When platforms like Airbnb and Uber first launched, their early adopters embraced the romance of the sharing economy. Those first guests and riders lamented a modern world that appeared to lack neighborly trust, and embraced sharing platforms’ promise to restore our faith in one another.
Fast forward to 2018, and sharing platforms are starting to realize that idealism will get them only so far. Mainstream consumers appreciate the benefits of the sharing economy, like affordability and convenience, but they remain wary of the risks. In short, before they extend trust to their neighbors, they want insurance.
A new report from Lloyd’s, the London-based specialist insurer, underscores this point. To compile the report, Lloyd’s surveyed 5,000 consumers from the U.S., U.K., and China, and also queried employees from 30 sharing economy startups. Lloyd’s also drew on its experience developing insurance products for sharing platforms.
According to the report, 58% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. say sharing economy platforms are too risky to justify their use. At the same time, layer in respondents from China, and 71% of consumers say they would be more likely to use sharing-economy services if insurance were available. Similarly, 70% of consumers would be more likely to share their home or other assets if startup platforms offered insurance.
“Insurance couldn’t be more important for companies like this,”says Chris Moore, deputy head of casualty for Apollo 1969, a Lloyd’s syndicate. “As soon as you start asking people to share their time, share the things that are most important to them, you…