InsurTech Jetty lands more real estate funds

Peter Thiel-backed InsurTech Jetty has strengthened its distribution network, signing its third deal with a property fund in four months.

Tamares Group, a $3bn real estate fund, will distribute Jetty’s renters’ insurance, deposit insurance and guarantor products to tenants. The deal brings the number of apartments in New York where the landlord will recommend Jetty products – instead of a deposit or guarantor – to 100,000.

Last year, Jetty gained Blackstone as a distribution partner. The investment fund, which has $457bn assets under management, owns $120bn of real estate worldwide.

Jetty’s distribution model is radically different to that of Lemonade – a rival in the US renters’ insurance market. Like Lemonade, Jetty sells personal lines cover online, but it also links up with institutional landlords to offer tenants renters’ insurance as an alternative to providing a deposit. 

Instead of paying a deposit, renters put forward 17.5% of the deposit as a premium. The insurer also acts as an alternative to millennials’ favourite financial services provider – ‘the bank of Mum and Dad’ – by acting as a guarantor. 

Other New York-based real estate owners that are working with Jetty include Megalith, Pinnacle City Living, Rose Associates, Stuytown, LeFrak and Manhattan Skyline Management.

Using insurance means landlords do not need to hold deposits in escrow accounts, thereby reducing administrative costs. 

Many apartment block owners in the US make renters’ insurance compulsory for tenants.

Jetty was founded by Mike Rudoy and Luke Cohler and began writing business in 2017. The company writes on State National and National Specialty fronting paper, reinsured by Munich Re. The start-up has licenses across the US.

Last year, Jetty received $11.5mn in venture funding. The series A round was led by Valar Ventures, a fund founded by Peter Thiel, a PayPal founder who was an early investor in Facebook. Ribbit Capital is also an investor in the InsurTech.