Polaris launches short-term insurances standards

Polaris has published a set of new standards specifically tailored to short-term insurances. The standards, which were agreed by the Polaris Electronic Trading Practices Group, benefited from the input and expertise of sharing economy insurance provider Pikl.

Pikl published a report in 2019, which highlighted the lack of knowledge existing amongst insurance professionals as well as consumers about the specific insurance requirements of those participating in the sharing economy.

The personal lines property standard currently includes provision for a property that is let out permanently, but not for circumstances when it is made available for short-term lets. The private motor standard allows for ongoing business use, but not for occasional commercial activity such as delivering parcels or take-away food.

Managing director of Polaris, Vivek Banga said: “HMRC estimates over one million properties in the UK are being used for short-term property sharing. It’s therefore essential that insurers can identify which of their policyholders are looking to take advantage of such opportunities to ensure the cover being offered meets their demands and needs.

“The updates to the standards will enable insurers and brokers implementing these changes to be able to identify these risks and take informed decisions on how they underwrite them.”

Chief executive officer and founder of Pikl, Louise Birritteri said: “This represents a big step forward in the insurance market beginning to ensure customers’ demands and needs can be assessed and they are treated fairly when sharing.

“Our report revealed that the majority of people participating in short-term letting were at financial risk because they do not have appropriate insurance and instead are relying on their standard home insurance policy, which is voided by the majority of insurers in the UK when short-term letting,” she added. “The introduction of a new question in the quote process to identify those customers who are short-term letting will enable them to be directed to the right insurance coverage for their needs.”

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