This interview is part of our new AI in Insurance series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and insurance.
In this interview, we speak with Tomer Kashi, co-founder and CEO of VOOM, to understand how his company is using AI to transform insurance, and what the future of the insurance industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind VOOM? Why and how did you begin?
TK: I met VOOM co-founder Ori Blumenthal — both of us have strong computer science backgrounds —while serving in Israel’s elite Air Force program, Talpiot.
During our service, we bonded over a shared fascination with complex problem solving and innovative technologies, including drones and emerging mobility. Realizing the potential safety risks of operating UAVs, Ori and I designed a platform that assesses drone flight risks in real time and advises drone operators how to fly cautiously. As we continuously pitched operators on our platform, one pain point kept arising: the need for drone insurance. This, in turn, led to the creation of SkyWatch.AI, the world’s first telematics-based insurance solution for the drone industry.
The immediate success of SkyWatch.AI sparked an epiphany—why stop with drones? The InsurTech platform could be applied to many mobility verticals with similar characteristics — be it e-scooters, private planes, jet skis, or motorcycles — all of which lack adequate insurance models. This eureka moment inspired the creation of InsurTech platform VOOM, which now provides insurance for anything a user can ride, fly, or sail.
2. Please describe your use case and how VOOM uses artificial intelligence.
TK: VOOM’s risk analytics platform utilizes AI and real-time data collection to create safer riding awareness and personalized premiums for its users. Combining GPS and accelerometer data, the information collected comes from many sources and includes relevant and contextual factors such as near-miss crashes, weather conditions, and road types to give insight about potential hazards and riders’ behavior. Using this data, VOOM calculates a proprietary ‘safety score’ for each rider based on the operator’s behavior. The safety score can be used to set an industry benchmark for operators to improve their score as they practice safer rides, as well as contribute to lower premiums with leading insurance carriers.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
TK: VOOM is committed to providing the best on-demand, usage-based policies to all of our users for anything they can ride, fly, or sail. We created a unique insurance product suitable for each mobility vertical. Our safety scores continue to incentivize riders to operate safer and receive lower premiums as a result. Right now, our customers include thousands of commercial drone pilots across the US. As a licensed insurance broker in all 50 US states, VOOM’s SkyWatch.AI policies are underwritten by Starr Companies, the largest aviation insurance provider in North America.
VOOM will offer a combined coverage plan of two critical policies. One is third-party liability insurance, meaning claims made by other individuals if a rider collides with them — this includes property damage as well. The other coverage included is personal accident insurance, which acts as an additional layer on top of existing healthcare plans and reimburses for severe injuries. Such insurance will also cover out-of-pocket expenses such as ambulances, emergency care, hospitalization, and/or physiotherapy. To accommodate all types of riders, VOOM’s flexible pricing models will include per-ride, monthly, and annual plans, with insurance coverage costing only a fraction of the ride’s cost.