Trōv – the standalone digital platform that enables an entirely new way to insure the things people care about

By Rick Huckstep

The future for personal lines insurance is all about “engagement”. When insurance becomes a lifestyle choice, then consumer perception will change. And so will their behaviour  This week I get an exclusive sneak peek at Silicon Valley based Trōv and their platform that will change the game for insurance.

The concept is a simple one, the best one’s always are!

We all own stuff that is important to us. Things that we value. Items we want to protect from damage, loss or theft. Possessions that are important to us because we have decided that they are.

And with this stuff comes a heightened sense of protection towards them. We handle them with care. We look after them. We take care of them. We protect them.

But sometimes, bad things happen and our possessions are damaged, lost or stolen. This is why we take insurance… to give us protection when bad things happen to our stuff.

But the problem is that consumers don’t think about insurance in this way. And we all know why – consumers don’t trust insurance and they don’t value it either (until it’s too late).

Which means that the successful insurance companies are going to be those that create an ongoing engagement with their customers, and to do that, they have to engage with their lifestyle.

A few weeks back I covered what I call “engagement insurance”, and it is relevant here because it is also about lifestyle insurance.

Let’s talk about TrōvLogo-Blue-on-White-300

Trov was founded around 3 years ago by Scott Walchek, who is no stranger to launching successful tech startups, raising money and the whole Silicon Valley thing.

Scott explained the genesis of Trōv, there’s enormous value latent in the information about the things people own. That value isn’t being tapped by individuals because it’s hard to collect it. By reducing the friction around collecting the information, and giving people agency over it – we can curate really powerful ways for them to benefit from it.

“The first big opportunity to emerge is a new way to insure. On-demand protection for just those few things people care about – for as long as they’d like.”

Trōv is a lifestyle app that collects data about your things, builds it into a list, then provides machine enhanced risk pricing for single item coverage. Trōv provides micro-duration policies (down to the second), charges micro-premiums (down to the cent) and uses chat robots to manage claims.

This is an entirely dis-intermediated experience through a smartphone app.

How does it work?

The key is that Trōv is both a data collection app and a digital insurance platform all rolled into one. And it starts with the way that the platform makes it easy to collect information about your stuff.  

MY TROV-1To see for myself, I signed up to the beta trial in the UK. I downloaded the app, signed in through FaceBook and Trōv immediately added my iPhone to start my personal inventory. In the process it pick up the model, size and calculated its replacement value.  

The automated approach to data collection is fundamental to making Trōv a convenient and effortless experience. For example, when a purchase receipt hits your inbox, Trov reads it, identifies the purchase and places the purchased item straight into your inventory with a product description (and eventually it will automatically add the cost of insurance).

Next to come after reading the Inbox will be scanning barcodes, using metadata, or taking a feed from services such as Zoopla. These are just some of the ways to get data in.

Streaming insurance on and off at will

There was a time when we all bought music albums. Then iTunes came along and introduced the ability to buy a single song. Then Spotify introduced streaming and now we just pay to listen to the music when we want, where we want.

Imagine the same transition for insurance!

Imagine a time when we can turn insurance on and off to suit our situation or circumstances. This is what Trōv enables the consumer to do. By providing micro-duration policies with micro-premiums priced to the second, when you want, where you want!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been given a sneak peak at the app and what’s to come (and to say that I’m excited by what I’ve seen is an understatement!)

The signature feature is “SWIPE TO PROTECT”. ThisSWIPE TO PROTECT-1 makes turning insurance protection on and off very easy.

From the Trōv list of possessions, the user “swipes right” with their finger to activate cover. And with a user profile that contains all the relevant information, this is all they do to start the cover.

To turn off the cover, the user does the opposite. They swipe their finger to the left over the item in the list. This brings up an option to turn off cover. It’s that simple.

And there’s more to come from Trōv to instigate insurance cover to suit your lifestyle. Whilst details won’t be released until next year, the essence is that Trōv will integrate with your life.

