What to Expect in 2024
Policies, industry insights, and other highlights from the intersection of
insurance, tech, micromobility, and the European platform economy.
As 2024 picks up steam, here’s a quick refresher on rumblings in the space where insurance, tech, and data interact. Hope you’ll find this useful. Soon, we’ll take a separate dive into some of these. Let us know what you’re interested in.
Meanwhile, in the days, weeks and months ahead we’ll be announcing exciting new markets, customers, and partners. To misquote Mr. Sinatra, it looks like a very good year. See you there!
- Mandatory liability insurance for certain electric scooters… in some EU countries. Scooters are everywhere, but skill and etiquette are spread more thinly. Mandatory insurance was inevitable. But when it’s required depends on location. Broadly speaking, scooters that can exceed 25km/h must be insured, according to this 2021 EU directive. So must slower ones that weigh more than 25kg. In Sweden, it’s the law since Christmas. Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and many others have sailed past last year’s deadline to update their laws.
- E-bikes don’t need mandatory traffic/liability insurance – unless they do. At EU level, e-bikes are excluded from the insurance requirement. Member countries are of course free to do their own thing, so France, Germany, and a few others did. To ride there, you’ll need e-bike liability insurance. Big rental fleets are already insured. When you ride your own e-bike, the onus is on you.
- EU court: e-bikes aren’t ‘motor vehicles’ and don’t need motor insurance. Requiring e-bike-specific liability insurance is one thing. Another idea was to treat e-bikes the same as motorbikes and cars and require motor insurance. That idea is now dead. In October, the EU Court of Justice ruled that since e-bikes don’t exclusively use mechanical power, they aren’t “motor vehicles” – and don’t need motor insurance.
- No platform-economy regulation before EU elections in June. There’s a strong push to classify rideshare drivers, food couriers, and other workers as employees – and app platforms as their employers. The plan is stuck in the European Parliament, probably until after EU elections in June. (Rightwing parties will likely make large gains, but not enough to beat the current grand coalition.) Our view is that while well-intentioned, treating platform workers as employees would do more harm than good. We’ll examine this in a separate post.
- Passed in November, the European Data Act quietly came into force on 11 January. It’ll be phased in from September 2025, so there’s time to get your data and privacy affairs in order. The law aimed at creating a fair and competitive data market that may add €270bn to EU GDP by 2028. We like this solid summary by the law firm Cooley.
- The EU AI Act was provisionally agreed, but is not yet law. Real-world effects are at least a year away – actionable specifics aren’t spelled out yet. EU countries face a classic dilemma: caution/regulation on one side and and business-driven innovation on the other. Mind you, main AI players are based in the US, with its more laissez-faire approach. Which helps explain why some in the tech sector are wary about the AI Act. They say the EU is overreacting and puts homegrown AI development at a disadvantage.
- Insurance and AI. Insurance is a data-rich space and makes heavy use of AI models, from bot-based customer onboarding to fraudulent-claim detection. In the GTP world, process efficiency and customer engagement have been the main benefits. Moving forward, look out for AI-driven hyperpersonalisation in marketing and product recommendations. (It’s always been hard to help customers navigate insurance complexities.) AI will also ease KYC, fraud detection, and underwriting precision.
- Sparks in the air where the Data Act and AI Act meet. Cachet CEO Hedi Mardisoo is looking forward to the Data Act, infrastructure, and national data-portability regulations clicking together. This will take online digital services to a whole new level. Less B2C (in the sense of business struggling to relate to the individual) and more human-centricity.
Europeans will have more control over their data, and services will be more individually priced. In insurance, it means broader use of behavioural data, such as lifestyle, asset use, or driving patterns. This will lead to more accountability and dialogue, ideally producing fairer and more transparent prices. Another holy grail is a better ability to predict – and preclude – accidents. Of course, there must be credible guardrails to keep things from veering into Black Mirror or Minority Report territory. A monumental, but crucial, task.