Pluto is travel insurance aimed at millennials

Pitched as “travel insurance for people who don’t like insurance,” U.K.-based Pluto Insurance is officially launching today with an online travel insurance product targeting millennials.

Citing research that says 40 percent of millennials don’t actually buy travel insurance, mistakenly believing that it isn’t required, the mobile-first offering not only attempts to demystify travel insurance, but is also unbundling it in a way that ensures you only pay for the cover you need or desire.

“We’ve spoken to hundreds of millennials and three things keep coming up,” says Pluto co-founder and CEO Alex Rainey. “Travel insurance is too complicated and it’s hard to know what you’re actually buying. Secondly, a lot of younger people don’t think they need it. But most importantly, there is a distinct lack of trust towards insurers, and it’s easy to see why. With exclusions buried in the fine print and insurers expecting people to print out a claim form and post it in.”

To remedy this, Rainey says Pluto wants to make travel insurance more tailored, letting you build your own policy online. “We work hard to make sure everything is easy to understand, ensuring we always explain our cover in plain English,” he says. The startup also lets you submit a claim via the mobile web app “in under 10 minutes.”

Insurance options includes gadget cover, baggage cover, cancellation cover, level of excess, cover for certain activities and travel disruption. As you add more cover, the price of your insurance changes in real time with each decision. Once you’ve built your policy, a short summary of your cover is displayed before you go ahead and purchase.

Meanwhile, the insurance itself — which, at launch, doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, although that will be offered in the future — is in partnership with Zurich, which Rainey says was chosen because they had a 99 percent claims payout rate in 2017. “This is so so important for us to solve the trust issues in insurance,” he adds.

To that end, Pluto integrates with Facebook Messenger, including letting you use the messaging app to start a claim. You can also search your policy, check a summary of your cover or chat to a Pluto team member.

“Our customers want to do everything from their phone, when and where they want. We’ve made sure that’s possible,” says Rainey.