Last month, Kicks and Fros held Volume II of Kicks & Convos at BeSocial in Charlotte, NC. K&F CKO, Melissa Chanel and Tiona Deniece sat down with Phil Terrill, the founder and CEO of SoleSafe to educate us on sneaker insurance. SoleSafe is a team of insurance pros and sneakerheads whose mission is to protect what we all love: Sneakers.
During the event, Phil shared that he first came up with the idea for SoleSafe after seeking to insure his wife’s engagement ring. During the process, he began to ask the agent about insurance for his sneaker collection as well. After not being thrilled with the coverage options he was provided, he went on a mission to educate himself on the business. Phil, who is now a licensed agent, made sure that he first understood the insurance industry and then eventually went on to create SoleSafe.
Melissa and Tiona asked amazing questions during the event that led to a super informative conversation about insuring our sneakers. The audience also had an opportunity to ask questions as well. We learned that insuring your first pair of kicks is a lot more economical than one might initially think.
If you weren't able to attend the event, no worries! I was able to speak with Phil after the event to get some of the most frequently asked questions answered just for our K&F family.
Check out our convo below!
K&F: So, tell us exactly what is sneaker insurance?
Phil: SoleSafe’s sneaker insurance™ is specialized coverage for the sneaker community. We built an insurance product from scratch to protect what we love. You pay a small amount to TRANSFER the risk of something happening to us. We pay market value during a claim and you have peace of mind if/when something does happen.
K&F: If I already have renters or homeowners insurance, why is it a good idea to still obtain sneaker insurance?
Phil: Great question! Many of us make the assumption that because I have renters or homeowners insurance, I am covered. That is not always the case. You either end up needing to state your case during a claim, directly impact your home/renters policy after a claim, and potentially may not be covered at all.
Traditional homeowners/renters insurance is limited in how it covers the “sneakerhead” or collector. We tend to categorize them this way:
-Coverages: The coverages we need won’t be under your home/renters insurance. Think about filing a claim for accidental damage (scuff or stain) or stolen off your doorstep – the traditional insurance company will laugh at this claim.
- Scheduling / Itemizing: This is important no matter what. You should always have an inventory of your collection – whether one pair or hundreds. They will ask you to do this but not make it easy for you. We make it simple and continue to track the value while monitoring any impact to coverage + payments (Dynamic Coverage).
- Deductibles: This is HUGE! We offer a 5% deductible OR $500 cap on any claim regardless of collection value. This is significantly less than your standard deductibles for homeowners/renters insurance. Those deductibles can range between $500-$2,500+ depending on your choice and the company.
If you assumed your sneaker collection was covered and filed a claim, you would have to pay this amount to hopefully get financially compensated for any damages/losses. That’s more than the average market value for a typical pair of sneakers ranging from $250-$500. Even if you had a more expensive sneaker or collection, this is the amount you would need to pay just to start a claim. This assumes you have properly documented every purchase and kept it updated prior to a claim.
Lastly, filing a claim on your home/apartment will become expensive as that claim will count towards your policy and likely increase your future premium.
- Claims: Our claims process is simple and frictionless. Depending on the claim, we request specific information and documentation to help our team of adjusters work with you to quickly resolve claims. We don’t have to hassle or game you on the value of your sneakers because we already know. This makes it even faster to get you made whole, paid, and on your way.
Another differentiator is the choice we give you during the claims process. Behind the scenes we have sneaker restoration partners to help review every claim submitted. The restorer assigned to your claim will provide an initial assessment of the damage based on the photos/videos you provide the adjuster. They will let you know the cost to repair a sneaker if you don’t want to just be paid out. This works in scenarios where a sneaker you really loved was damaged and you wanted to keep them.
K&F: Can you walk me through the steps that our readers would need to take to insure their first pair of kicks?
Phil: Download the SoleSafe app at the Apple App Store or Google Play to start protecting what they love in just a few clicks:
- Create an account
- Add sneaker(s) – maybe start with a grail or pair you just bought off your favorite website
- Select coverage plan (we suggest SAFE so you are covered for everything we offer)
- Select add-on (Crumble Coverage™ may be available)
K&F: What kind of things would I be protected against?
Phil: SoleSafe community members with insurance are covered and protected from the following:
- Flooding (in non-flood zones today)
- Theft (even off your doorstep or in a storage unit)
- In-transit (think packages being shipped)
- Sneaker Crumbling / Crumble Coverage™ (for sneakers less than 10 years old from release date for now)
- Accidental Damage (wearing or not)
- Pet Damage (pets happen and they can get to your kicks)
- Mold Damage (even what we have seen on social)
- Accidental Water (think pipes bursting)
- Consigned (if they are in the shop they are covered until they sell)
- Checked Baggage (you can relax and check the bag if you have too)
- Vandalism (if does happen especially in relationships gone wrong)
Ultimately, we believe our SAFE plan is comprehensive coverage for the community whether you decide to store or wear your kicks. And because we control the product, working with the community will evolve what coverages we need most.
K&F: Can you explain what it means for a sneaker to be insured at true market value?
Phil: One of the most common focus points for anyone in the sneaker community is to protect the market value of the sneaker. Market value (not retail value) is what we pay out during a claim. We do our best to provide a fair and true market value for every sneaker on the platform. We won’t always get it right but still give you the option to “disagree” and insure your sneakers at a value that you are comfortable with before checking out.
Dynamic Coverage is built into every sneaker insured to constantly provide an opportunity throughout the policy term to adjust your coverage up or down based on any significant changes to the market value. This builds on a core value of the company to create transparency and trust with the community. This way no one is paying too much or not enough at any point in time.
Phil recommends starting with one pair of sneakers so that you can see how easy the process is to get coverage. “If you really love your sneakers and want to protect the financial investment you have made, why not insure them? If it was a Basquiat art piece or engagement ring, you would insure it – why not your sneakers?”
Be sure to tap in with Solesafe on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or on the SoleSafe app.