The United States may be home to Amazon, Apple, and Google, but with widespread online distribution and novel ideas like peer-to-peer insurance, Europe is firmly in the lead when it comes to insurance innovation. Companies like Germany's Friendsurance and the U.K.'s Guevara are bringing a social networking model to the insurance industry, allowing customers to create groups of friends with whom they share risks. A portion of the group's premium is set aside to pay claims, and if the group has a lower-than-average number of accidents, everyone gets some money back.
Another key difference is the relatively small number of policies that are sold online in the U.S. It's not due to a lack of demand, many of auto insurance shoppers start their search online, and many of them visit at one insurer's website while shopping. There are some signs that the U.S. is starting to catch up. Just this month, online insurance startup Quilt announced a funding round of $3.25 million to seed the creation of an all-digital insurance product targeted at millennials. "There's a huge coverage gap right now. About 80 percent of millennials don't have enough insurance for the things they care about -- their stuff, loved ones, pets, and experiences," said Blair Baldwin, Quilt's co-founder and CEO. " The industry is stuck in a previous century. We're on a mission to reinvent how people buy and use insurance." What is your innovation in the world of finance?
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