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Bicycle thieves: The surprising growth engine for Toffee Insurance

Source: Forbes India

27th May 2019
Bicycle thieves: The surprising growth engine for Toffee Insurance
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A staggering 60 percent of the insurtech startup’s products are sold against cycle theft, a rising menace in the country—followed by those for backpacks and dengue

Soft-pedalling any issue, reckons Rohan Kumar, doesn’t work. And when the numbers depict a shocking story, it’s prudent to step on the pedal. Take, for instance, the latest report by German insurance company Coya. Strasbourg in France tops the bicycle theft chart, followed by Copenhagen in Denmark and Hangzhou in China. “It’s a serious global menace,” says Kumar, co-founder and CEO of Toffee Insurance, an insurtech startup that provides niche insurance products such as cover for cycle theft and damages, daily commute insurance, dengue and backpack insurance. Riding a cycle might be child’s play, says Kumar, but taking it lightly can burn a hole in your pocket. This is what bicycle-sharing startups in China realised when some of them closed down due to alarming level of thefts.

Back in India, though there is no official data for cycle thefts across cities, Kumar reckons the numbers are high. The reason: About 60 percent of insurance products sold by Toffee Insurance are against cycle theft. Such a high percentage, in a little under two years, is staggering. Toffee’s second biggest insurance product is for backpacks, and third on the pecking order is cover for dengue. The cycle is driving growth for Toffee, which was started in July 2017, and has been selling this insurance cover through its network of over 1,000 cycle dealers across 120 cities.