Hello! The next release of the ‘Inspire Insurtech’ series where we interview inspiring insurtechs to find out who they are, what they do, what we can expect from them in the future, and more is here!
Tell us Cover Genius’s brief pitch
Cover Genius’ vision is to enable the World’s largest eCommerce companies to sell insurance to their global customers. Our platform XCover, is an end-to-end platform, and our APIs are used by some of the world’s largest insurance companies including Booking.com, a cornerstone partner. Founded by former leaders from Google and Yahoo, Cover Genius has won several international awards and its Australian entity was recognised as the fastest growing company in Australia in 2017 with a growth rate of 1600% for the 3 year period to 2017.
Cover Genius’ HQ is in Sydney, with offices in London and New York. It is the fastest growing Insurtech in APAC (excl. China). In addition to XCover, Cover Genius’ microservices architecture includes APIs for machine learning-based dynamic pricing and data analytics (called BrightWrite). We offer a claims platform and an API for instant payments and automated assessment, called XClaim, which uses natural language processing.
So how did Cover Genius begin?
We started the business for a few key reasons that we experienced first hand. Insurance was a huge headache for online businesses that wanted to sell it. It turned out that providing insurance products that are compliant with local laws in 80+ countries was no mean feat. Getting global coverage from a global insurer meant dozens of separate contracts in each market, and it also meant that the distributor would need to build the end-to-end insurance stack themselves because the global insurers lacked APIs and platforms. For us to achieve global scale this also meant taking and making payments in 90+ currencies and handling customer service and claims 24/7 in 40 languages.
Our “full stack” approach has meant that we have developed outstanding competency in all components of the value chain including policy administration, licensing, communications, pricing and claims, all of which have been made frictionless through the application of technology.
Like most founders we were chief executives and the cleaning service crew. Every job was our job. Despite our rapid growth, the concept of home still permeates the business. We’re now a global family of 70 people, and we’re doing our best to ensure that family vibe will always persist within our culture.
How has Cover Genius evolved since inception?
Within the span of four years, Cover Genius’ capability has evolved from a platform that distributed a single line of insurance (car rental insurance) to one that sells millions of policies per year across many verticals and insurance lines for dozens of companies, making us one of the fastest growing insurtech start-ups in the APAC region. Our growth has been derived from an obsession with frictionless service design and the application of technology to solve deeply rooted customer pain-points, and we’ve consequently disrupted the status quo for insurance distribution. We are the first entrant into the highly competitive B2B insurance distribution space in over 50 years.
Our offering now spans all types of contents insurance (what we call “product insurance), travel insurance, property insurance, insurance for the share economy, marine/cargo, commercial and more, in dozens of countries and all 50 US states.
True to the famous maxim that “software will eat the world”, we e believe that there will be a massive shift of value from traditional insurers to ecommerce companies, who will in turn utilise their data and platform strengths to offer flexible, personalised, and valuable coverage in an accessible digital format. We’re one of the few insurtechs delivering on that promise. When we began in 2014, we understood that customers demanded transparency not obscure exclusions, especially as digital innovation provides customers with that freedom in other industries. Another powerful trend that will change the insurance industry is the utilisation of machine learning to extract insights from data libraries, and optimise their offering accordingly to empower customers.. Our BrightWrite data analytics platform warehouses the torrents of data that we collect during the customer journey, and we work with our partners to deliver customer-level insights for optimisation. With our XCover and XClaim platforms, and the Machine Learning-based BrightWrite API, we are applying instant data insights to an industry chockablock with legacy systems and practices.
What is your team currently working on?
Our current focus is twofold: Extending XCover for many more insurance lines (we launched 4 last month) and growing our instant payment capabilities within the XClaim platform. Our expansion into US, ably led by Mitchell Doust and long term presence in UK has meant we’re also launching several new clients each month and continuing to optimise product and price recommendations for partners. On the People front we recently added two key hires to ensure we attract and retain great talent and that we sustain our great culture, at global scale.
Exciting! We’ll make sure to watch this space!
How does Cover Genius ‘give back’?
At Cover Genius we give back through Industry participation. We are a founding member of Insurtech Australia, and when possible, represent the local insurtech ecosystem on the global stage. As founders of the business, we spend time within the Australian start-up community and speak of our experiences, positive and negative, to help other founders on their journeys. Our staff are involved in community projects including MS Australia, Surf Life Saving Australia, Miracle Babies and SIDS
What is Cover Genius’s biggest challenge in today’s markets?
We’re a global business that services other global businesses. From translations to currency risk and local market nuances, providing a quality, relevant product to our global partners requires significant work ethic, attention to detail, and sensitivity. When you’re working on a global scale, there’s always more to learn.
The genius behind Cover Genius, co-founders Chris Bayley and Angus McDonald!