Why RV-sharing tech company launched an insurtech

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Outdoorsy, an RV rental and travel marketplace,had a problem: With traditional insurance, RV owners could lose coverage when renting out their RVs due to a commercial exclusion clause. The solution: The company launched an insurtech company, Roamly, to eliminate the “gray zone” that traditionally comes with renting RVs.

“What we wanted to do was be able to provide clear affirmative coverage that basically says, if you are going to plan on renting your RV on the platform that we are here for you to be able to. Your coverage ultimately is clear that we are providing that coverage during that time frame,” said Aaron Ammar, Chief Insurance Officer at Roamly. “People and customers are very excited about it. And it’s really one that they feel enables them to be able to rent their RV on the platform in a more meaningful way.”

While Roamly is clearly closely tied to Outdoorsy, its customers do not have to rent their vehicles through Outdoorsy to take advantage of the coverage, according to Ammar. That’s because Outdoorsy identified early the fact that this coverage didn’t appear many places in the industry, he explains.

“The insurance industry as a whole has been antiquated and has a sense of, ‘that’s just the way it’s always been,’” said Ammar. “There’s always been a commercial exclusion in the policy. And I don’t think before the advent of the sharing economy, before Outdoorsy came around and other sharing economy platforms, it was never really challenged in any sort of meaningful way.”

Roamly uses data as well as machine-learning from Outdoorsy to craft its insurance coverages for customers. It uses trip data from Outdoorsy to understand where someone is on their trip and what times of year they use their RV. Outdoorsy’s calendar helps Roamly understand when an RV is booked.

“We’re able to marry the technology from our marketplace into getting better insights into Roamly,” said Ammar. “We feel as though there’s a pretty captive audience that really has a vested interest in making sure that their coverage is appropriate.”

The pandemic driving increased interest in roadtrips created more demand than ever for Outdoorsy and Roamly, he adds.

“We feel that this is a perfect market fit for Roamly as a whole,” said Ammar. “It is a niche insurance offering that will then, over time, be able to kind of expand out our product lines, as well.”

SiriusPoint is partnering with Outdoorsy as an investor to develop new products in their insurtech division.

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