Drone Insurance Co. Turns to the Gig Economy

May 24, 2018

By Madison Alworth

Verifly, a start-up that provides insurance for flying drones, said it will now also cover people. It will begin offering on-demand, short-term general liability insurance for contract workers and freelancers.

The company's app, originally designed for the gig economy of DJs, photographers, handymen, and dog walkers, gave Verifly a leg up when it looked to expand into other types of insurance, said co-founder and CEO Jay Bregman.

"This platform that we built was really a per-flight, drone insurance, and it was how we cut our teeth in building this episodic insurance," he said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar. The contractors who were using their drone insurance were the ones who asked for coverage for their other freelance jobs. "They came to us and said, 'it's great that we have this system for the 5 percent of our work that deals with drones, but we'd like to do this for the 95 percent of our work that's photography, or construction, etc.' So we just listened."

There are 57 million Americans who work as independent contractors, often on short term jobs. In the least 20 years, the number of gig economy workers has increased by about 20 percent more than payroll employees.

"Insurance is only sold by the year. So we stepped in to solve that problem," said Bregman.

Verifly users can purchase insurance for a specific gig and by the hour. The rates start as low as $5 an hour, and they're based on a variety of factors including the type of work, the length of the project, and where the job is located. Verifly insurance is available in 11 states, and the company has plans to be available nationwide by the end of this year or early next year. Its general liability policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company and the drone policies are underwritten by Global Aerospace, Inc.

For full interview, click here.