$3.5 billion at play: Insuring risk in the sharing economy (Image)

A recent article in PropertyCasualty360 proposes that Uber and Lyft are 2014’s “insurance story of the year.” I’d expand that to say that the sharing economy has been a hot topic in the industry, with many insurers waiting to see how the ongoing debate among regulators, legislators and the sharing companies turns out.

Consider some of the numbers associated with the sharing economy:

  • In 2014, the global market for shared goods and services was worth an estimated $3.5 billion.
  • In the United States, there are an estimated 80 million sharers.
  • The top 100 Airbnb hosts have grossed $54 million over the past three years.
  • Avis paid $500 million to acquire car-sharing service Zipcar.

Over the course of this four-part blog series, I’ll discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for insurers in the sharing economy. Next week: why insurers should lead the pack, not follow the leader.

 

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