19 August 2020Actuarial & underwriting

Thimble joins Lloyd's Lab innovation accelerator programme to develop parametric business interruption products

Thimble, the insurtech startup, has been selected to the Lloyd's Lab innovation accelerator programme to develop solutions to support the market response to COVID-19.

Many small businesses have found that their business interruption insurance does not cover losses related to COVID-19, causing severe blowback on the industry, including multiple lawsuits that have pitted small and midsize businesses against their insurers.

As part of Lloyd's Lab, Thimble will attempt to tackle this issue by developing low-limit parametric contingent business interruption coverage to protect businesses from COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Thimble said it will position insurance as a first line of defense, paying small businesses immediately if specific criteria are met. This will provide an instant stimulus while governments resolve the broader questions surrounding business interruption claims, it said.

Jay Bregman, chief executive and founder of Thimble, said traditional insurance policies do not work for pandemics due to most policies having to pay out at the same time. "No private company can maintain a balance sheet big enough to pay those claims and survive,” he said. “We can, however, sell smaller policies with lower limits, that would pay out programmatically and instantly if criteria are met.”

Thimble has announced a series of innovations, including Thimble Monthly, which offers small businesses rolling monthly coverage, and Thimble Pause, which allows businesses to place a hold on policies without penalty and without needing to cancel. It has also secured partnerships with Hiscox and Angie's List.

Lloyd's Lab has received more than 140 applications from across the world for its fifth event, which begins on September 7, 2020.