Customers can use Facebook Messenger to make a claim and get instant responses 

Zurich is backing London-based travel insurance startup Pluto with its new mobile-focused underwriting offering.

It affords customers the ability to manage their policy via a chatbot on Facebook Messenger giving them instant responses to claims and access to their documents.

And in the near future it hopes to use this method to help customers edit their policy.

Pluto claims to be disrupting the market by offering “travel insurance for people who don’t like insurance” with the aim of decreasing the number of millennials travelling without cover which stands at 60%.

It claims to be tailored and easy to understand with quotes delivered within sixty seconds to three minutes, after it cited that 85% of people do not understand their policy.

Millennials shifting the landscape

Zurich provides underwriting expertise and claims management capacity to Pluto.

Mark Budd, head of innovation at Zurich noted the shift in how customers are buying insurance.

He said: “How our customers want to buy insurance is constantly changing, precipitated by the increased reliance on technology and, specifically, smart devices.

“Millennials are a particularly interesting demographic as they grew up keeping up with the latest technological advances and its only right that we keep up with them, too.”

“Zurich’s partnership with Pluto is extremely exciting and hugely promising as it’s the passion and genuine commitment to challenging the status quo that makes this offering stand out. We look forward to working with Pluto to see how we can develop this solution as our customer’s needs continue to evolve.”

It follows the gig economy also shifting how insurance is consumed due to the temporary and short-term nature of their work contracts.

First hand experience

Pluto’s founders have experienced first-hand how unpredictable the life of a travelling millennial can be.

Alex Rainey, Pluto’s co-founder and chief executive, added: “Travel insurance is often far too complex, and the result is that people don’t know what they’re buying and therefore don’t buy.”


Pluto’s founders: Alex Rainey, Harry Williams and James Birch

He continued: ”This means young people are taking on huge unnecessary risk and is exactly why we started Pluto - to make it easier to understand.

“Good travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive either. But you need to make sure you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. Don’t just compare on price.

“Customers we’ve already spoken to absolutely love building their own policy and understanding it more, they find it hugely empowering.”

Launched in mid-December last year, Pluto initiated a “first of its kind” share giveaway to the first 200 customers who bought annual cover with them.

Pluto was formerly called Meet Mia and it was one of three insurtechs to be accepted in  the FCA’s fourth regulatory sandbox last year.