Coverfox.com CEO, Premanshu Singh EXCLUSIVE: We aim to grow 500% in next FY, enter new categories like cyber insurance
Things are changing with the advent of the internet and easy availability of information on various platforms, said Premanshu Singh, CEO, Coverfox.com, in an exclusive interview with Zee Business Online, as he revealed Coverfox's plans to grow by 500 per cent in the next financial year and enter new categories like cyber crime.
India is a country that continues to live dangerously, even in 2019. According to a report by actuarial and consulting firm Milliman, titled ‘Indian Life and Health Insurance Sectors’, only 44% of the 1.3 billion people in India had a health insurance policy as of 2017. When it comes to purchasing insurance products online, most buyers have doubts. But, all of this is changing with the advent of the internet and easy availability of information on various platforms, said Premanshu Singh, CEO, Coverfox.com, in an exclusive interview with Zee Business Online, as he revealed Coverfox's plans to grow by 500 per cent in the next financial year and enter new categories like cyber crime. Singh said that only 4 per cent of India's $100 billion insurance market is digital, with massive potential to be tapped in. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview -
1. Indians have traditionally been apprehensive about buying financial products online. Do you see that changing?
Yes; from the past few years, people have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of buying financial products online. This has become possible due to the advent of the internet and easy availability of information on various broker, insurer and comparison websites. Armed with the correct information, people can now easily buy the best financial products online which suits their financial requirements from the comforts of their home or office.
Coverfox was started with the primary aim of digitizing insurance and making the insurance buying process simple for the consumers. The growth of Coverfox over the years is proof of shift to this buying pattern of the people. In the financial year 2018, Coverfox clocked a revenue of Rs. 12.42 crores which is a 2.7 X jump from the previous financial year.
2. What are the trends that have led to this change?
The first and most important trend that led to this change is the penetration of the internet among masses. Affordable internet plans, free data has been the biggest booster for the e-commerce industry as a whole. Smart phones have also played a vital role in bridging the information gap, as the internet helped to get easy access to information.
Insurers haven taken to this online marketing platform with great enthusiasm. They started developing products specifically for the online platform which are relatively cheaper than their offline counterparts. The customers are also able to avail almost all the product related services on the online platform for which previously they had to visit the branch of the insurer. Be it making changes or corrections in the financial product purchased or raising a claim on the product, almost all the services are now available online.
3. How is mobile insurance helping the key players?
Mobile insurance has provided the key players with an opportunity to tap into the e-commerce market. The e-commerce market is flourishing with the millennial customers and near future may see millennials overtaking all customer segments. This market has a lot of potential and sellers can reach even the remotest corners of the country. The growth of this market is going to overtake all the traditional markets in the near future.
Millennial customers have unique requirements like personalized products, customer focussed approach, tech-enabled platform and multichannel approach. Key players who can successfully capitalise on technological advancements like Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Automation, Big Data Analytics would be easily able to develop and sell customized products to these millennials through the mobile and online platform. These technologies will help create personalized products which are simpler than traditional insurance products. Insurance Players who can capitalise on these technologies will soon be at the top position as this digital sales channel is set to grow by 20 times.
4. Should buyers rely on third-party data while analysing health insurance premiums?
Yes, that is if the third-party data on health insurance premiums and other insurance-related products are sourced from the insurer. One key point to be noted here is that one should look for information about premiums rates only from licensed third-parties like online brokers, web aggregators, etc.
Licensed third-party websites promptly display their license numbers received from IRDAI which helps customers identify them from other ordinary websites. Third-parties who are licensed from insurers receive the correct premiums along with prompt help on getting customized solutions for unique customer needs.
5. How do you ensure that Coverfox has an upper hand over its competitors?
Indian insurance market is about $100 bn and just 4% of it is digital. We think it’s a huge, high growth market that is ready to be disrupted. In the long run, there will be 2-3 players having 80% market share. Coverfox is the gold standard for insure-tech in India and already a market leader in the category. Our focus on leveraging technology to drive a seamless user experience sets us apart from any other player in the market. While most competition relies on "push" as a sales strategy, we believe in creating a ‘pull’ for our business.
6. What are your expansion plans?
We plan to grow 500% in the next financial year. We have heavy investment plans on both Coverfox (B2C) and Coverdrive (O2O). While we will go deeper in existing categories like motor, life and health, we also plan to get into newer categories like cyber insurance. We have no plans to go international this year.