With PorchPals, consumers pay a monthly fee that covers deliveries from all retailers and carriers.
ByAndrew Adam Newman
December 13, 2022
· 5 min read
New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson is usually the one making the interceptions, but now he’s co-founding a startup that provides relief for consumers whose packages have been intercepted—by porch pirates.
While per-package insurance is common from USPS and other carriers, and paid for either automatically by retailers or electively by shoppers at checkout, PorchPals takes a novel approach.
Consumers pay $15 monthly (or $120 annually) to cover packages shipped by any retailer using any major shipper.
PorchPals covers up to three claims annually and/or a collective value of up to $2,000 annually.
Policies became available in California on November 28, with plans to expand nationally in early 2023.
James Moore, who co-founded PorchPals, is the president and managing partner of KME Ventures, a digital strategy, experiential marketing and venture capital firm where Jackson also serves as a managing partner. Moore told us that when he and Jackson hatched the idea for PorchPals about three years ago, it started not with insurance, but with another solution to package theft. The pals would have been a network of what Moore called “neighborhood ambassadors” who’d be “responsible for picking up your packages off of your porch or receiving deliveries on your behalf.”
But Moore said that approach hit snags, among them some state and local requirements that require home businesses to be licensed, and the potential security and safety issues if thieves noticed that kindly retirees or stay-at-home parents tended to have dozens of valuable packages in their vestibules.
“So it was quickly pivoted to, ‘This needs to be an insurance product,’” Moore said.
PorchPals policies are backed by Lloyd’s of London’s Newline Syndicate.
Signed, sealed, not delivered: As e-commerce has exploded, so has package theft:
Nearly one in four (23%) of Americans had at least one package stolen in the three months leading up to March 2022, according to an annual national package-theft report from Security.org.
The majority of Americans (54%) have had at least one package stolen at some point, the report found.
The median value of stolen packages is $50.
Lawmakers are tackling package theft legislatively:
Since 2019, eight states have passed laws that made penalties for package theft more severe by reclassifying it from a misdemeanor to a felony, according to the Guardian.
Similar legislation has been introduced in another five states.
While federal law treats stealing USPS deliveries as a felony, the Porch Pirates Act of 2022, which was introduced in February, would broaden it to include theft of deliveries by all carriers.
Stay up to date on the retail industry
All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.
Delivery window: Moore said that PorchPals marks the first package-theft insurance program in the US that is both purchased by consumers and that provides blanket coverage of deliveries irrespective of the retailer or carrier.
“This is a novel insurance program,” Moore said. “That’s why it was so hard to get it underwritten, insured, compliant, and funded. There was no historical risk that we could examine.”
Homeowners’ insurance often covers stolen packages, but deductibles are generally between $500 and $1,000 and sometimes don’t cover some items like fine art, premium electronics, and luxury jewelry. (PorchPals’s deductible is 10% of a claim, meaning that if you had a package with a $1,000 laptop stolen, you’d get $900 back.)
Moore said PorchPals is in a “piloting” phase for “60 to 90 days” in California, but after that, it expects to be rolled out to the other 49 states. At this juncture, it is available only to homeowners, but it will also be available to apartment dwellers when it rolls out nationally, he added.
Delivering a message: One challenge PorchPals faces is that it is so novel that consumers may not even know it’s an option to research. But Moore said that’s why he’s in discussions with various potential partners.
Among them, Moore said, are insurance agents, who could sell the policy to fill in the gaps for the high premiums and exclusions of a home insurance policy.
“We fit right into the sweet spot of coverage that they’re never going to come down to offer, especially large property and casualty insurance, like your Allstates, your State Farms, your Nationwides,” Moore said.
He said that PorchPals also is in discussions with premium card carriers, who could offer package-delivery protection as part of their suite of benefits. In those scenarios, Moore explained, PorchPals could either be mentioned by name by the card issuer or just go nameless as a white-label offering.
Finally, PorchPals also is pursuing large employers and third-party employee-benefits companies, with the goal of the package-theft protection insurance being added as a benefit.
“There’s an omni approach to how were looking to expand our platform and the products that we sell,” Moore said.
One thought on “A startup backed by the NFL’s Adoree’ Jackson has a new take on package-theft insurance.”
Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks a lot!