Zurich UK Backs Travel Insurance Startup Pluto
Zurich UK in January 2019 announced it was backing London, UK-based travel insurance startup Pluto.
Pluto targets Millennials, an under-insured segment when it comes to travel insurance, with up to 60% of them traveling without insurance. The underwriting engine blocks people over the age of 46.
Zurich provides underwriting and claims management; Pluto brings mobile-oriented software that gives clients a standard insurance quote in around one minute, or three minutes for a bespoke policy. Further interaction with the insurer is via Facebook Messenger with instant response in the event of a claim.
The new product is regulated in the UK under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s Innovation Sandbox rules.
Pluto is financed by insurance industry professionals. It also has given shares worth around GBP 11-12 as a gift to the first 200 customers who buy annual cover.
In 2019, Pluto will focus on fundraising (target of GBP 1m for the seed round, including a crowdfunding campaign) to grow the team, enhance the product and acquire its target audience.
Any impact for the global mobility market?
Business travel is the first step in global mobility and travel insurance, the first step in protecting a globally mobile person. Today, Pluto is limited to individuals and to leisure travel – travel for “gainful purpose” is explicitly excluded. Then again, it is a small step (a different pricing schedule and slightly different terms perhaps) to extend Pluto’s fast, mobile-friendly processes to a product targeted at business travelers – maybe the very same Millennials when going on a business trip.