Travelers Is the Latest Big Insurer to Take Aim at Millennials

Travelers Cos. is launching a new type of customizable renters insurance in an attempt to cater to millennials, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Travelers Cos.’ new product will be called Traverse and will cover identity-theft and liability insurance, although only in New York state. It also allows customers to choose other policies to include, ranging from property insurance for cellphones or jewelry to travel insurance for canceled flights or car breakdowns. It includes no deductibles.

“The goal is to offer a product that speaks more to the need of millennials, where a traditional renters policy might not make the most sense for them,” Beth Maerz, Travelers’ vice president of customer experience and innovation for personal insurance, told The Journal.

Renters insurance has typically been a small business line for insurers compared with their large homeowners and car-insurance businesses. But many startups have started offering renters insurance and insurance for high-value possessions in recent years, aimed at younger clients. Startups that sell renters insurance, such as Lemonade and Jetty, have marketed their insurance products as cheaper and easier to buy and manage online than traditional policies.

“There are so many different companies that are getting into the space,” Christopher Martin, insurtech research lead for the U.S. for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, told The Journal. “All the insurers know they need to try to figure out a different way to either brand themselves or brand what they’re doing.”

Travelers, the No. 6 provider of U.S. homeowners insurance in 2017, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, is just the latest of major insurance carriers that have made investments in insurance-related startups or developed the capability in-house. Others include State Farm, which sells car insurance in Rhode Island through an affiliate HiRoad, and Berkshire Hathaway, which sells small business insurance through its biBERK brand.

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