Guest authored by Josh Sanders, Business Development Manager for the Aon Digital Economy Practice
Next week’s Sharing Economy Global Summit will bring together risk management experts from all over the world. It is a perfect opportunity to take time and reflect upon your business’ local, regional, or global expansion plan and what that means for risk management in your organization. Aon’s Digital Economy Practice over the past year has shepherded multiple marketplaces and sharing economy firms as they followed the roadmap to success when expanding across borders. This includes a micro mobility leader, a global rideshare firm, and a rapidly expanding RV share company. A larger conversation of these case studies will be part of a panel discussion next week at the summit.
The rapid evolution of mobility as a service has paved the way to the micro mobility revolution specifically. This evolution is not without its speed bumps, however. A completely new form of mobility, namely electric scooters, has proliferated across the globe and each city and country are working to develop the proper risk management tools to ensure safety and security for riders, citizens, and the business. One of the largest hurdles to overcome with expansion is regulatory risk; with a new form of transportation there are few comparisons and laws to take precedent and the governing body is left to develop those regulations. These regulations often vary by country and even by cities within each country. Insurance is one of the key hurdles to clear with regulators to receive operating permits and allow entry into new markets. With “speed to market” being a crucial operating advantage for micro mobility, having a comprehensive and flexible insurance solution is essential. To help diminish potential regulatory risk with the micro mobility leader, Aon and the firm joined together to develop a proactive strategy with cities, states, and municipalities. When expanding across borders, Aon recommends a thorough dive into what each new city or country requires when it comes to risk management, especially insurance. If the governing body does not have stated requirements, that is your chance to be collaborative and bring a solution to the table. In the case of the Aon’s micro mobility client, this constant push and pull with regulators has led to the sharpening of a holistic risk management expansion plan that has paved the way for corporate growth at breakneck speed.
Rideshare has the benefit of being a fairly mature mobility as a service modality, but that does not mean there wasn’t a rocky road as our clients expanded across borders. Just a few short years ago, when one of the largest rideshare companies was multiplying its size by double every couple of months, we were tasked with working alongside them to ensure that their insurance program met local regulatory requirements in each new geography they were exploring. We introduced them to innovative insurance companies who could build a global program for their unique and emerging exposures while pairing them with local Aon experts and insurance company underwriters in each market who could address the bespoke requirements of the foreign local geography. As a result, insurance became a strategic differentiator for them as an organization, facilitated rapid expansion and removed the financial volatility associated with insurable risk.
The peer to peer marketplace is no stranger to international expansion. Aon’s expertise with this market and international expansion comes with a premier RV sharing company. A U.S. based company, the client’s expansion into Europe and Australia was a must to take advantage of the large holiday camper van market. One of the roadblocks to expansion was the building and maintaining of the country by country insurance program. With all the tools available in the sharing economy, companies can expand quickly in multiple geographies, stretching and challenging their resources to enter new markets. The modern insurance broker and in this case Aon, must be just as agile in procuring the proper insurance program to not only allow a first to market advantage, but properly protect the firm and its users and hosts appropriately.
In all cases when expanding across borders your risk management team must have the capacity, agility, sense of urgency, and expertise to properly execute a global insurance strategy. Please visit us at our session titled, “Stories from the Trenches: Following the Roadmap to Success when Expanding Across Borders” at the Global Summit on February 5th to learn more about these specific cases!