About Sure On-Demand Insurance

By Derek Lakin
Published on: Apr 2, 2018

Sure On-Demand Insurance is a mobile iOS and Android app that uses unique technology to help you obtain instant, hassle-free, comprehensive, and affordable coverage for the things you care about most, whenever and wherever you want.

After answering just a few questions, Sure’s Robo-Broker utilizes artificial intelligence to find the best coverage for your needs, and at the best price.

Called Episodic Insurance, the company partners with trusted names in the industry like Nationwide, Chubb, Markel, AmTrust, QBE, Hartville, Marsh, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Progressive, and Assurant to activate these one-and-done policies in seconds, without waiting on hold and having a lengthy conversation with an agent. And once you’re set up, you can manage all of your policies from one place.

Because they’re issued so quickly, Sure’s on-demand insurance policies certainly seem like they could help their more than one million customers easily feel protected, based on their specific needs. But are they necessarily the best option for you?

Take a few minutes to read through everything we learned during our research, and we’ll help you make a more informed decision—starting with what the company covers.

Which Classes of Property Does Sure Insure?

Overall, Sure provides access to on-demand insurance for nine classes of property, along with 29 sub-classes.

However, it’s important to point out that Sure only acts as an agent—a middle person between you and the carrier—and does not issue the underlying coverage.

Baggage Insurance

This coverage is offered by Blue Ribbon bags, which allows you to book coverage until the minute your flight is scheduled to take off.

If a claim occurs and your belongings remain missing after 96 hours, Sure will reimburse you up to $2,000, without requiring receipts.

Rental Car Insurance

Coverage is provided through Chubb NA, which promises to deliver better insurance than what’s provided through a rental agency, and at a fraction of the cost. You can put coverage in place before leaving your home.

This includes up to $100K in physical damage coverage to the vehicle and personal property inside, along with peace of mind against other mishaps like flat tires, property theft, towing, and even lost keys.

Renters Insurance

A renters policy through Sure will cover items like furniture and clothing against “most forms of destruction,” including theft away from the premises. It will also provide liability coverage to protect you against things like lawsuits and medical expenses if someone is injured at your home (as just one example).

According to the website, all you have to do is indicate where you live and answer a few questions about yourself, and Sure promises to deliver “the best policy.”

Small Business Insurance

Another type of coverage provided by Chubb, this can help protect you and your business against critical items like costs related to property damage (computers, furniture, machinery, etc.), bodily injury, and litigation, along with reimbursement for lost business income.

Smartphone Protection

Through Warrantech, Sure’s smartphone protection covers models up to two years old against cracked screens and other physical damage, water damage, and even damage caused by dust and overheating.

Fine Arts, Jewelry & Watches Insurance

Policies issued by Markel that cover against perils like unintentional loss (e.g., an earring accidentally falls out, your bracelet is misplaced packing up your suitcase, etc.), theft (regardless of the location), and damage above and beyond regular wear and tear.

Collectible Insurance

This comprehensive coverage provided by Markel can ensure your specialized collection and prized possessions remain safe (including repair and replacement coverage), above and beyond what might be covered under a traditional homeowners policy. Covered classes of property include:

  • Action figures
  • Books
  • Cameras (vintage)
  • China tableware
  • Coins
  • Comic books
  • Crystal
  • Dolls
  • Figurines
  • Firearms (modern and antique)
  • Fishing tackle (antique)
  • Furniture (antique and high-end)
  • Furs
  • Glass
  • Memorabilia (automotive, movie, sports)
  • Model trains
  • Musical instruments
  • Ornaments
  • Pottery
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Silverware, goldware, and pewterware
  • Stamps
  • Teddy bears
  • Toys
  • Trading cards
  • Wine

Now, let’s zoom in and take a closer look at how these coverages come together inside the Sure app.

How Does the Sure On-Demand Insurance App Work?

After downloading the Sure iOS or Android app, you’ll sign up for an account by logging into Facebook or entering your email address, first and last name, password, phone number, country of residence, and state, and then enabling location information.

Then, the Robo Broker software will start by asking what type of coverage you need (flight, baggage, smartphone, renters, etc.). Based on the choice, you’ll be taken to the appropriate screen.

For example, we chose jewelry coverage, after which we input the item’s address, and then received this notification: “Please note, this policy will not protect you from loss or damage caused by earthquake.” Obviously, this will depend on where the items are being stored.

Next, we input the total value of our collection (we chose $5,000), the highest valued item (also $5,000), if it’s stored in a bank vault, if the residence location is protected by a centrally monitored fire and burglar alarm (note: if you indicate ‘yes’ and the alarm isn’t active when a loss occurs, there may be reduced coverage repayment), who owns the collection, and their name.

