PRESS RELEASE from Outdoor Sportswire —
RICHMOND, Va. March 9, 2021 — The Evergreen State, Washington, is the 40th state to approve e-commerce insurtech startup Buddy (https://buddyinsurance.com/) to operate in, according to an announcement today. The Richmond-based online agency offers instant accident insurance to anyone who is active outdoors—and is a resident of a state in which Buddy is licensed—starting at less than $10 a day. It has been named among the five best personal accident insurance companies by Investopedia.
Buddy is the only company in the United States able to sell on-demand coverage in bite-sized chunks which can be as short as a day or as long as a year. It was launched to empower Americans to fearlessly lead active lives while removing the financial pain and insecurity that accompanies any unforeseen accident. This coverage provides benefits that are paid directly to a policyholder. Policyholders only pay for the coverage they need, no more. It was this novel approach that led Outside Magazineto name Buddy one of the top outdoor innovators.
“It all began when we looked around and saw more and more friends having to run GoFundMes to cover getting hurt while mountain biking, climbing or kayaking,” said Buddy’s CEO, Charles Merritt. “Our fellow outdoor enthusiasts, and especially the residents and visitors to Washington, deserve to be protected while enjoying the stunning nature of the Pacific Northwest. If you’re hurt while skiing, sailing, or even just riding a bike, you shouldn’t have to fear the ‘unknown unknowns.’ Buddy has you covered.”
The on-demand accident plan provides benefit payments up to $50,000 for injuries treated by a medical professional or physical therapist, and up to and including 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.
API allows third-parties to offer accident coverage directly to its customers as an add-on during registration, signup, or checkout systems for all kinds of experiences, from the rolling hills of the Palouse to the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, thus making it easy for tour operators and others to offer their customers peace of mind. API also has enabled Buddy to extend its risk coverage to trade shows and conventions, offering registration cancellation insurance to event attendees by simply checking a box when they sign up.
“In the U.S., healthcare is expensive and only getting more so. Insurance companies have tried to adapt to market and regulatory conditions, but that has only made deductibles skyrocket,” explained Merritt. “This has been made even more extreme by the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced gyms and organized recreation to shut down all over the nation. The silver lining is that more Americans are discovering the outdoors — but that brings with it added risks, even if you’re just going for a bike ride. Since Buddy’s coverage is designed to protect 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.”
“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 protection from an expensive healthcare system. We could not be more excited about becoming available to the massive number of outdoor enthusiasts in Washington, safeguarding them whether they are active in their home state or as they travel throughout the country or around the world” said Merritt.