Trov, the provider of on-demand insurance for individual items, has raised $45 million for its global expansion efforts.
The company is one of a growing number of tech-enabled startups that are looking to change the insurance business and carve out a piece of that multi-trillion-dollar industry.
At Danville, Calif.-based Trov, that means providing insurance policies for individual items on mobile phones.
With its new financing, from strategic investors Munich Re HSB Ventures and Japan’s second largest insurer, Sompo, and the company’s previous backers Oak HC/FT, Suncorp Group, Guidewire, and Anthemis Group, Trov now has a war chest of roughly $90 million to expand its global reach.
The company is already operating in Australia and the UK, through agreements with Suncorp (in Australia) and Axa (in the UK). Now, with Munich Re’s investment, the company has locked in one of the world’s biggest insurance providers as its partner for the rest of the world (in Japan, Munich and Sampo are working jointly on the product).
While Trov may be pitching modular insurance policies, it’s worth noting that the company is financing them. Trov is essentially a middle man, trading on its technology and its clever approach to insuring individual items — mainly high-priced electronics.
Trov’s chief executive Scott Walchek (who made his first fortune as an early investor in China’s search giant, Baidu) was mum on how many people have signed up for policies the company has issued on behalf of the insurance companies it’s pitching for, but it seems the company’s investors are banking on future growth.
Insurers have found themselves in a bind in recent years, with home ownership declining and the number of households that don’t own cars rising (albeit slightly). Those two trends could accelerate as younger consumers look to rent more and own less.
Trov plays into these trends by offering insurance policies on things that millennials do own… namely electronics.
Typically a Trov policy covers items of around $1,000, which makes the company’s policies a numbers game rather than a play for big ticket policies.
Digging into the policies a little deeper, about 35% of the policy holders who take out a Trov policy do turn off their coverage after a time. Most leave them on — again, the period the company is tracking isn’t all that long so these numbers could change significantly.
According to Walchek, the new money will be used to push Trov’s expansion in the U.S. and Japan and the company intends to be in the top 10 insurance markets in the next several years.
Beyond paying for a broader geographic footprint, Trov’s cash pile will pay for a move into new types of coverage (autonomous vehicle insurance where people pay only for the amount of time they’re in a vehicle) and growing the number of categories a person can insure (things like sporting goods or jewelry).