The Indian startup landscape is one of the most dynamic around the world. With technological improvements taking place, the verticals like Fintech are not holding back anymore. Overall, India has the highest expected ROI of 29% on Fintech projects as compared to the global average of 20%. With governmental efforts towards digitisation of the financial systems, the payment sector has seen an exponential growth. On the other hand, the Insurtech sector has rather been growing more conservatively as compared to Fintech segments of online payments and alternative lending. Coverfox, one of the leading Insurtech startups is set to change the way how policies are compared, bought and maintained in India
We had the opportunity to connect with the Co-founder and CTO of Coverfox, Devendra Rane to know more about their journey to make insurance comparison, management and buying easy and hassle-free. Here is what he shared about their journey.
1. Could you brief us on how your business model works?
Coverfox Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd. is an IRDAI certified online insurance broker. We have taken a digital-first approach to insurance where we aim to add value in every aspect of insurance via technology.
Towards achieving that goal, we are currently live with two portals – Coverfox.com and an Android App – Coverdrive.
Coverfox.com is an online distribution portal where one can compare, buy and manage their insurance policies. We have partnered with 25+ insurance companies and have integrated 100+ products with them. With Coverfox.com, we are trying to bring transparency, simplicity and ease to the process of buying and managing insurance in India. Our proprietary technology and algorithm based platform helps the users to compare and choose from a range of plans across top insurance companies. We highlight the key features of each policy, and our algorithm figures out which policy is the best for an individual customer at his/her life-stage. We help the users through the tedious claims process too. Currently, we have health, car, bike, travel and term life insurance products on our platform.
Coverdrive is a seller app for insurance agents (currently available on Android Play-store) to sell insurance digitally via the app. We are leveraging our proprietary technology with the aim to benefit 26 lakh insurance agents and potential micro-entrepreneurs. The idea is to bring efficiency into every aspect of their business from managing leads, doing sales, and track commissions. We hate paperwork.
Every sale we assist via Coverfox.com or Coverdrive, we get a percentage commission on it.
2. Which key strategy you keep in mind and share your success mantra?
At Coverfox, the core ethos is transparency and technology and the industry appreciates us for the same.Ours is a robust product and engineering team which focuses on creating technology products that make the insurance buying process easy. We have a strong team of data scientists that analyse the consumer interaction with various projects to furnish better consumer trends. We evolve the product based on the data on customer behaviour and product usage.
3. “The industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick.” To what point you agree with this with your business?
“Millennials breathe and live the internet and do not trust traditional marketing and business practices”.
This works great for us since we have always been the flag bearers of “tech-enabled fast insurance”. Our team is largely composed of millennials who understand their needs and buying behaviour. No unnecessary calling. Straight to the point messaging. We embrace this not just to please the millennial generation, but because they make sense.
Millennials are who they are because of the world around them. Technology and information flow that they are used to, that just wasn’t available before. You had to resort to feet-on-street or call-centre based businesses in the past – that was the need of the hour. Things have changed a lot, and are still rapidly changing. We aim to grow along with these changes.
Not being a call-centre heavy business like our competition, we have a mobile-friendly product – which is clean and fast. We provide information in a way that’s easy-to-consume. We make suggestions based on data and not commissions.
That’s the right way to go for millennials. That’s the right way to go for the world.
4. Do you plan to expand your brand presence across other regions?
Insurance in India is at a stage where there is a lot of scope for innovation. This is an exciting time for Fintech players in India, where market, regulations and consumers are all working to give the sector a much-needed boost.
We have a lot of ground to cover here before we think of expanding to other regions. Hopefully, we’ll do that someday. But it’s not on the cards, anytime soon.
5. Share the biggest achievement of your company to date?
There are quite a few, and the list keeps getting bigger, thanks to the amazing team we have built. The one that we are proud of the most is instilling that belief in the insurance industry to believe that insurance can be a product and technology play.
We were the first to sell 100% of Two-wheeler insurance and 55% of Car insurance online- without any assistance from a call centre. Also, our UI/UX and technology innovations are getting copied from the largest in the industry to the new upcoming players in the space. We have been praised for our online product not just by domestic players but also by international leaders in the insurance industry.
Our position as the disruptor in the insurance industry is something we hold very close to our hearts and we thrive to keep at it.
6. Where do you see your industry going in next five years?
It’s our belief that insurance is still in its nascent stages in India. The customers are still being served the same products that were offered to them 20 years ago. Hence, the next ‘big thing’ in insurance would be to focus on developing better insurance products that can be easily customized for the consumers. With the help of better insights on trends, we can come up with innovative products.
7. What makes you different from your competitors?
We have continually strived towards developing an insurance distribution system that simplifies the insurance process. One thing that makes us stand out from other insurance aggregators is our initiative to help our customers with claims. Our aim is to have a hassle-free claim process for our customers which is devoid of the painful documentation procedure.
Our aim is developing new programs that will help the customers during claims. We launched the ‘Express Claims Service’ for our car insurance customers, which was the first of its kind program giving a 3-day claim settlement guarantee. We have also recently launched a ‘Nominee Assistance Program’ exclusively for our term life customers. This provides claims support, document storage, legal help and emotional counselling to a nominee in case of loved one’s demise.
Everyone says they put ‘customer first’, but our actions in enforcing that belief set us apart from the competition.
8. Suggestions for the aspiring entrepreneur and upcoming startups?
Funding is not a mark of success. Study the product-market fit and decide on bootstrapping vs fundraising.
No amount of funding or skills of the core team can save you if you don’t have an effective business model and a passion to run a business. Startups should focus on creating real value for their customers. They need to address the important challenge of innovating and competing on the products instead of simply focusing on just distribution and branding.