Insurance as ignition key for car sharing start-up
Getaround,a San Francisco startup, is tackling a big problem: car overpopulation. Envisioning a world with fewer cars, no traffic jams, and less pollution, Getaround is an online peer-to-peer carsharing service that allows users to rent cars from car owners, and allows owners to earn money by renting out their cars to people in their community. Munich Re made it possible.
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Munich Re’s Maureen Brown, SVP, and the US-based Incubator underwriting team developed a customized solution for the startup, enabling Getaround’s users to select a car from their phone, unlock the car through the Getaround mobile app, and drive away knowing there is insurance coverage for the entire rental period.
Supporting the sharing economy – and contributing to the greater good – is part of what drives Munich Re. We’re embracing transformation by exploring, understanding and underwriting new and emerging risks. Maureen Brown talks about what Munich Re offers startups like Getaround:
What does Munich Re bring to the table for startups?
Maureen Brown: Munich Re develops insurance solutions that address the unique needs of startups as well as their missions. Most startups are passionate about their mission and want to work with partners who embrace their vision and capitalize on that passion to bring new coverages to fruition.
What are some key factors that contribute to the success of a startup partnership?
Maureen Brown: We recognized early on that startups like Getaround require innovative solutions. It is our mission to move beyond the typical “underwriting box,” and look at things in a new way. We believe that flexibility and our willingness to customize products and pricing to meet startups’ needs are key elements in solidifying a relationship. As a trusted partner with insurance expertise, we are able to help startups identify issues and develop solutions that meet the needs of all parties: the regulators, the insured and their customers, the broker and us, as the carrier.
What factors help the insurance purchase process go smoothly?
Maureen Brown: For carriers such as ourselves, developing a deep understanding of the regulatory and insurance requirements of the individual states where the startup operates and partnering with a broker who understands the exposures associated with sharing economy risks are all critical elements to ensure a smooth purchase process. This process enables startups like Getaround to obtain the proper coverage needed to operate successfully, providing peace of mind for the startups and their customers.
What have you learned working with startups that has inspired you?
Maureen Brown: In Silicon Valley the vibe is “anything is possible if you look at it from a different angle.” With energy, passion, creativity and the right partners, we can embrace technology and make what was once viewed as impossible possible.
Munich Re Experts
Underwriting and Operations Manager, Innovation Underwriting Unit