We then indicated whether or not we had declared bankruptcy in the last five years, the number of claims filed against this collection in the same period (if any), whether or not we’ve had insurance canceled/declined/or non-renewed in the last five years, and the policy's effective date.

Finally, we added our credit card information (we could also scan our card, if preferred) and processed accordingly.

From there, customers will receive a paperless policy confirmation (no brokers, printers, or signatures required) and can make changes to their policy at any time directly within the app (if you make changes via the Sure website, they will automatically sync with the app), as well as access 24/7 phone or email support.

With Sure On-Demand Insurance, everything can be handled through their iOS or Android app, including starting a policy, making changes, and entering billing details.

How Much Does Sure Insurance Cost?

As with any other type of personal insurance, exactly how much you'll pay will largely depend on the specific risk details, including what you're insuring, where you live, how much coverage you need, if you've incurred previous losses, and in some instances, even your credit score.

With this said, Sure’s on-demand insurance starts at:

  • Baggage: $5 per trip
  • Rental car: Less than $10/day
  • Renters: $8/mo
  • Small Business: Varies
  • Smartphone: $4.99/mo
  • Collectibles (including sub-classes): $150/yr for collections up to $75K. Reasonable rates beyond
  • Jewelry & Watches: Starting at 1.35 percent of the property value (minimum policy price is $125)

Like most types of personal insurance, refunds don’t appear to be available on Sure insurance policies, although billing issues or policy cancellations can be handled by sending an email to support@sureapp.com, or by reaching out their website’s online contact form.

What Can We Learn From Sure On-Demand Insurance Reviews?

Despite the fact that NYC-based Sure Insurance has been in business since 2014, we didn’t encounter a whole lot of professional online feedback during our research.

However, between iTunes and Google Play, we came across more than 200 combined customer reviews for the Sure app, who had given it an average rating of about four stars.

Common compliments referenced ease of use, affordability, and solid coverage. On the other hand, complaints (what relatively few there were), often related to bugginess or other functionality issues.

As a company, Sure Insurance was founded by CEO Wayne Slavin. Previously, he worked as VP of Product Management for Tapingo, as well as Product Manager for Buddy Media (acquired by Salesforce.com).

Sure vs. Trov: Are There Other On-Demand Insurance Providers Competing For the Same Customers?

While they don't offer trademarked 'Episodic Insurance,' the only other app-based, on-demand personal property insurer currently competing in the same space as Sure is Trov, who’s been in business since 2012.

Comparatively, Trov provides instant insurance on many different classes of personal property—many of which intersect with those offered by Sure—including phones, laptops, headphones, tablets, wearables, action cameras, and photography gear.

When opening a policy or adding coverage to an existing one, Trov requires receipts (unlike Sure), although they can be added by taking or scanning a picture, scanning a receipt, or searching their 20,000-item database and utilizing their Auto-ID feature that’s “based on proprietary processes, user data, and public records.”

With Trov, you can also access a graph-based view of all your insured items, track the individual values of each item for recordkeeping purposes, and even file a claim by answering a few simple questions.

How can you decide which of these platforms—if either—is right for you?

After spending nearly a decade as a personal lines insurance underwriter, I think it’s important to start by emphasizing that most personal property—including many of the classes covered under on-demand coverage like Sure and Trov—is insured under a homeowners, renters, or condo policy.

So, if you already have this type of coverage in place, be sure to reach out to the agent or your carrier directly to find out what level of protection you have in place. Otherwise, you might find you’re paying for insurance you don’t need.

However, there might be sub-limits in place under your home policy, depending on the specific class of property being referenced, as well as the circumstances surrounding the loss.

As an admittedly simplistic (and fictional) example, if a windstorm blew the roof off of your home and damaged your clothing, it might be covered up to the personal property limit under your policy. However, loss to jewelry under the same circumstances might only be covered against the perils of theft, loss, and misplacement, and only up to a sub-limit of $5,000.

In an instance like this, a policy from a company like Sure might help provide coverage against a broader range of perils, as well as up to the full limit on the policy.

Second, outside of the agency themselves (like Sure or Trov), you’ll want to explore what clients are saying about the underlying insurers, such as Chubb, Nationwide, Markel, and so forth. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure they have high marks from customers, as well as high ratings from organizations like A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.

How does all of this add up when it comes to Sure?

Our Final Thoughts About Sure On-Demand Insurance

Choosing a personal insurance company (and underlying policy) largely comes down to whether or not they provide the coverage you need, at the price you want.

This is especially the case when comparing competing companies like Sure and Trov, who come with similar online customer ratings and who provide analogous app-based on-demand insurance for a wide variety of property classes, along with protection against a variety of common (and maybe even some not-so-common) perils, whether at your home, or away from the residence premises.

Before you quickly download their apps and compare their rates, though, we'd recommend checking your current property (home, condo, renters) or auto policy for similar coverage before paying for a brand new policy.

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