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trov’s Scott Walchek on designing the world’s first on-demand insurance for single items

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trov’s Scott Walchek on designing the world’s first on-demand insurance for single items

Scott Walchek is CEO and Founder of trov

What is trov and what was the genesis story? What was the inspiration behind starting it?

Scott Walchek, trov
Scott Walchek, trov

Trov is an application and digital insurance platform that together reinvent the way people insure their things by harnessing the information about all they own. Designed for the emerging generations of digital natives, Trov completely redefines the way people protect their possessions by letting them choose just the things they care to protect, and engage insurance for as long as they need it – a year, a month, a week, day, hour…whatever.

Together, the Trov app and platform enable the world’s first on-demand insurance for single items and feature micro-premiums, micro-duration policies, and entirely disintermediated claims – all from a smartphone. This “streaming insurance” will empower numerous new use cases including automatically turning-on protection based on date, time, location, and event.

In 2010, for the first time in history the make up of Global Household Wealth was evenly split between financial assets (cash and its myriad equivalents), and tangible assets (personal and real property) [from 2011 Credit Suisse Wealth Databook]. It intrigued me that while there were innumerable tools for analyzing and managing financial assets, there were no similar and simple tools for managing tangible wealth. That intrigue was followed by a recognition that there was enormous value latent in the information about the things that people own – and if we could capture that information and give people agency over it on their mobile devices, then we could positively impact numerous substantial markets. The first of these market disruptions would be in the P/C insurance space where emerging generations were demanding their financial services be delivered on their mobile devices, on-demand, and a la carte.

Insuring belongings has traditionally been hampered by the inefficiency of cataloguing all our stuff. How does trov change all that? And in doing so, how does the role of insurance change?

One of the biggest problems with traditional home contents insurance is that people pay a set amount of money year on year, without many questions, yet are often unsure what is actually being covered. We frequently hear of incidents when people report claims for their belongings and then their most valuable items are not actually covered.

Trov provides on-demand protection for the things that are important to you and you always know exactly what is covered and in what situations. Instead of trying to document all of your important items after an incident occurs, Trov makes it ridiculously easy to collect and update information about the things that are important to you – as you acquire them. You are then given the option to easily “swipe to protect” the items that are most important to you and then easily “swipe to unprotect” items that you may have discarded, sold or have lost value to you.

Furthermore, we’re working on opportunities for adaptive protection that is adjusted based on your situation. Imagine having insurance for your skis turned ON automatically when the ski season begins and OFF in the Summer, when you no longer need the same level of insurance.

The role of insurance will change from a once-a-year transactional relationship to a more active ongoing relationship with your things –  protecting just what you want, when you want – so you can get back to enjoying them.

What were some of the challenges in making insurance as easy as interacting with our phones? How did you solve for them?

Trov is 100% mobile, meaning it has no desktop/browser version.  This is a self-applied constraint that has forced us to be very selective in the features we introduce. Furthermore, by keeping the application entirely mobile, it has actually allowed us to introduce more unique features that are only available on mobile devices. These include things like taking photos with the app, detecting location for your home, scanning barcodes and receipts. If we had a desktop version, then none of these features would be possible.

Insurance today is bogged down by heavy process and forms, often requiring the need to talk directly to a person. By moving the entire process to the phone we’re making getting insurance as simple as a ‘1-click’ Amazon purchase. What’s more, claims can be as simple as a quick text message exchange with reimbursement or shipping of a replacement item happening in minutes – instead of days or weeks.

By placing the entire insurance process on a phone, we quickly realized which processes were absolutely necessary and which were simply functions of an arcane insurance model. Needless to say, we discarded what wasn’t necessary and made the entire process much simpler.

What’s in store for 2016 for you and trov?

In 2016, we will begin to roll out our on-demand insurance platform.  Limited release launch will take place in Australia and the UK in the first half of 2016.

Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

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