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Travel Industry Path Likely for Insurers: Online Sales Replacing Agents, Exec Says
This article is part of Carrier Management’s series on the Future of Insurance.
Rashmi Melgiri, Co-Founder, CoverWallet, sees online distribution of most P/C insurance products as an inevitability, tracing the same path as the travel industry with customers moving away from agent-assisted buys for all but complex, high-value products.
Rashmi Melgiri, Co-Founder, CoverWallet
Rashmi Melgiri is the Co-Founder of CoverWallet,
an InsurTech startup focused on simplifying insurance for small businesses. https://www.coverwallet.com/
CoverWallet combines data, design and technology to help businesses deal with their insurance, whether from their phone or online. With an intelligent assessment system and concierge-like service, CoverWallet saves time and provides peace of mind by making it simple to buy and manage insurance.
Before founding CoverWallet, Melgiri was a strategy consultant at the largest North American telecom, media and technology consulting group, Altman and Vilandrie & Co. She has worked with a number of startups including Visible Measures and portfolio companies within Comcast Interactive Media. She has a bachelor’s degree from MIT and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Q: What major changes do you see on the horizon for the property/casualty insurance industry in the next 10 years?
The P/C industry is following a trend that has already impacted a number of other fields, moving from a geographically dispersed system of human touchpoints to an aggregated online model. One of the most talked about examples of this pattern was the travel industry, in which there was an initially slow (but quickly accelerating) shift to a few digital shopping channels from what was previously a broad agent network. Shoppers indicated a strong willingness to trade certain positive aspects of the agent model, such as not having to compare options or fret the details, in exchange for the ability to save time and money.
This shift began in the P/C industry a few years ago, being initially led by auto insurance, and the technological trend has now spread to a broader set of products, such as renters and commercial insurance. As InsurTech solutions have gained greater capabilities and improved their user experiences, consumers have responded by changing their behavior, shopping online in greater numbers than ever before.
What we expect to see in the coming years is a continuation of what happened in travel—with the majority of relatively simple customer scenarios moving to a few online players. There will still be a role for high-touch service, in some cases supported by technology, when it comes to particularly complex or high-value products.
Read more Future Insights by person
- Mike Albert, Co-Founder, Ask Kodiak
- Tim Attia, CEO and Co-Founder, Slice Labs, Inc.
- Arun Balakrishnan, CEO, Xceedance
- Ilya Bodner, CEO, Bold Penguin
- Bobby Bowden, Executive Vice President, Chief Distribution and Marketing Officer, Allied World
- Andy Breen, Senior Vice President, Digital, Argo Group
- Adam Cassady, CEO, Tyche Risk
- Chris Cheatham, CEO, RiskGenius
- Trent Cooksley, Head of Open Innovation, Markel Corporation
- Mike Foley, CEO, Zurich North America
- Guy Goldstein, Co-Founder and CEO, Next Insurance
- Mike Greene, CEO & Co-Founder, Hi Marley
- Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, Global Insurance Accelerator
- Russell Johnston, CEO, QBE North America
- Dr. Henna Karna, Managing Director and Chief Data Officer, XL Catlin
- Tony Kuczinski, President and CEO of Munich Re, US
- Rashmi Melgiri, Co-Founder, CoverWallet
- David W. Miles, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, ManchesterStory Group
- Pranav Pasricha, CEO, Intellect SEEC
- Mike Pritula, President, RMS
- Kathleen Reardon, CEO, Hamilton Re
- Jeff Richardson, Senior Vice President, OneBeacon Insurance Group
- Vikram Sidhu, Partner, Clyde & Co
- Christopher Swift, CEO, The Hartford
- Rebecca Wheeling Purcell, Schedule It
- Keith Wolfe, President US P/C—Regional and National, Swiss Re
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