Lloyd’s Of London Now Offers Insurance To Amazon Sellers Worried About Being Banned

Image courtesy of Xavier J. Peg

Third-party sellers on Amazon often complain that the rules governing suspensions, bans, and reinstatement are vague, and that they feel at risk for losing their livelihoods at any time. Now one of the biggest names in insurance is underwriting plans that will pay out if a seller loses access to Amazon.

“You’re guilty until proven innocent, and that did not sit well with me,” the Amazon seller who originally came up with this idea told Bloomberg Technology. She says that she thought of the idea at a sellers’ conference, where she and her colleagues swapped stories about the business, including what a disaster being kicked off, even temporarily, can be.

Lloyd’s of London underwrites some unusual policies, and often makes the news for insuring celebrities’ most attractive body parts or voices, but the company took on this strange market as well.

One customer who was happy to sign up had experienced being kicked off and losing his income, and doesn’t want to repeat the experience. A seller of dietary supplements, he told Bloomberg that he unknowingly listed a banned supplement, and was banned himself in turn. He was happy to sign up for one of the policies, which cost him $1,200 and covers up to $1 million in lost sales. The policies cover up to a 90-day suspension from sales platforms.

Investigations of cases are opaque to sellers and take place over email, and are a frightening experience for sellers who could lose their income over too many dishonest customers filing chargebacks, an honest mistake, or something beyond their control like a late shipment.

“I wanted some protection,” the supplement seller explained. He only sells on Amazon, and while the platform can be lucrative, losing his privleges again could be a hazard to the family that he supports with his business.