Canadian Underwriter

What’s next in Duuo’s commercial coverage pipeline

April 15, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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Duuo Insurance is working on a subscription model of buying insurance that gets away from the traditional way of buying annual policies that normally stay pretty much the same until renewal.

The vision is an insurance product with different blocks of coverage that the client can pick and choose, and change as needed, without having to cancel or endorse a policy, said Farooq Khan, director of underwriting at Duuo, in a recent interview. “We expect this will come to the gig insurance space we are already in,” said Khan.

The Co-operators Group Ltd. launched Duuo in 2018, initially writing insurance for home-sharing hosts who rent their properties from sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO.

Then in 2019, Duuo launched Rent-My-Stuff, which provides coverage for clients renting their equipment through peer-to-peer sharing platforms.

Duuo Gig, launched in 2020, provides $2 million in liability protection against claims that unintentionally arise from work – for example if a client’s customer is injured or suffers property damage. It is intended for independent gig workers who do not want annual contractor’s liability policies.

A lot of plumbers and electricians do not work full-time, Khan told Canadian Underwriter in a recent interview. So some tradespeople buy episodic coverage from Duuo because they cannot afford annual contractors policies for the construction trades.

“We need to build a solid amount of premium to support our claims, so that is why we are looking to extend it from episodic to subscription-based,” said Khan. “We are looking for a product that fits the needs of these people and we are not offering them wider limits that they do not need.”

Duuo has a “road map” to launch a subscription type of insurance for gig workers in 2021.

“We want to expand small business policies but we do not have a road map for that just yet,” Khan said of the subscription model.

This means additional details still have to be worked out before a subscription-based product for small business goes live on the market.

Using subscription-based policies, a small business client could decide it would like to make some change on its general liability coverage, or maybe add CGL. The process for the client is simpler with subscription-based policies, compared to the traditional annual policy model, because the client would not have to purchase an endorsement or cancel an existing policy, said Khan.

Slice Labs is looking to partner with insurers “who understand that the traditional way of doing things doesn’t work in the digital world,” said Philippe Lafreniere, the Toronto-based chief growth officer of Slice Labs, in an earlier interview with Canadian Underwriter.

“What we are all about is, how do we bring the Uber- Netflix-Spotify-Amazon experience to insurance markets,” Lafreniere told Canadian Underwriter during a tour in 2019 of the Slice Labs facility in downtown Toronto.

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3 Comments » for What’s next in Duuo’s commercial coverage pipeline
  1. Eric+Lapenis says:

    Hmmm duuo seems to be ignoring completed ops claims. I hope they’re explaining clearly that the majority of claims for contractors are from completed ops, something that won’t be covered if they don’t have a policy in place when the actual loss occurs. This is dangerous for consumers that aren’t aware of this.

  2. Bryan Rickett says:

    Interesting. Duuo gig policy is available on their website. Completed Ops seem to be included. Looks like a modified coverage but serves the need well.

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