In a tough environment for start-ups, UK-based Laka has managed to seek new investment and expand into Europe and the EU. This may be because its proposition has been strengthened by COVID-19. The pandemic has hit insurers hard, but one line set to prosper in the long term is bike insurance.

GlobalData’s 2020 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that 16.7% of respondents had purchased insurance for a one-off high-value item (such as a bike or an engagement ring) in the last 12 months. The survey also found that while Aviva (with 13.1% of the market) and Admiral (12.1%) are the leading players for high-value item insurance, no single insurer is dominant. No other player has a share of over 10% and there are a wide range of insurers with a small share. Therefore, it looks to be an approachable market for Laka to make headway in.

With fewer things for people to do and commuters wanting to avoid public transport, bike sales have soared since the start of the pandemic. The UK’s Bicycle Association found that retailers saw sales of bikes grow by 60% between March and December 2020.

Laka was already a growing insurtech, as it sought to offer a P2P service and create a community as opposed to a traditional insurance product. Now it is benefitting from operating in a segment ripe for growth. Its expansion to Amsterdam in 2021 shows it is one of few insurtechs receiving funding and looking to expand during these difficult times. Bikes are famously very popular in the Netherlands (and Amsterdam in particular), so it should prove a good market to move into.

Its community-based insurance should also prove popular with new cyclists, who are likely to look for new groups and individuals to ride with once COVID-19-related restrictions are eased. Overall, it seems like Laka is making positive moves at the perfect time and into the EU is one of them.

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