Modular on-demand transportation motors into the future with unique insurance demands

A new kind of autonomous vehicle is grabbing attention with its futuristic design. How emerging mobility risks should be covered in a new age of driving.

In the fast-evolving world of mobility and alternative forms of transportation, insurers have to keep pace with innovative coverage that targets customers’ individual needs.

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is gearing up for the new age of driving with an innovative approach to protection and digital services for driverless modular vehicles such as those planned by Rinspeed, a Swiss developer of vehicles that feature interchangeable bodies.

“The future belongs to modular mobility systems,” said Frank M. Rinderknecht, CEO of Zurich-based Rinspeed. The company’s Rinspeed MetroSnap vehicle is a driverless, electric vehicle that can be used to transport passengers or cargo. It has a separate chassis and body, allowing different pod-like units to be snapped into place, depending on how the vehicle will be used.

With the futuristic concept of modular vehicles comes the need to protect fleet owners and users with coverage that traditional insurance has been unable to provide so far. Zurich believes insurance that could cover this emerging risk in the future should include:

  • Mileage-based coverage. The vehicle, passengers and goods are insured based on distance driven and other factors such as time of day and weather conditions.
  • Time-based insurance. Coverage for the pod - and the goods that are delivered in it - when it is parked at pre-determined location, based on the amount of time it is there.
  • Contextual insurance and services. On-demand insurance and services based on personal circumstances. For example, when an airport is a destination, travel insurance for an upcoming trip would be offered as optional coverage.

Under usage-based coverage, a Rinspeed MetroSnap fleet owner will be able to purchase tailored insurance for such risks as vandalism, theft, cyber risk or product liability. The approach allows vehicle users to create a personalized insurance profile that will show their preference for coverage in addition to that provided by the fleet owner.

“It is about re-inventing the concept of mobility,” said Reto Marta, Head of Business Development Connected Motor & Mobility Platform at Zurich Insurance Group. “And we collaborate with brilliant and innovative thinkers aiming to find the best solutions for mobility in the future and to provide the products and services that best serve our society.”


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