The global sharing economy is booming. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, and RVezy.com are testing the traditional constraints of insurance and demanding a fresh outlook and innovative products from insurers.
Car sharing and property rental are common activities worldwide and there are unique insurance products to cover these industries – but what about people who want to rent out their RV or motorhomes?
Until recently, there was no simple way to insure a personal RV for commercial (rental) use in Canada. But an entrepreneurial police officer from Edmonton and his war-veteran friend have come up with an answer to the RV rental conundrum…
“I’ve always owned a motorhome and I’m quite entrepreneurial. I got to thinking – why can’t I rent out this motorhome that sits in my driveway for 11 months of every year? The problem is, there has never been an insurance product in Canada that allows you to do that. There’s no happy medium between personal and commercial insurance,” said Mike McNaught, co-founder of RVezy.
“In August 2016, we launched our website RVezy.com, which is a bit like an Uber or Airbnb model for RVs. We started working with Aon, who went to the market for us and got Intact to build an insurance product for us. Intact took what they had with their existing Uber model and reconfigured it for RVs before resubmitting it to the regulators.”
RVezy has a commercial fleet policy with Intact that covers listed RVs during rental periods. Any trailer, RV or motorhome that gets listed on the RVezy platform is temporarily assigned to the fleet during the rental period. When the vehicle is returned to the owner, the coverage reverts back to the owner’s personal insurance.
“The insurance industry is old and traditional. Every Canadian province has different insurance regulations and it’s a hard industry to change,” McNaught told Insurance Business. “There’s a standard provision in most auto policies that restricts policyholders from using their vehicle for commercial use. That’s where the RVezy commercial product comes into play.
“We field a lot of calls from brokers with clients who want to rent out their RVs and are looking for insurance solutions. There needs to be more education and awareness around commercial fleet policies like Uber and the Intact solution for RVezy.”
In issuing the RVezy policy, Intact has changed its underwriting requirements to remove the standard non-commercial provision for RVs, McNaught explained. Other insurance companies have made similar changes in their policies to cater for commercial companies like Uber and Turo.
RVezy is going to be “more than just a rental marketplace,” he added. The company is developing an in-house roadside assistance program and a GPS map to serve the RV community.
“We are providing insurance that has never been attainable before,” McNaught commented. “We’re helping to make RV travel affordable and we’re doing it alongside a Canadian company (Intact) who understands the landscape across the country. It’s really the next wave in the sharing economy. It’s very exciting.”