Renters Insurance

Trov Insurance Review: Adaptable but Costly On-Demand Insurance

Trov Insurance Review: Adaptable but Costly On-Demand Insurance

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October 2019: Trov has ceased selling single-item insurance and renters insurance in order to focus on making software tools for existing insurance companies. We'll update this review if the company ever returns to the consumer market.

Trov provides on-demand insurance for individual items, with coverage you can turn on and off at the flip of a switch. It's considerably more expensive than a general renter's insurance policy, but the ability to add and remove coverage at any time make it worthwhile in some situations, like vacations.

Trov Insurance: Our Thoughts

Trov insurance offers an unusual product: insurance coverage for specific items you own, that can be turned on and off at any time. Items you can insure through Trov in the U.S. include electronics, musical instruments, photography gear and sporting goods.

When coverage is active on a particular item, you're covered against damage of any kind (including accidental damage), theft, loss and mechanical breakdown. The fact that Trov includes protection for all of these situations sets it apart from traditional renters insurance and an extended warranty. Renters insurance typically only covers you if an item is stolen or damaged by a covered peril (like a fire), and an extended warranty often only applies for a limited amount of time.

Compared to renters insurance or an extended warranty, Trov's insurance is more expensive for less coverage on a strictly cost-per-month basis. It also doesn't offer any custom features you might find from a more specialized plan; for example, some cell phone warranties provide cheaper deductibles if you're only paying to fix your screen. If you're looking for the most affordable ongoing option for your belongings, purchasing renters insurance and/or an extended warranty will be much more cost effective.

However, Trov's flexible, on-demand coverage may be very useful for people in situations that are riskier than their normal lives. For example, if you normally only use your laptop computer at home but are bringing it on an international trip, a temporary protection plan from Trov would be valuable.

Trov's coverage is only available online, so you can't buy a policy from a local insurance agent. However, coverage is available through its website as well as on apps for iPhone and Android. We found the process of signing up for coverage to be straightforward and easy. And Trov's customer service team was easy to reach for questions, so getting appropriate coverage is painless.

One final point to keep in mind is that Trov is a very new company—it's only been selling insurance in the United States since 2018. It does not have a proven track record of customer service, so it's hard to say whether it'll be able to meet customer demand over time. It's also only available in a few states, though the company plans to expand rapidly in the U.S. this year.

Bottom Line: Trov's highly flexible coverage is worth considering if you need short-term coverage for high-value electronics, instruments or sporting goods. But high prices prevent it from being a good long-term method of insuring your products.

How Much Does Trov Insurance Cost?

There's no single rate you'll pay for insurance from Trov, since the rate you'll pay is determined individually for each item you insure and the coverage level you choose. As you'd expect, Trov's monthly insurance rates are higher for more expensive items. Choosing a lower deductible means you'll pay a higher rate as well.

To give you an idea of Trov's pricing, we collected quotes for a variety of different products that you can insure through Trov.

Bar chart showing the monthly cost of Trov Personal Insurance for Apple Airpods, Giant Bicycle, Samsung Galaxy Smartphone and Canon EOS Digital Camera

We found a marked difference in the price of insurance across different types of products. Coverage is most expensive for electronics, and less expensive for instruments and sporting goods.

For items like smartphones and digital cameras, we found that Trov offers about $40 of coverage per dollar of monthly premium. In other words, the cost for one month of coverage through Trov is approximately 1/40 of the cost of the device.

However, for musical instruments, we found the average payout per premium dollar to be approximately $110. And for sporting goods like bicycles and skis, we found the payout per premium dollar spent to be around $240.

Of course, a smartphone is much less durable and much more susceptible to theft than a pair of skis, so it's unsurprising that premiums are higher—just keep in mind how much more you're spending to protect your electronics, when compared to other items and how frequently you'll need coverage.

How Paying for Trov Coverage Works

When you sign up for Trov, you'll add all the products you want to cover. For each item, you can choose the deductible amount you want to pay: 10%, 15%, 20% or 25% of the item's retail value. Once you activate coverage, you're immediately charged the prorated amount for the remainder of the month. At the end of the month, any unused premium is either applied to the next month's coverage (if your policy is still active) or refunded to your credit card. Then, on the first of the following month, you're charged an entire month's coverage.

For example, if you insured your Samsung Galaxy S10 on the 16th of April, you'd immediately be charged for 14 days of coverage—about $6.30 with a 20% deductible. Then, if you deactivated coverage on the 23rd, the remaining balance (approximately $3.15) would stay in your account until May 1. Then, your card is refunded the remaining money. Any policy that is in effect is charged a full month's premium in advance, and the same refund policy applies.

Trov vs Renters Insurance

While Trov and your renters insurance policy both protect your personal property, whether it's in your home or around the world, there are some important differences.

Insurance coverage from Trov is much more expensive than a renters insurance policy on a dollars-per-coverage basis. For example, coverage from Trov for a Samsung Galaxy smartphone (with a coverage limit of $699) costs $15 per month. Meanwhile, a renters insurance policy from State Farm (with a coverage limit of $20,000) costs $16.08. And the renters policy also includes liability coverage.

