Thomas Van Hoezen - Private Lines, SME & Affinities Director
The sharing economy is a rapidly-emerging, socially and economically significant trend in Europe, and around the world. It is disrupting traditional business sectors and changing the way we share and consume goods and services.
Nearly a quarter of Europeans have used services offered via collaborative platforms (23% in 2018 compared to 17% in 2016) as reported by the European Commission flash survey which was carried out in April 2018 to identify citizens' perceptions, attitudes and practices concerning the sharing economy. It was estimated that nearly 400,000 persons have offered goods or services on sharing economy platforms in 2016 across the EU which resulted in EUR 26.5 billion in total revenue.
Even though the sharing economy is gaining ground at a slightly slower pace in Belgium than in its neighbouring countries, its potential to grow is eminent. 80% of Belgians who participated in the sharing economy would recommend its services to some extent, naming a more convenient access to services as the number one reason.
How is this phenomenon affecting our traditional sector, insurance? What are the risks to insure when you decide to participate in the sharing economy? For instance, your property shared on Airbnb is ransacked by guests throwing crazy parties, or pedestrians are hit while you are acting as Uber driver. These are the type of risks that need to be considered. Many participants are often not aware beforehand of the high legal liabilities involved with sharing properties. There is a risk of damage to your personal assets which is often not covered by insurance policies already set in place. These are usually built for non-commercial use. What does home and guest liability entail? As the sharing economy leans towards an independent model instead of the traditional model, it is less clear who is responsible. Therefore, it is hard to find a solution for individual needs in the sharing economy per task. Concordia helps you figure out these unknowns and makes sure you are prepared in regard to any compensations.
In Belgium, we are already seeing the first movers of the insurance providers bringing the sharing economy into their product offering. For individuals, we have the most popular insurances such as the car, home and family insurance, for which there are already sharing modules in place. In most cases when using a recognised platform (published since 2017 by FOD Financiën) for these services, you will find these insurance solutions automatically integrated without any additional premiums, and you will enjoy a favourable tax regime. For others like car insurance, you have optional modules for an extra premium to include car sharing and others into your ongoing car insurance plan. That’s a trend we now clearly detect and where we as an intermediary make sure our clients and informed with the latest developments and their needs are matched with tailor-made insurance solutions.
This kind of product innovation and starting from customers needs is in Concordia’s DNA. We do not operate in a reactive modus. Through honest communication and an involved approach towards your business and personal needs and ambitions, count on our team of experts to provide proactive support and the flexibility to adapt to changes. At Concordia, we are always near, making sure you don’t lose sleep over possible risks and empower you to take the next leap. Turn to our team today to insure and manage, so you can perform.