A report from the Pew Research Center shows that sharing economy use is concentrated within certain demographics. For insurers, it means an opportunity to target customers with specialized products.

My colleagues and I have blogged extensively about the sharing economy and its implications for insurance, least of all questions regarding liability, claims and regulations. The sharing economy has also been targeted by new competitors and new products, such as Metromile’s pay-as-you-go options for auto insurance.

A recent report from the Pew Research Center sheds light on the US sharing economy. I’d like to highlight some of the more interesting findings and what they mean for insurers.

Use of the sharing economy isn’t as widespread as many would think

The Pew report includes some interesting statistics. Notably, when it comes to ride-hailing and home-sharing services, the percentage of users is surprisingly small. That is, 15 percent of respondents have used a ride-hailing service and 11 percent have used a home-sharing service.

More surprising is the number of people who have not heard of sharing economy companies: 30 percent hadn’t heard of ride-hailing services, and roughly half hadn’t heard of home-sharing sites.

Users of the sharing economy are concentrated in certain demographics

According to the Pew report, sharing economy use is concentrated within certain demographics:

  • College graduates
  • The affluent (those with household income of $100,000 or more)
  • People 45 years old or younger
  • People who live in urban or suburban environments

Users of the sharing economy use multiple services

Finally, Pew reports that 21 percent of survey respondents have used four or more sharing economy services, while 28 percent haven’t used any. This highlights the opportunity for insurers to develop tailored solutions aimed at sharing economy users—and if done well, to build brand awareness and expand market share.

The sharing economy isn’t as widespread as many would think

One key takeaway from the Pew report is that sharing economy use isn’t as widespread as many media stories make it seem. However, it still presents an opportunity for insurers to target a niche, fairly loyal audience with specialized products. Some insurers—as well as new competitors—now offer insurance products tailored for the sharing economy. Over the next two weeks, we’ll explore these in more detail.

Learn more:

  • Email me to discuss how Accenture can help insurers develop innovative products for the sharing economy.

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