With nearly 680 million people using assets or services purchased through sharing economy platforms globally, new research from Lloyd’s the specialist Insurance market and Deloitte analyses how insurance can support growth against key risks in this booming sector. The study focuses on the peer-to-peer model and specifically the services, real estate and finance sectors.

Squaring risk in the sharing age: How the collaborative economy is reshaping insurance products calls attention to the role of the insurance industry in supporting shared platforms through all stages of maturity.

Focusing on six key markets Germany, France, UAE, UK, US and China), the study reveals that more than a quarter of the population has either bought services or rented possessions from their peers via shared platforms in the past three years. However, the penetration rates differ considerably by country yielding notable geographic insights.

Trends in the Middle East and Europe

·         The UAE displays the second highest penetration rates globally for sharing second only to China. In the 2015-18 period, more than 4 million people (54%) shared assets on online platforms and 5 million (61%) consumed them. The UAE market has attracted global sharing economy giants and managed to nurture several local players and a growing freelancing service offering.

·         Among western economies[1], France shows the highest adoption rate for sharing. Between 2015-18, 12 million people (22%) shared assets and 17 million consumed them (33%). With a vibrant property sharing scene which is very popular with international tourists, France is home to multiple sharing economy pioneers in lift-sharing and shared dining.

·         Germany - Despite having a highly innovative market with leading technology and sharing economy start-ups in Berlin, shows the lowest overall participation in the sharing economy among western economies after the UK. Between 2015-18, Germany had more than 12 million providers (19%) and 19 million consumers (29%) of shared assets and services, however amongst other factors, a strict and complex regulatory environment is presenting the biggest challenge for growth.

Speaking on the findings Lloyd’s Head of Innovation Trevor Maynard said:

“Sharing economy platforms have transformed entire industries because they’ve rejected the status quo and challenged the way we think about once traditional goods and services. In order to effectively serve the sharing economy, we as insurers must follow that example and rethink traditional insurance products.”

The report highlights that transacting in the sharing economy is not without risk and adequate protection for all parties means insurers must continue working to adapt traditional coverages to fit the unique needs of this sector, whether it’s solutions provided by platforms via transaction-embedded cover, or a product purchased independently by sharing economy participants. A range of insurance products currently offered cover potential risks such as losing a possession, facing liability or suffering damage among others. Despite these risks, the positive experiences and benefits provided by the sharing economy, mean that it continues to grow and diversify. The opportunity for sharing economy platforms and the insurance industry to work together is clear.

Nigel Walsh, partner in Deloitte Digital said: “In our market scanning, we’re not only seeing an increasing number of sharing economy platforms provide insurance to their users, including bespoke products through the Lloyd’s market, but also a large number of startups helping to solve the insurance gap for all participants in the sharing economy. Equally, insurers are still in the very early stages of developing dynamic and flexible solutions this sector needs as it continues to evolve at pace. The opportunity for sharing economy companies and insurers to partner to reduce risk in this space has real implications and exciting opportunites for future growth.”

The report commissioned by Lloyd’s is based on interviews with 8,527 consumers from France, Germany, the UAE, UK, the US and China, as well as with more than 20 subject matter experts and two workshops with representatives from sharing economy platforms, innovation experts and insurance practitioners.

Global Trends: Key Report Insights

·         Figure 3: Participation levels in the sharing economy by country (2015-18), p. 14

·         Figure 4: Participation level on the supply side by sub-sector by country (2015-18), p. 15

·         Figure 5: Participation level on the demand side by sub-sector by country (2015-18), p. 16

·         Figure 8: Willingness to sell or share by age by country, p. 18

·         Figure 9: Willingness to buy or rent by age by country, p. 18

·         Figure 10: Certain segments among both buyers and sellers/lenders display high demand for insurance, p.21

·         Figure 11: Sharing economy sectors and insurance interaction, p. 23

·         Figure 12: Proportion and number of freelancers who did not take out liability insurance before freelancing, p. 25

·         Figure 13: Proportion of buyers and sellers/lenders who have been hacked, 2015-18

UAE Factsheet

Number of participants in the sharing economy (million)

·         Supply side: 4 million

·         Demand side: 5 million

Penetration rate in adult population

·         Supply side: 54%

·         Demand side: 61%

Participation levels in the sharing economy, 2015-18


Supply side

Demand side




Don’t participate



Don’t know



Participation level on the supply and demand side by sub-sector, 2015-18


Supply side

Demand side


Freelance work



Non-food delivery



Food delivery



Let vehicle



Taxi service



Let electronic device



Real estate

Let parking space



Let spare room



Let whole property







P2P lending



Proportion of population willing to sell services or share assets/possessions in future

·         Willing to sell/lend: 60%

·         Have sold/lent: 54%

Proportion and number of freelancers who did not take out liability insurance before freelancing

·         No: 80% (1 million)

Proportion of sellers/lenders in the sharing economy who purchased life insurance, a pension or health insurance prior to selling/lending

·         Life: 25%

·         Pension: 14%

·         Health: 37%

Proportion of buyers and sellers/lenders who have been hacked, 2015-18

·         Buyers: 7%

·         Sellers/Lenders: 6%

[1] Please note that the western economies covered in this study are France, Germany, the US and UK.


Source: Edelman