does for the Sharing Economy, the InShare team distinguishes itself in Final Mile by having an intimate insider understanding of the operations and challenges that Final Mile companies face. This enables InShare to offer tailored solutions and better pricing for appropriate customers. Leveraging telematics to reward and incentivize better pricing is one example of InShare’s approach. “It’s a win-win. Our customers with established track records are getting access to insurance at better rates, and they are also better claims service which enables their vehicles to return to service faster,” explains Warnquist.
With a robust portfolio serving a wide clientele, InShare is planning to expand its services. The company is working on three programs to offer enhanced insurance solutions and reach deeper to more clients in the Final Mile and Courier Logistics spaces, as well as other additional segments of the sharing economy. This includes building NextGen telematics-enabled insurance products and delivering protections for Gig workers. “Our experience at Uber gave us a deep appreciation for independent workers and the many challenges they face. That experience drives us to solve for the needs of independent workers and their families. Workers shouldn’t have to sacrifice flexibility to gain access to the benefits that many employed workers take for granted. There’s a better way, and that will be an important next chapter for InShare,” says Warnquisi.