Global Tech Star Cover Genius Reveals the Magic Behind Over 600% Growth

Insurance specialist Cover Genius has gone from a Sydney startup to a global disruptor in just 7 years.

The Australia-based company is now the world’s leading integrated insurance insurtech. Cover Genius partners with the world’s largest digital companies, including Booking Holdings, eBay, Amazon and Ryanair, to integrate any line of insurance or warranty product into online sales and offer it directly to that partner’s customers.

Success has been meteoric. In February 2022, the company reported that it sold more than 10 million policies. It also posted a 667% increase in sales from its global distribution platform, XCover. According to Bloomberg, Cover Genius is valued at more than 1 billion Australian dollars.

Today, the company is active in multiple sectors. These include retail, travel and logistics, property, finance, mobility and automobile, ticketing and events, and business services.

Australian spirit helps reinvent insurance

The insurtech phenomenon began in Sydney in 2014. Founders Chris Bayley and Angus McDonald ran an online travel business. But getting the right insurance for travelers from different countries was a constant problem.

Bayley and McDonald saw an opportunity. They decided to launch a new method of marketing insurance policies. This included a novel insurance distribution platform.

The company’s approach was typically Australian: direct and down to earth.

“Insurance doesn’t have to be painful,” says Graeme Dean, vice president of global insurance solutions at Cover Genius. ‘Our idea was to write easy-to-read policies that people would understand. We want the right protection to reach people at the right time and place.

“We make sure claims are handled quickly with a technology-driven approach and payments are made quickly,” he adds. ‘In addition, our service can be integrated into customer platforms with a single connection or application programming interface. This makes us unique in the integrated insurance industry.”

With this new approach, Cover Genius quickly created a technology platform that links insurers to online transactions and includes dynamic pricing. The market reaction was phenomenal. Success came fast.

Global alliances drive global expansion

In 2014, Cover Genius signed an agreement with Booking Holdings, owner of Priceline, Kayak and, to integrate insurance policies into the booking path.

To service the deal, Cover Genius opened its first overseas office in London. The new office included a regional team to help with sales and integration engineering.

“We increased our service offerings to be able to offer different lines of insurance across multiple industries,” says Dean.

A key challenge in London was how to increase brand awareness. Cover Genius’ solution was to be proactive with thought leadership. The company presented articles to the media on emerging insurtech trends and how they addressed current market challenges.

“As an early adopter of integrated insurance, we spend time educating the market,” says Dean. ‘We help the market understand what integrated insurance is. We explain how you can improve multiple aspects of the insurance value chain to create a better customer experience.”

Insurtech faces the challenge of COVID-19

The 2020-21 pandemic gave Cover Genius a chance to show just how nimble it could be. While the pandemic lockdowns have affected global travel, Cover Genius collaborated with its pre-existing travel partner Skyscanner to adapt its travel insurance product.

“We work with Skyscanner and others, including Ryanair, to create protection for COVID-related issues, and then integrate it within the customer’s flight booking experience,” says Dean.

The idea caught on. And it showed how quickly insurtech can outperform traditional insurance companies.

“Our protection was soon available on Amazon,” says Dean. “In addition, we partner with Shopee and Flipkart, the largest online retailers in Southeast Asia and India, respectively.”

Startups draw on Australian fintech talent

Australia’s core strength in fintech is based on people and skills. Australia is teeming with tech talent, according to a recent report from the industry body, the Tech Council of Australia. It says there are now 861,000 people employed in the tech sector in Australia or 1 in 16 of the workforce.

“The rapid growth of Cover Genius can be attributed to the unique capabilities of our award-winning global distribution platform, XCover, and our diverse team of curious people who work – and succeed – together to bring innovative ideas and new perspectives,” says Dean. . .

A showcase for smart Australian fintech

Cover Genius’ approach marks a sea change in insurance. Research by and Cover Genius reveals that customers prefer bundled insurance over traditional insurance offerings.

Using the standard metric for determining customer experiences, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Cover Genius’ score is +65. The median NPS for traditional insurers is -25.

‘This is our reward for simplicity,’ says Dean. ‘We have carved our own path through the insurance market.’

The company’s global strategy also pays dividends. Cover Genius works hard to support clients’ brands in multiple markets around the world.

“If we start working with a partner in one country, we offer our services to that partner in other markets as well,” says Dean. ‘In effect, we have created a new one-stop service for global consumer brands.’

Tips for other fintech

The magic of Cover Genius is working. By the end of 2021, the company’s Series C financing raised A$100 million. Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Times reported that the company’s annual growth rate averaged almost 500% between 2015 and 2018.

“We recently topped the Financial Times ranking for fast-growing companies in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Dean. ‘We now have offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Amsterdam and Tokyo. That’s not bad for a company that started in Sydney in 2014.’

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