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The Future of Weird Insurances… Can be Weird!

Your thumb can open accounts these days! And execute transactions. At a recent fintech event, a young start-up proudly declared – all you need to leave home with – is your thumb. They were talking about Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS).

So, one could argue that the good ol’ thumb has significant economic value now. And what are the risks? Can that risk be quantified? And hence, I want insurance. If Keith Richard’s fingers can be insured, why not my thumb? Against malicious action – Imagine someone else leaving my home with MY thumb!

 On that note, there are many other emerging “weird insurances” that may have a market –

  • Consultant Recommendation Insurance – It’s a question I get often – how do we know that your recommendation will play out. I end up backing it with tones of data. Somewhere, though, wouldn’t it be nice that before I roll out that paradigm shifting Web/App Only strategy based on a consultant’s recommendation, I am able to get insurance? No? Make the consultant pay the premium? Still no?
  • Attention Deficit Insurance – Recently, I read about someone meeting an accident because they were looking at their phone while crossing a street. Soon, by integrating motion sensors and phone usage data, someone may give you a cover for that moment where your negligence leads to an accident?

  • Specialization Obsolescence Insurance” – Layoffs (actual and expected) in Indian IT industry has brought the “reskilling” question to the front. How do we cover for the risk of your professional specialization becoming obsolete? How could a SQL guy foresee the rise of NoSQL!

  • Humanity Against AI insurance – AI is going to be everywhere – your office, your car, your washroom… everywhere. But what if Terminator does happen? Or, maybe, your cool AI assistant cancels/ reschedules my flight without your permission because it believes you will miss the flight due to current traffic and weather conditions? It’s essentially a machine malfunctioning, right?

The common themes, as these not-so-common problems become increasingly common, are – economic value of the asset in question (thumb/ skill/ new apps and tools that save time), the amount of quality data available for underwriting, and an insurer’s ability to either take an educated guess or a build a portfolio model to underwrite the risk. The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.


By: Amit Das

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