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The Sharing Economy - What is it? And what does it mean for me?

Published 2 years ago.

The term ‘Sharing Economy’ is widely used and often interchangeably with the ‘gig economy’ or ‘peer-to-peer economy’. **So, what does it really mean? **

The Sharing Economy is essentially about sharing underutilised assets in ways that improve efficiency, sustainability and community and reduce overall costs. In Australia, it has continued to grow since its inception through platforms like eBay and Airbnb.

People are in the market because it’s cheaper, faster and more convenient for them as consumers. Recently, a report by Deloitte into the economic effects of Airbnb in Australia, found that consumers save an average of $88 a night by staying in Airbnb accommodation (as opposed to traditional accommodation) in central Sydney. In addition, the median annual earnings of Airbnb hosts in Greater Sydney was $5200 in 2017. The value in this for consumers is undeniable. According to Canstar, over two-thirds of Australians now spend and earn money through the sharing economy.

The sharing economy means you can make money from assets or skills that you might otherwise not profit from.

What kind of platforms are out there that you may not know about? Well here are just a few…

Peer-peer sharing of ‘stuff’ over online platforms – objects of all sizes – like power drills (Toolmates), baby toys (Kindershare), cars (Car Next Door, Go Get) and caravans or RVs (Camplify)

Peer-peer sharing of things we wouldn’t necessarily call ‘stuff’ – like our pets (Mad Paws), homes (Mindahome), know-how (SkillShare) and even our time (TimeBanks)

Monetising ‘space’ – for travel accommodation (Airbnb, Stayz), office work (Rubberdesk) or (OfficeSpace), storage and car parking (Spacer), industry (Flexe) or retail (Storefront)

Peer-peer financial services – from crowdfunding to realise a shared goal (for creative projects, like Kickstarter, or for social issues, like Beam), to peer-peer lending (Kiva) and personal loans (SocietyOne)

Couriers, delivery, logistics - food prep (Food By Us) and food delivery (Deliveroo)

Transportation and transit services - car sharing (Zipcar), private ridesharing (Uber, Shebah) and carpooling (BlaBlaCar)

Labour-hire services – from odd-jobs (Airtasker) to care work (Juggle Street, Mable) and professional freelancing (Freelancer)

Goods marketplace and distribution – with the likes of eBay, Amazon & Etsy

Software, knowledge & media-sharing – be it code (Stack Overflow), educational courses (Coursera) or hot tips about the best camping spots (YouCamp)

Platforms like these and the continuous growth of the Sharing Economy means more options for consumers and businesses to expand how they deliver value and make money. Users, and increasingly platforms themselves, have come to realise that protections that support participants in the sharing economy – be that in the form of insurtech, P2P verification or cybersecurity – are crucial.

**ShareCover is growing with new products and aims to provide protection for you no matter what area of the Sharing Economy you choose to be involved in. **

Check out ShareCover and the new products on offer to see how you can protect yourself from risks of the Sharing Economy.


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ShareCover is issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFS Licence No. 227681 trading as ShareCover Enterprises. When making decisions about a product, always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination available on this website. For home policies, please also read our Key Fact Sheets (KFS) for buildings and contents which set out some of the events/risks covered and not covered by our home policies and other information you should consider. These sheets do not provide a complete statement of the cover offered, exclusions, conditions and limits that apply under the policies. You should carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and all policy documentation for more details.

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ShareCover Enterprises is owned by Insurance Australia Limited and is not related to either Airbnb, Bolt,, DiDi, OLA, Shebah, Spacer, Stayz and Uber. References to these platforms on this website do not constitute an endorsement by these platforms of ShareCover nor an endorsement of these platforms by ShareCover; nor IAG being partnered with these platforms.