• Insurtech
  • Insurtech

Buddy Expands On-Demand Accident Coverage Across the U.S. to Protect Outdoor Athletes

Insurtech startup Buddy announced today that they will be offering their accident coverage for active people nationwide in partnership with StarNet Insurance Company, an underwriting company for Berkley Accident and Health. 

Buddy created on-demand accident insurance to empower Americans to live their best life while helping to address the financial impact and insecurity that may accompany any unforeseen accident. This coverage provides benefits that are paid directly to a policyholder. Unlike traditional accident insurance, Buddy pioneered the ability to sell coverage in bite-sized chunks as short as a day. A policyholder only pays for the coverage that they need, no more. In 2019, Outside Magazine named Buddy one of the year's top outdoor innovators.

The on-demand accident plan provides benefit payments up to $25,000 for covered injuries treated by a medical professional or physical therapist, including but not limited to paralysis, traumatic brain injury, and death. Plans can cover individuals, couples, families, or kids. The premium for a one-day plan starts around $9 in most states, and annual plans begin at $47 per month. Coverage is available directly at buddyinsurance.com and through Buddy's partner API. The latter allows third-parties to offer accident coverage directly to their customers as an add-on during registration, signup, or checkout systems for all kinds of experiences, from the roadway to the mountaintop to the ocean floor.

Healthcare costs are high and continue to rise in the United States, a situation made even more extreme by the COVID-19 pandemic. As insurance companies have attempted to adapt to market and regulatory conditions, the deductibles of health insurance plans have skyrocketed, with the average employer-provided deductible quadrupling over the last decade.

At the same time, participation in outdoor recreation has steadily increased as more and more Americans discover the enjoyment of adventure sports. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic has also forced the closure of gyms and organized recreation across the country, driving millions of Americans to explore new ways to stay active, including hiking, running, and cycling, even causing a shortage in the bicycle supply chain. Since Buddy’s coverage is designed to cover individuals in all kinds of uncertain situations, protecting socially distanced athletes is a natural fit, whether they’re participating in a virtual race or just a new solo activity.

"If you’ve ever seen a medical GoFundMe or Facebook fundraiser for a friend, you understand the motivation behind our launching on-demand insurance coverage,” said Buddy’s CEO, Charles Merritt. “Our fellow outdoor enthusiasts deserved a better experience. Everyone deserves to live actively without fear of the unknown unknowns. Buddy has you covered. We couldn’t have foreseen a global pandemic or a massive political movement, and we don’t want to detract from the critical conversations happening about race and equity in our society. Our goal is to make sure that as we choose to move our bodies for health, for recreation, and with purpose, Buddy can provide extra support in an expensive healthcare system. Our partnership with StarNet Insurance Company will allow us to be more effective in this mission.”

“Berkley Accident and Health has a long history of providing accident insurance to employees and participants, and we are excited to partner with Buddy to bring on-demand coverage to outdoor enthusiasts,” said Susan Clarke, President of the Special Risk Division at Berkley Accident and Health. “We are using technology to modernize and improve consumers’ access to great coverage at a time when it’s more relevant than ever. Today, more people are faced with sizable out-of-pocket medical expenses after an injury due to the rising cost of health care and deductibles. Our product is designed to help pay those unexpected costs so that outdoor enthusiasts can pursue their adventures more confidently.”

Buddy is based in Richmond, VA and was founded by Charles Merritt, David Vogeleer, and Jay Paul. Buddy is an alumnus of Techstars and Plug and Play accelerators, and they have been named a 2019 outdoor innovator by Outside Magazine and an insurance innovator to watch by Digital Insurance. Buddy is funded by Atypical Ventures, Sequoia Scout Fund, CIT, Techstars, Plug and Play Ventures, as well as angel investors.

Insurance coverage offered by Berkley Accident and Health is underwritten by Berkley Life and Health Insurance Company and/or StarNet Insurance Company, both member companies of W.R Berkley Corporation and both rated A+ (Superior) by A.M Best.


Charles Merritt, CEO, charles@iambuddy.com

Source: Buddy Technology, Inc.

About Buddy

Buddy provides on-demand insurance for people who lead active, outdoor lives.