Executive Interview - 6 of 15
This article is part of a series of interviews with InsurTech Executives involved in the distribution of property/casualty insurance about their missions, how they are changing the industry, and the implications for carriers.View All Interviews
CoverWallet is one of a growing number of InsurTechs, which originally operated solely as an online agent for small business customers, but recently launched a separate platform for insurance agents to use.
According to CEO and Co-Founder Inaki Berenguer, “CoverWallet for Agents” went live in December 2018, as a response to demand from agents to have the same simple and efficient way to access quotes from multiple carriers and ultimately bind policies “in real time.” But Berenguer and other executives who have recognized the bond that agents still have with insurance customers, are still predicting that online sales prevail in the years ahead.
“It’s not hard to predict the future. Anything that is offline will go online: books, clothes, food, flights, cars, investments, mortgages, loans, etc. Insurance is no different,” Berenguer said, responding to a Carrier Management question about the future of distribution.
Here he responds to questions about his company and its mission as well, ranking among our “InsurTechs to Watch” for insurance distribution.
(Editor’s Note: Berenguer responded to Carrier Management’s questions before Aon announced that it would purchase CoverWallet in November.)
1. Describe your company and its mission. What does the company do?
Inaki Berenguer, CEO and Co-Founder, CoverWallet: CoverWallet is the easiest way to understand, buy and manage commercial insurance, all online and in minutes. Our mission is to use advanced technology to simplify how businesses address their insurance needs, so they can get covered and spend more time growing their business.
2. Who does your technology serve? (Agents and brokers only; Agents, brokers and carriers; customers directly, etc.)
Berenguer (CoverWallet): In addition to providing our platform directly to businesses and startups, we also work with independent agents through CoverWallet for Agents, as well as carriers and brokers for co-branded platforms. With our platforms, we make it easy to compare different coverage options, quickly get quotes, and buy coverage online. Additionally, after a policy is live, our online “Wallet” makes it simple and quick to update billing information, track payments, generate certificates of insurance, and request endorsements.
3. Who pays for the technology you offer? Is the cost considered commission income or a service fee?
Berenguer (CoverWallet): We don’t charge for the use of our technology, but we do generate income when insurance is purchased through our platform. For example, for CoverWallet for Agents, agents can sign up for the platform for free, and when a policy is sold we earn a commission from the carrier with the agent keeping the majority of it.
4. Are you disrupting (replacing) or empowering traditional distribution?
Berenguer (CoverWallet): We are reinventing the way businesses get insurance by removing the complexities and inefficiencies that have historically been persistent with the traditional insurance process. By leveraging technology, we make the end-to-end experience feel much more similar to interacting with the likes of Amazon, Spotify or Netflix than an insurance company.
5. What should P/C insurance carriers know about you?
Berenguer (CoverWallet): We work with more than a dozen carriers to offer their insurance products online to businesses and agents, and we’ve become experts in helping build instant underwriting models with our carrier partners and digitizing the end-to-end customer journey for things such as renewals, payments, certificates, cancellations, etc. As more and more businesses look to get quotes and bind coverage online, digital distribution is going to play an even more important role.
6. Bonus Question: What does the future of commercial insurance distribution look like?
Berenguer (CoverWallet): I always say that it’s not hard to predict the future. Anything that is offline will go online: books, clothes, food, flights, cars, investments, mortgages, loans, etc. Insurance is no different. We’ve seen tremendous growth since starting CoverWallet four years ago, and I think commercial insurance will continue to shift more and more online.