But Trov's coverage protects you in situations where a typical renters insurance policy would not. Most renters insurance policies don't cover you for accidental damage, such as a drop. They also don't protect against simply losing an item.

Even if you have renters insurance, there may still be some situations in which Trov is worth it, like if you know you're taking expensive gear to an environment in which it is particularly likely to be lost, damaged or stolen. For example, if you're bringing your $2,000 SLR camera on vacation, adding Trov coverage temporarily will allow you to protect it for the duration of your vacation without having to commit to long-term coverage. Additionally, renters insurance policies often have per-item limits for high-value items like electronics. If you own something that exceeds your renters insurance coverage limits, Trov may be a viable option.

Renters Insurance vs Trov Insurance

Renters Insurance
What it coversAll your possessionsOnly possessions you've registered with Trov (electronics, sporting goods, instruments)
What situations it coversCovered perils only (e.g. theft, fire or wind damage). Doesn't include loss, accidental damage or mechanical breakdownAny kind of loss or damage except intentional breakage
How expensive is it?Less expensiveMore expensive
When you are coveredAll the timeOnly when you enable coverage

Trov vs Extended Warranty

Trov's policies have a lot in common with extended warranties, as they both protect your devices from a variety of problems you may encounter, from hardware issues to accidental damage and theft. It's difficult to do a direct comparison between Trov's coverage and an extended warranty, because there are so many different options available.

In general, Trov's coverage is more flexible in that you can activate and deactivate coverage at any time, and most cell phone protection plans limit you to a certain number of claims per year. However, Trov's monthly cost is higher than competing plans. Depending on the type of claim you make, Trov's coverage may also have a higher deductible than the extended warranty options we found—particularly for repairs, which might only run to a fraction of the device's overall cost.

An extended warranty might also include some extra benefits, like tech support—for example, AppleCare+ includes free online and in-person support if you're having a problem with your device.

And for smartphones specifically, some credit cards include a free protection plan as a benefit for signing up. You might be able to get protection without paying anything at all. But these plans often have coverage limits below the cost to replace a lost or stolen phone.

If you're looking for long-term peace of mind, an extended warranty will probably serve you best. But if you're looking for a short-term plan to protect you while you're especially at risk of damaging or losing your device, Trov is likely the better option.

Extended Warranty Comparison for iPhone XR 64GB

Verizon Total Equipment Coverage
AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss
Wells Fargo Credit Card Cellular Telephone Protection
Cost$14.10/month$9/month$12.99/monthFree, so long as you pay your cell phone bill with an eligible Wells Fargo Credit card
Length of coverageAnyAnyTwo Years (maximum)Any
What it covers
  • Loss/theft Damage (incl. accidental)
  • Mechanical issues
  • Loss/theft Damage (incl. accidental)
  • Mechanical issues
  • Loss/theft
  • Damage (incl. accidental)
  • Mechanical issues
  • Theft
  • Damage (incl. accidental)
  • Mechanical issues
  • Screen repair: $29
  • All other claims: $199
  • Screen repair: $29
  • Other damage: $99
  • Theft/loss: $229
  • $25
  • Maximum payout is $600
Maximum # of claimsUnlimitedThree claims per yearTwo claims over coverage periodTwo claims per year
When do I have to sign up?Any timeWithin 30 days of buying a new device or new lineWithin 60 days of buying a new phoneAny time

Other Alternatives to Trov

There are many other alternatives to buying an on-demand insurance policy from Trov, though they all provide coverage in different ways.

If you own high-value equipment like a musical instrument or professional camera that you want to protect, a product-specific insurance policy may meet your needs better. There are many different specialized insurance products to protect high-value items like sporting goods, photography gear or musical instruments. In addition to being more affordable long-term, these policies often provide more specific benefits. For example, if you're a professional musician and your violin is stolen, musical instrument insurance can reimburse you for any lost income as a result of the theft.

Travel insurance can cover belongings lost or damaged during travel, as well as cover other travel-related expenses (like costs due to a missed flight). However, travel insurance policies often have limits on what they'll pay out for replacement of a certain item—sometimes $600 or less. If you're considering depending on travel insurance for coverage, make sure you have enough coverage to replace all the belongings you have with you.

Where Is Trov Available?

Trov began offering device insurance in the United States in mid-2018 and has been gradually rolling out coverage since then. As of this writing, coverage from Trov is available to residents of the following states, though residents of those states are protected anywhere in the world.

  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

How Dependable Is Trov?

One of our biggest concerns with Trov is that it's a very new company without an established record of satisfied customers. Founded by Mark Dowds and Scott Walchek, the company has only been selling insurance policies in the U.S. since 2018. There are very few customer reviews of the company or its service available online, and it is not listed in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners customer complaint database. We recommend caution when dealing with any new company, especially when it comes to insurance. Buying an insurance policy from a company entails trusting it to be able to quickly and efficiently pay out a claim when you need it.

It's worth noting that Trov's policies are backed by KnightBrook Insurance, an insurance company that has been in business since 1934. KnightBrook has a B++ rating from A.M. Best. This means it has a "good" level of financial stability and is likely to be able to pay out consumer claims.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.