By syncing activity on apps like Tripit and airBnB, or using geolocation, events or your diary, cover can be activated automatically on the user’s behalf with little or no intervention.

Only insure for when you need to

A key design feature of Trōv is the ability to quote premiums in real time for single items in the app. With Trōv protection, the consumer is only charged for the actual period of cover, measured to the second. And when activating cover, the consumer has the ability to adjust key variables, such as the deductible, to suit their circumstances and adjust the premium.

Trōv have also simplified the policy documents by redefining the product disclosure section. Instead of many pages of detailed policy conditions written in 8-pitch fonts, Trōv have simplified the terms and conditions whilst also meeting their compliance obligations.

The engagement is convenient…

Trōv is clearly targeted at the millennial, the generation that have become disenfranchised from insurance as they see it as a luxury that is too hard to buy with no obvious benefit. But this is the very demographic that should be comfortable with insurance.

Which is why the Trōv team have built a great UX to drive ongoing engagement with their users. Trōv is not going to be an insurance product you buy once a year and forget about.

This is a lifestyle app that is used all the time and provides the perfect “on ramp” for millennials into insurance.

Over time, the Trōv gets fuller and fuller as new items are added to the list. Old items will be archived, but the expectation is that consumers will continue to build-up their list of possessions.

And Trōv solves another problem for consumers.

If you’ve ever had your house burgled, you will know how it feels to be asked (quite reasonably) by the insurer to provide evidence of existence and value of the stolen items. How many of us have a comprehensive itinerary of assets and possessions with details of when the item was bought, how much it cost and its specification?

The dynamic of this experience is bad for both the consumer and the insurer. Any sense of trust is sorely tested!

With Trōv, the consumer has a detailed itinerary, problem solved!

…And so is making a claim

Scott explained; “today, the world of claims is a very negative experience. It assumes claimants are telling a lie.  At Trōv, we are taking the opposite approach and believe that by giving our users numerous ways to build their Trōv reputation via their social graph, platform engagement, protection history, and the like – we can come alongside our users at a time when something in their lives has gone wrong: a theft, a loss, a fire, whatever.”

The way that the user initiates a claim is genius!SWIPE TO CLAIM-1

First, the user swipes right (again) on an item that is already protected. This time, the option given is to make a claim.

The user then engages with a chat robot that is based on an expert system. The technology uses contextual verbiage to collect date and location information, description and images of the claim. This online chat becomes a record of the claim which the claims adjustor can see near-real time.

Over time, Trōv will assemble enough data to completely automate the claims process and minimise the effort from manual handling.

It’s all about the customer experience

Scott explained, “we’re really insuring people, it’s not only about the individual item, we are focused on the person behind it.  We’re removing anonymity of the human through the Trōv profile. By making it easy to use the app and by building up an online profile, we believe we will reduce fraud.”

It is this user experience that is the real differentiator for Trōv. Unlike other personal lines insurers who battle it out on price, the make or break factor for Scott and the team is going to be the behaviour of Trōv customers.

And frankly, there is no precedent for this in insurance!

Sounds great, when can I get it?

Trōv 4.0 will launch in Australia and the UK in the first half of 2016. Tier 1 underwriting partners are already in place and, when they are made public, the Daily Fintech readership won’t be surprised to find that they are two of the most innovative and forward thinking insurers in the market.

And why Australia and UK first? Because both countries are easier to enter from a regulatory perspective. Both have a single and progressive regulatory body, unlike the US, where insurance is regulated by each of the 50 states.

Trōv is the one to watch!

It is not often that I say this, but Trōv are definitely the “ones to watch!” Scott and his team have built a lifestyle app that ticks all the boxes for the millennial generation.

And if the insurance industry is going to have any relevance to the millennials, it needs to build an insurance model that is engaging first and insurance second. Just like the Trōv team have done!

See the promo video here on Youtube.

Daily Fintech Advisers provide strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech.


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