Cuvva launches an InsurTech app for short term, instant car insurance

By Rick Huckstep

There are times when the easiest and most convenient way to get somewhere is to borrow someone else’s car. Except that it hasn’t been easy or convenient to get the right insurance cover…until now! With a totally digital experience, drivers can buy as little as 1 hour of fully comprehensive motor insurance in less than 10 mins. Meet Cuvva!


There are many reasons for wanting to borrow some one else’s car for a short period. Sharing a long car journey. Or taking over the driving because the driver needs an unexpected break. Or borrowing the neighbor’s VW camper van for the day. Or, quite simply, because you can!

“Hey, can I borrow your car, just need it for an hour?”

After all, we are in the sharing economy. And sharing can be a much better option than calling a taxicab or Uber (which is a form of sharing), or even renting a vehicle (and all the hassle that goes with that).

And then there are unplanned situations. You’re out with your friends and decide that someone else can drive your car home. These heat of the moment situations often result in some clouded judgments. Particularly at this festive time of year, the temptation to let the sober driver take charge of your motor at the end of the night is all too strong.

And the point is that in these situations, the question seldom considered is “are we properly covered?”

Yes but No but!

Technically and legally, ‘Yes’. Insurance may be in place when both drivers are insured. But! It will only be for third party cover and if the car is in an accident, the insurance only covers third party costs. And worse, the vehicle owner loses their no-claims (not the temporary driver), resulting in higher premiums for years to come.

This is why you would use Cuvva.PastedGraphic-3

Cuvva was launched in October as iOS app that enables the user to sign up, get a quote and buy cover within less than 10 minutes. It’s a totally digital experience all run from your smartphone.

Once you download the app, it goes like this…

Step 1 – registration. Just need your name, address, date of birth, a photo of your driver’s license, a selfie and you’re done! (this step takes less than 5 minutes depending on how quick you are at typing and taking a photo)

Step 2- quotation. Easy. Enter the vehicle registration number and approximate value of the vehicle and instantly (literally, straightaway), the app provides five different rates for 1, 2, 3 or 4 hours and 24 hour durations.

Step 3- cover. Initiated by simply selecting the rate quoted, taking a photo of the vehicle to prove that you and the car are together and authorizing a payment. (This took me a couple of minutes as I had to enter my card payment details for the first time, from now on, it’s a simple tap, tap, buy process).


I can vouch for these times because I conducted a field trial and bought an hour’s cover to drive my wife’s car in less than 10 minutes. Next time, it will be much quicker. By comparison, on two separate occasions this year I have bought temporary named driver insurance using the conventional method. On both occasions it took many days to organize cover.

Meet Freddy

To find out more about Cuvva, I met with CEO and Founder, Freddy Macnamara in a coffee shop in London before he headed back to HQ in Edinburgh.

I started by asking Freddy about the challenges he had to overcome to create Cuvva. “We first tried to build Cuvva on industry software and infrastructure but we just couldn’t do it. So we made the decision quickly to change tack and build an insurance platform from the ground up. Which we’ve done, including all our own integrations with third parties.

“The next challenge was trying to understand what an hour long risk looked like to an underwriter. And once we’d figured that out, how to then work with their risk committees and the regulator (the FCA).

“What we found was the factor that insurers care a huge amount about is time on the road. Today, underwriters make a judgment based on the annual mileage to calculate how long you will be on the road. This, along with value of the vehicle, location and driving history, sets the premium. By using the same logic we are able to derive an hour long premium.”

The customer comes first!

The user experience at Cuvva is very impressive. It’s totally digital and mobile and quick and convenient. A common theme of mine is that insurance must (and is starting to) change the engagement with customers.

Cuvva nail this from the outset. The registration process is simple with Cuvva running background checks and getting data to make the sign up quick and easy.

Cuvva is not a price driven insurance product, it is a lifestyle product that offers the consumer something of real value at the point when they want it most.

Freddy and his team have built an InsurTech software business that sells insurance. And this gives them AGILITY. The team can respond quickly and flexibly in the constant search for the perfect customer experience.

This is a defining characteristic for successful startups and one that sets them apart from the might and resources of the traditional insurance companies that often stifle innovation.

Cuvva is on the money!

Having met Freddy, used the app and actually bought an hour of cuvva (geddit!), I can say that, IMHO, Cuvva have got this right on the money. The user experience is clean, simple, convenient and easy.

Cuvva is definitely NOT in the “sold, not bought” category…quite the PastedGraphic-2opposite, this is an insurance product that people will WANT to buy. And they will pay a price premium for the convenience. This is millennial buying behavior.

And, on top of that, there is a strong social element to Cuvva. It’s a social product in itself, but it also appeals to a social conscience. It’s wrong to drive without insurance or after a few drinks, both legally and morally. With Cuvva there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel of a car and chancing your arm with insurance.

Cuvva is brand new to the market and I, for one, cant wait to see how Freddy and his team progress in the highly competitive UK motor insurance market.

Related posts on social insurance;

The author, Rick Huckstep is an InsurTech thought leader, commentator and Founding Partner of Daily Fintech Advisers.

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



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