Going by the number of those irritating insurance sales calls alone, insurance is one of the most talked about subjects in personal finance. However, a closer look at the market and conversation with a common man is sufficient to reveal that importance of insurance, like personal finance, remains one of the most underrated and least understood topics in this country of over a billion people.
The reasons for these, range from lack of awareness and knowledge about insurance to the lack of trust on the insurance selling agents who are literally, literally everywhere. Moreover, most of those who buy insurance, hardly know about the details of the plan they are buying. Even if they try to do so, they are exposed to tons of technical jargons in a 5-10 paged documents which is simply not possible for everyone to go through in today’s busy world.
Coverfox though, aims to solve this problem by bringing transparency to the whole insurance buying process and allowing hassle free insurance buying experience to its customers.
Coverfox was founded in the year 2013 by Varun Dua and Devendra Rane. Both the founders are serial entrepreneurs and have 2 successful ventures together before Coverfox. The online insurance broker allows users to easily compare and buy policies from a range of products from all top insurance brands in one go.
Using its proprietary technology and algorithm based platform, users can compare and choose from a range of insurance plans across insurance companies, understand key features and buy policies instantly and safely. Currently it deals with insurance in the fields of health, automobile (cars and two wheelers), and travel.
The company helps people make a confident decision for their insurance choices and after sales, they handhold the customers through all their insurance needs including the tedious the tedious claim process. Unlike other online insurance companies(say Policybazaar or ICICI Lombard) which are insurance aggregators and represent insurance companies, Coverfox is an online broker which deals on behalf of its customers and is allowed to take the side of customers in case of disputes on claims.
It is an IRDAI licensed broking company and work on standard commission ratesfrom all insurance players.
Coverfox aims to target the urban males in the age group of 25-40 years, who are go getters, like taking the off beat path, looking for ways, and hacks to outfox risk but view buying and managing insurance as a boring task. Coverfox aims to make it easy, quick and hassle free for them, so they can get covered and get going.
The whole process on Coverfox can be broken down into 3 simple steps: search, compare, buy.
When users first access the Coverfox platform, they need to enter their requirements to get a quotation. One of the most significant aspect here is they don’t need to share their telephone numbers at this stage so there is no apprehension about repeated telephone calls asking them to buy insurance.
The idea is to show the quotes to customers asking them minimum possible questions. In a lot of cases of car insurance, customers can view the quotes for their car insurance renewal just by entering their car number.
Post the customer’s inputs about their car make, model, variant, since quotes vary based on multiple parameters and involve complex calculations, they have to be fetched in real time for every query. Coverfox does this instantly through asynchronous data fetching and real time caching.
In addition, with focus on mobile increasing every day, the idea is to make the user type as less as possible. For example, 70% of the customers can view quotes for their vehicles on mobile by just tapping through, without having to type anything. They also have options of most popular cars, most popular RTOs based on the internal data of existing customers.
Once the customer gets various insurance options according to his inputs, Coverfox makes the comparing of plans easy by explaining them the nuances and finer details in easy to understand terms, right at the points where they need to know these things during their buying cycle.
There are inbuilt scoring algorithms which are used to show the most relevant plans to a customer based on his/her needs, geography and persona.
After the customer zeroes in on an insurance plan, a lot of information is required to be filled. Moreover, each insurer has a different set of questions. CoverFox solves this challenge by creating a unified form across insurers, so that no matter which insurer plan a customer chooses to go with, the experience is the same, quick and simple enough for him/her to make the purchase without any assistance.
With the help of design innovations, backed by intelligent tech implementation, Coverfox has managed to provide zero latency even as their backend has many to and fro communication with the insurer systems.
The entire journey is backed with customer behavioural data to ensure faster buying. Today, it takes the Coverfox customer an average of 2-2 and half minutes to fill an entire purchase form, which is far lesser than industry average of 7-8 minutes.
Thus, Coverfox is able to achieve speed, relevance and simplicity backed with best pricing with the help of its sound, stable technology.
What Sets Coverfox Apart
Unlike most other insurance companies, both offline and online, the biggest strength of Coverfox is its customer oriented approach which is rarely found in insurance sector. Since it is not a web aggregator but an IRDAI licensed broker that works on a standard commission from all insurance companies, it allows Coverfox to be neutral and unbiased. It also gives them the authority and qualification to advise its users on their insurance decisions.
This focus is well supported by the proprietary tech platform that Coverfox has built in house that makes comparison easy and intuitive. A clean UX/UI makes important information required to aid user’s decision clear and easy to understand. This in turn is further supported by a dedicated trained support and services team which helps their customers in the claims procedure, hence helping the customers in the whole insurance process.
Technology at Coverfox is completely developed in-house using open-source technologies. The complete platform — which includes the website, the data analytics and mining engine, the customer advisory system and user information is hosted on cloud servers.
The product team follows the Lean strategy approach to product planning by launching quickly, taking user feedback and figuring out the next set of features with a very analytical approach. They choose the stack very carefully to manage rapid development while continuously taking feedback into account.
The front-end platform is largely based on ReactJS and knockoutJS frameworks which is tested, packaged, and deployed using internally development tools. The front-end has been architected in a way that implementing robust user interaction and forms to on-board any new insurance company is easy and fast to deploy.
Like other tech based services, data remains a central theme for Coverfox as well in order to analyse user behaviour and preferences on its platform. For this, Coverfox has developed quite a few proprietary technologies to give the user the best insurance as per his needs and ensuring he is not paying for features that he doesn’t need.
For example, in its health insurance platform, Coverfox takes into account the user age, gender, city of residence and multiple other information to suggest a insurance plan which helps him lower his health care bill, based on the cost of health care in his city. Depending on his age and other personal data, Coverfox suggests insurance plans that cover the disease which he is may be most susceptible to.
At the backend, there is a recommendation engine which helps the user figure out his insurance needs, and using social validation Coverfox is able to help him understand decisions taken by similar user groups.
For data analysis, they use a lot of cloud services and internally development systems. They are also working on the algorithms which can be used to analyse risk profiles, and help insurance companies directly to give better choices and prices to the customer using Coverfox platform.
The Road Ahead
Coverfox has so far raised funding from the three rounds. The first round was for US$2 million from Accel India and SAIF and a second round of US$12 million from Accel US, Accel India and SAIF. Recently Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran ventures invested in the company as well.
It claims to have grown to almost 500 percent since its inception and has been registering 40-50% month-over-month growth on its platform. At present, Coverfox is emphasising on improving its technology further, brand building through mass media advertising, bringing on board new insurance products, and scaling up customer assistance unit.
They are also trying to build a network to enable quicker insurance issuance for the used car market both individually and via used car dealers. They are constantly innovating and experimenting with technology to add value to consumer experience and make the platform quicker and convenient to use.
Insurance in India is a US$120-billion industry, a large portion of which remains untapped (3.9 per cent penetration as against the world average of 6.3 per cent). Moreover, with increasing internet penetration, online insurance is expected to increase in the coming years and Coverfox aims to make this online process straightforward, simple, quick and transparent for anyone and everyone.