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On-demand homeshare insurance comes to Canada

By: Lisa Coxon on September 19, 2018

The first of its kind per-night insurance is now available for Canadians who rent out their properties using platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and others, now purchase homeshare insurance on a per-night basis.

Duuo, created by The Co-operators, is a digital, self-serve, pay-per-use homeshare insurance product that just launched in Ontario. British Columbia and Alberta are next on the list to offer the technology, followed by the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and the northern provinces and territories.

Short-term home insurance options already exist in the country. Providers like Aviva, April Canada, Square One, and Wawanesa, all offer such coverage, but typically only allow homesharers to purchase anywhere between 30 and 180 days of coverage, or treat it as an add-on to an existing home insurance policy.

Duuo claims to be the first on-demand provider, though, meaning that homesharers can purchase insurance “only for the nights that guests are renting a property.” Rates, which average at $8 a night, are calculated based on the estimated replacement cost of a host’s home, not its market value.

Toronto boasts the highest number of Airbnb listings in the country. Last week, the Toronto Star reported that as of August 2018, Toronto had more than 17,500 Airbnb listings, according to Inside Airbnb, an independent data project. To compare, Vancouver had just 6,936 listings.

As more Canadians participate in the sharing economy, new unmet insurance needs will continue to emerge

Duuo, which is hosted by Slice Insurance Cloud Services (ICS), an American on-demand insurance cloud platform provider, covers risks associated with homesharing that aren’t always covered under standard home insurance—things like vandalism, infestation, damage to electronics, and theft. It also covers the “full replacement cost of a home and its contents.”

Hopefully hosts don’t encounter such troubles, but as Airbnb horror stories have proven, renting out your home on a short-term basis can sometimes turn out for the worse.

To purchase the on-demand homeshare insurance, hosts have to visit the duuo website, which works on both iOS and Android systems and input their rental address, province, city, and postal code. This enables them to obtain coverage only for the nights that guests are renting out their property. Hosts can buy a policy up to midnight of the guest’s arrival date, or up to one year in advance.

“As more Canadians participate in the sharing economy, new unmet insurance needs will continue to emerge,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “With duuo, we have built a collaborative platform to provide on-demand insurance solutions with a high degree of agility and flexibility.”

Any claims made through duuo are processed using AI. When a host makes a homeshare-related claim, they can go directly through duuo rather than their regular home insurance company.

Slice launched in the U.S. last summer, touting itself as the first on-demand insurance company in the country at that time. Now, it’s parked itself north of the border, where it serves as the foundation for duuo.

Tim Attia, CEO of Slice Labs, said “This is a groundbreaking moment for the Canadian insurance industry.”