Buckle believes its rideshare insurance is solving the issue of covering the personal and commercial risk of drivers - something the industry hasn't managed to do profitably yet

Buckle has partnered with Lyft to insure its drivers in Georgia (Credit: Lyft)

Insurtech start-up Buckle has launched what it claims is the world’s first insurance policy that covers the personal and commercial risk of ridesharing drivers.

The launch was made in partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft, and will be available to drivers working on the platform in the US state of Georgia.

The company claimed it ran a pilot programme with “hundreds” of drivers in the state during 2019.


What is Buckle’s ridesharing insurance offer?

Buckle co-founder and CEO Dustin Walsey said: “The evolution of ridesharing has created a problem for insurance companies, and their inability to adapt to this new form of transportation has left the rideshare driver with few options to stay protected while on the road.

“Buckle is solving this problem with innovative, unique underwriting that is unlike anything else on the market – complete coverage at an affordable price.

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Buckle co-founder and CEO Dustin Walsey (Credit: Buckle)

“Buckle’s goal is to bolster the rideshare community by addressing their unique needs with services they deserve at better prices, starting with insurance.”

In order to underwrite policies, the insurtech crowdsources driving records from thousands of trips to assess the risk of a new policyholder.

The insurance comes in basic, full or custom – the latter allowing drivers to design a policy with more personalised risk that can include some coverage for medical fees.

Due to the growth of the gig economy – which market research firm Statista believes will reach 91 million workers in the US by 2028 – Buckle is also looking to extend its offering to those working in delivery services.

Policies are currently only available to Lyft drivers in Georgia, but Buckle said it expects to announce more partners in the coming months.


Insurance expert says Buckle must demonstrate profitable growth before claiming success

In a previous discussion with NS Insurance, Daniel Tu the former chief innovation officer of Ping An Group who now backs insurtechs via his investment company – said no insurer adequately covers the entirety of personal and commercial risk.

One particular barrier he focused on was profitability, explaining that none of the insurtech companies looking to solve the issues inherent in rideshare driving had come up with a way of covering both risks through a financially sustainable business model.

He believes Buckle must demonstrate this sustainability before the industry can say it’s solved the issue.

rideshare insurance
Daniel Tu, former chief innovation officer at Ping An (Credit: Daniel Tu)

“I would wait until Buckle has built up a sizable book, based on qualified and registered drivers using its app,” he said.

“Only then will we know if it’s solved the problem based on revenue, margins, profit and capital market link-up.

“I’m confident Buckle has the team to address the challenge.”