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Apply for the USD 5 million Insurance Innovation Prize

InnSure is a nonprofit innovation hub amplifying and accelerating insurance solutions that will expedite the energy transition. With NYSERDA’s support, InnSure is excited to launch the USD 5 million Insurance Innovation Prize.

Background for the Insurance Innovation Prize

Most of the technologies required to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 are still in the early phases of commercialization and are therefore difficult to insure today, which slows down mass market adoption. For example:

  • Commercial Line Insurance: A lack of insurance creates a barrier to project financing for energy assets. Many carriers are still trying to figure out appropriate coverage models for first-generation assets, like wind and solar. Next-generation assets, like hydrogen and long-duration storage, have even fewer insurance options.
  • Personal Line Insurance: Consumers typically lack a meaningful reward incentive for adopting new energy technology (e.g. installing a heat pump). Simultaneously, consumers continue to have limited coverage options for technology product performance (e.g. electric vehicle batteries).

At the same time, new energy technologies are receiving unprecedented levels of financial support, not only from NYSERDA, but also through the combined funds of the CHIPS and Science Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The rapid expansion of government support for energy technology creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity for insurance carriers and reinsurers to develop novel products and policies.

The Insurance Innovation Program

In 2022 NYSERDA decided to help catalyze the insurance market for the energy transition through funding the Insurance Innovation Program. In 2023, InnSure, a non-profit, was selected as the program administrator. The program has two key components:

  • First, the Insurance Innovation Prize, a USD 5 million non-dilutive prize, spread across approximately five winners, to catalyze the development of new energy transition insurance products and policies.
  • Second, the creation of a Data Sandbox, a repository of climate, performance, and claims data related to new energy technology, designed to support R&D.

The Innovation Prize

The goal of this prize is to create new insurance products and policies that fill gaps in the energy transition insurance market. InnSure will competitively disburse up to USD 5 million in non-dilutive funding to approximately five winners (or up to USD 1 million per company).

The Data Sandbox

The goal of the Sandbox is to provide insurance innovators with the climate, claims, and technology performance data they need to underwrite risk in new insurance products and policies. The data sources necessary to develop new insurance products are typically disaggregated, expensive, and difficult to obtain, creating an obstacle for new market entrants. The Sandbox attempts to fill that gap.

The Sandbox will be available to Prize winners and other prospective insurance innovators, who participate in a series of hackathons. Access agreements will be negotiated directly with the data contributors to the Sandbox to develop mutually acceptable terms for all parties.

Examples of Proposals for The Insurance Innovation Prize

Prize winners typically span commercial and personal line insurance and a range of insurance objectives. Below is a representative list of hypothetical products or policies the prize might support:

  • Creating new models for first- and nth-of-a-kind financing, for example, pooling risk for green hydrogen production.
  • Creating product benefits via insurance like guaranteeing revenue for rooftop solar.
  • Off-taking risk to unlock project delivery such as covering the financial risk of geothermal drilling.
  • Off-taking risk to accelerate user adoption by providing a warranty for bidirectional charging.

Important Information about the Application Process

Prospective applicants should submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by 27 May 2024.

The last day to submit your full application is 22 July 2024.

Why Should Your Company Apply?

Winning companies will benefit from the following:

  • USD 500,000 to USD 1 million in funding for each winner (from a pot of USD 5 million).
  • Curated insurance accelerator services from various solution providers.
  • Dedicated business advisor.
  • Events/summits with ecosystem partners.

Who Can Apply for The Insurance Innovation Prize?

Applicants may be located anywhere in the world.

However, applicants must demonstrate a credible path to bringing a new insurance product or policy to market in New York State within 18 months of the grant date. Applicants will also need to demonstrate how they are solving an insurance gap with respect to availability or affordability.

To be eligible for funding, products or policies should focus on one of New York’s decarbonization focus areas: clean energy, clean buildings, or zero-emission transportation.

Products or policies must also support the acceleration of climate change mitigation (i.e., supporting the deployment of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions). Those exclusively focused on adapting to life with climate change are not eligible for funding.

Hear from the Team Behind the Insurance Innovation Program

From InnSure Executive Director Charlie Sidoti:

“We are excited to further InnSure’s mission of catalyzing a bold insurance industry response to climate change with the support of NYSERDA.”

From NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris:

“Working to shape the future of insurance for climate-friendly products with InnSure will provide the research and data needed to support new investments and bring more products to fruition for New Yorkers to use on a daily basis. New York State is committed to growing a strong approach to our innovation ecosystem with the right tools in place to help companies reduce the risk of producing goods through new technologies.”

Interested? Click here to submit your letter of intent by May 27th!

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