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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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How insurtech Cover Genius delivers personalised insurance anywhere

It partners with insurers to distribute plans through e-commerce sites.

Digital insurance sales have been on a constant, sustained rise as COVID-19 lockdown measures severely inhibited face-to-face interactions. In particular, there has been a trend amongst Indian and Southeast Asian insurers to complete digital sales on their own platforms or connecting their products to affiliated channels such as banks, telecommunications firms, and e-commerce platforms, said Arijit Chakraborty, managing director for Southeast Asia and India of global insurtech firm Cover Genius.

“A few insurtechs have also moved towards establishing marketplace comparison sites with a direct-to-consumer proposition,” he noted. “However, people still have limited coverage choices because the products being distributed online are usually similar if not the same as products being sold through intermediaries offline.”

The current trend does not address the changing insurance demands of customers or create a more customisable product proposition, he noted.

Established in 2014, Cover Genius offers insurance distribution platforms such as XCover, which it claims to deliver personalised insurance in any country, language or currency, according to its website. It is also licenced to undertake the actual quoting of policies and claims management, Chakraborty said.

Cover Genius has posted a three-digit growth and generated profit soon after its founding, Chakraborty said, with a 492% global growth rate in the last three years alone.

In an exclusive interview with Insurance Asia, Chakraborty dives into Cover Genius’ approach towards the pandemic, his plans in relation to his new position, the benefits of the platform, and future plans.

How has Cover Genius’ approach to insurance changed, at least in Asia, as the pandemic rages on? Is it planning on tweaking its offerings in response to the crisis?

In the months since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have seen a marked increase in consumer interest in protection products such as insurance and warranties. Our recent analysis of our partner network has shown that attach rates for insurance products have increased by 1,200 percent since travel bans and lockdowns came into effect.

Though the travel and mobility industries have been hardest hit by the pandemic, other verticals like retail, fintech and logistics are conversely experiencing unprecedented growth. Some of the key features of our XCover platform, such as dynamic product and price recommendations, have led to very positive commercial outcomes for our partners in these verticals.

Centring the insurance experience around the customer’s needs has long been our purpose. Our product and tech teams have mobilised quickly to build new insurance products that provide additional protection for pandemic-related challenges such as airline collapses and travel date changes.

Can you walk us through the process of how Cover Genius matches up a customer with an insurance firm? How do you provide a more efficient way for customers and firms to reach each other? How have you grown, in terms of profits?

Our global insurance distribution platform, XCover, is the bridge between the distributor and Cover Genius. Distributors are usually e-commerce businesses, which can be retailers, large online travel agencies, shipping platforms, automotive distributors and more.

We integrate with those digital environments via our APIs and partner with a global network of insurers to distribute their products via these channels. The insurers can be local direct carriers or reinsurers. Once we come up with the insurance product proposition for the ecommerce company, we work on the commercials and then engage our underwriting partners to work on the product.

As a one-stop platform, XCover is configured to house regulated insurance products for any line of insurance in any country, as long as it is distributable via any digital touchpoint. We are also licensed as a platform to undertake the actual quoting and binding of policies, as well as being able to manage and administer claims. This allows us to provide a truly end-to-end solution.

What are your main goals now that you have been appointed to your new position? Is there a particular pain point that you’d like to focus

There’s a significant opportunity for e-commerce companies to become large-scale distributors of insurance products because e-commerce is becoming the preferred purchasing platform for consumers. With some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing e-commerce companies currently based in India and Asia as a whole, we want to help these businesses tap into this opportunity and provide their customers with relevant insurance and warranty products at the point of sale.

In your opinion, is there a particular Asian market that would greatly benefit from Cover Genius’ services? Why or why not?

Our platform and insurance proposition were created to be global and can be easily scaled in any country. The beauty of XCover, our global insurance distribution platform, is that it can be configured for any line of insurance, so we are not limited by the types of verticals and businesses that we can serve.

XCover can be integrated with any online e-commerce booking path – whether it be in retail, travel, fintech, logistics or automotive – that wants to monetise insurance to create additional revenue channels. We are particularly drawn to e-commerce businesses that share our commitment to changing the way insurance is done and want to reap the benefits of tailored policies and instant claims payments on a global scale.

How does Cover Genius ensure the security and privacy of its clients and partners?

We have spent a significant amount of time and effort building a tech stack that ensures we are compliant with all global and regional security and privacy requirements within the countries that we operate in.

Can you share with us any updates on your partnerships with Asia's biggest online businesses? What projects are you planning on adding to the pipeline?

We have just launched parcel and transit insurance with one of the largest e-commerce players in Southeast Asia, with retail product insurance to come by the end of August. We are also introducing pet insurance in India and event cancellation insurance one of the largest ticketing platforms in the region.

We have successfully completed some sizable deals with online travel agencies in the region and will be launching travel and trip cancellation insurance along with medical assistance on their platforms. Further down the regional pipeline, we will be working with several fintech platforms and neobanks in Southeast Asia to provide more robust insurance products.

What is next for Cover Genius in Southeast Asia and India?

We are looking forward to our partner launches, increasing our reach and penetration into the retail, fintech, travel, logistics and mobility verticals and deepening our relationship with our underwriters.

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