On-Demand Homeshare Insurer Slice Enters 5 More States

Slice Labs Inc., a technology startup featuring an on-demand insurance platform for people who share or rent their homes, is now offering its pay-per-use insurance coverage on a limited basis in five additional states: Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington. It has been offering it in Iowa since last fall.

The offer is not open to the overall public yet but homeshare hosts in those states can get access to the Slice offerings on an individual basis. Slice is doing what it calls a “preview release” and taking a “grassroots approach,” meaning Slice workers will “onboard” individual homeshare customers into the process and get feedback from these customers along the way.

Following its debut in Iowa last year, Slice expanded its preview release to Maryland and Colorado late last year, and is now adding Massachusetts, Texas and Washington.

The Slice product is a customized commercial policy. It is for users of homeshare sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, OneFineStay and FlipKey. Citing homeshare data for states with the most rental activity on sites like these, Slice said it is now doing business in four of the top eight states.

Users can purchase the coverage through an app or online and turn it off-and-on as needed by the week, day or hour. The coverage can be for a room in a house or condo, or an entire residence. The customized commercial insurance policy includes commercial liability coverage limits of $2 million, full replacement cost value of the home, and low or no deductible coverages. There are 19 exclusive coverages, including income replacement. There is no limit on the number of properties and customers can submit claims using the Slice app.

Slice says its limited release thus far has generated a lot of inquiries across the country and the globe.

“The immense amount of interest, enthusiasm and requests for coverage are strong evidence of the readiness of the on-demand economy for this type of product and the significant and rapidly growing demand,” said Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of Slice. “Working closely with our preview release users in the first three states has helped us to continue to refine both the product and user experience. We are gathering more data each day which will help us to gain an even better understanding of this new risk.”

Slice, headquartered in New York City, is backed by Horizons Ventures, XL Innovate and Munich Re. It is currently licensed to sell insurance in 49 states.

The Slice founders include Attia and Ernie Hursh, both formerly of Bolt Solutions, a digital distribution platform for property/casualty insurance carriers.

The company says it has plans to eventually offer a ridesharing insurance product as well.

Last March, Slice Labs said it secured $3.9 million in seed funding led by Horizons Ventures and XL Innovate.

Homeshare platforms like Airbnb tend to offer limited property damage and liability protection for hosts who rent their space using their sites.

Traditional insurers are also moving into this homeshare space.

Last spring, giant Allstate began offering homesharing protection in six states — Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee and Utah — and said it plans to expand it to others this year.

In November, ISO, the policy and rate development organization used by many P/C insurers, introduced homesharing insurance options for insurers to adopt for their home insurance customers who might rent or share their properties.