The Inspire Insurtech Interview’ series are interviews to inspire your fellow insurtechs. We’d like to share who you are, what you do, what we can expect from you in the future. This month we are talking we talk to Mariyam Naby from Cover Hero
Tell us Cover Hero’s brief pitch
We are building the next generation on fintech that creates holistic wellbeing for across the areas of physical, mental and financial wellbeing. We design human behaviour and cognitive science-led products that protect the things that matter to humans. Hustlecover, which protects the income of gig workers, is one example of that.
So how did Cover Hero begin?
In short, it started after a traumatic insurance experience. I thought I had cover for a significant trip that my partner and I had booked, however, our claim was rejected after a cancer diagnosis forced us to abandon the trip. I was devastated and left in a vulnerable situation which impacted my health, my work, and my income. It also affected my relationship.
I thought “this cannot be how insurance works!” and so I started reviewing policies. This led me to pick through 15 different insurance products which entailed the detailed reading of about 60 pages per product. The products were basically the same and it was very hard to understand what was covered and what wasn’t. It made me feel very angry and powerless.
So… I applied for and was accepted into, the Qantas Avro Accelerator to develop a robo-advice platform for brokers, The platform was to help brokers recommend insurance products personalised to their clients’ needs. After a year working on the concept it became apparent that it didn’t allow me to build the solution I wanted. So scrapped it! I realised that insurance products were not designed for our generation. I set out to design products relevant and valuable to today’s generation. I decided to build products for Millennials and Gen Zers, powered by great tech!
How has Cover Hero evolved since inception?
Since inception, it has been tough! I spent 2018 boot strapping the company, which included employing a couple of staff. I travelled throughout Europe and the US to meet with founders, insurance companies exec’s and fintech Venture Capitalists. I met with anyone who could provide me with data or a better understanding of the problems, and possible solutions, faced by the insurance market. I spoke to companies like Wefox, Coya, Get Safe and top tier carriers, reinsurers and insurance brokers. I have an academic background, and I applied my extensive experience and research skills to garner any piece of information that I can find. I spent over 1000 hours and held over 2000 conversations canvassing the market during that year.
I mapped all the insurance products in the global market and categorised them by their vertical, solution, funding, markets etc. Then, as any PhD student would do, I did an in-depth literature review. I collected millions of data points during which helped build the conceptual framework upon which the Coverhero strategy would be built.
In 2019 Coverhero started afresh with a bigger, bolder vision. We built our platform, Cloudcover, which is an end-to-end product that can manage all functionalities across the value chain. Cloudcover houses the great tech that powers our insurance products! Cloudcover brings together traditional insurance product design and granular behavioural data. It triangulates these with theoretical frameworks on human behaviour. It is a very nerdy project from the back end, which punches out a very sexy product at the front end.
Next, we engaged with our target market to demonstrate where their current needs were not being met. We developed a tool called the Balance Wheel to help people understand and assess how they are doing in their life and to help improve on the areas that are not working for them. It really resonated with their values, lifestyle and aspirations and just like that, a community of gig workers and side hustlers was built around our first brand – Hustlecover.
What is your team currently working on in 2020 or what have you accomplished recently?
This year we are focusing on our community, empowering the gig workforce and more product build.
How does Cover Hero give back’?
We run free wellbeing workshops, using the Balance Wheel, for the self-employed generation. We have run this with over 400 people already and will amplify that this year.
What is Cover Hero‘s biggest challenge in today’s markets?
There is no one big challange. There are many. Like being a small team, having limited human and financial resources and having to move fast, build product, raise capital and grow. We have to do all this, and still meet the strict governance requirements imposed on us by the regulators (note the plural).
Everyone on our team wears a number of hats at any given time. The challenge lies in balancing and prioritising our efforts to achieve the optimum output for our stakeholders.
Anything else you’d like to say that we didn’t ask?
We love the feedback and support for what we are doing that we are getting from our community. This has been overwhelming!!! I am very grateful for it.