For many insurers, the sharing economy is one of unknown risks that are too new to be understood or quantified. It can be difficult to set an accurate rate—or even determine what kind of policy is appropriate.
Meanwhile, the sharing economy continues to expand. Certainly, some sharers earn substantial profits from sharing. But the average monthly income of RelayRides car owners who rent their vehicles to others? Just $250. For a part-time or infrequent sharer, taking out a commercial insurance policy would quickly diminish potential profits.
Clearly, there’s a significant marketplace niche that’s only starting to be filled. Insurers have the opportunity to provide a product that better meets the needs of the person sharing a home or vehicle, and to connect with short-term home or vehicles users to expand market share—a market that includes an estimated 80 million sharers in the United States.