Google’s Alphabet has entered into a partnership with Silicon Valley based Trov to cover passengers using its self-driving service and soon to be Uber rival, Waymo.
As per the agreement, Trov will automatically insure Waymo’s passengers for damaged property, lost items and other trip-related medical expenses. The coverage will be included with the purchase of a ride, requiring no additional sign-up or payment from the riders. The passengers will also not know that Trov is insuring them. The insurance policies will be underwritten by Munich Re, which invested $45m into Trov at the begining of 2017.
The deal will mark a new beginning for the auto-insurance segment, which is being threatened with autonomous cars taking away their business revenues. It will also help in answering to the most prevailing question when it comes to the autonomous car business – “Who is responsible for damages or medical costs in the event of a self-driving car accident?”
Scott Walchek, founder and CEO of Trov has said of the partnership: “Waymo is making personal transportation more effortless, and so it follows that all aspects of a journey – including insurance – should be equally painless, with passengers’ safety and peace of mind paramount. We are genuinely excited to be partnering with Waymo in developing innovations for insuring people and property in the evolution of personal mobility.”
Ultimately, this partnership potentially represents a check mate move for traditional auto insurers, whereby a autonomous ride sharing service is partnering with a usage based InsurTech to offer episodic cover to Google and end users alike.