CoverWallet Opens Its Tech Platform, Carriers to Independent Agents

By | January 7, 2019

We give you a login and password, and then every time that you talk to a customer, you can use our platform to sell faster, simpler, quicker,” said CoverWallet CEO Inaki Berenguer, referring to insurance agents he hopes will use his tech-savvy small business insurance program that includes access to CoverWallet’s carriers.

“They [agents] can get multiple quotes from one quick application, buy [coverage] online, full end-to-end experience, no cost for them, access to top carriers…Very simple.”

Asked about the “no cost” part, Berenguer said that if an agent sells a policy, CoverWallet keeps part of a commission that is highly competitive with the industry, with the agent keeping the majority.

CoverWallet, which has been on a mission to “reinvent insurance for small business” customers, only recently began offering its platform to insurance agencies. About 16 agencies are already using it and another 100 are on a waiting list, according to Berenguer.

CoverWallet makes it easy for small businesses to understand, buy and manage insurance policies — ranging from simple business owners policies to more complicated directors and officers liability covers.

Berenguer demonstrated the quote process on the original direct-to-customer platform that spawned agents’ interest, taking seconds to get a quote for a full-service restaurant with a Queens, N.Y. ZIP code. Accessing the “Advice” section of the CoverWallet website first, he input the industry, number of employees and revenues — about a 20 second process — and instantly saw the average premium paid by similar businesses for a range of small business coverages and indications of popular purchases (100 percent buy general liability, 80 percent buy BOPs instead, etc.)

Checking off the GL coverage for free quotes prompted more questions, many with pre-filled answers, and that generated actual quotes from three carriers in just over one minute.

Then, he selected a carrier and limits, answered a question about how he wanted to pay — in full or in monthly payments from a credit card — and the system returned a policy, certificate of insurance and proof of payment.

“Agents are an integral part of small business insurance, and we are making it easy for them to leverage technology without needing to build their own complex integrations or to have direct relationships or appointments with carriers,” said Aman Khaira, vice president of product at CoverWallet.

Agents who are onboarded to CoverWallet for Agents act as subproducers of CoverWallet and gain access to all the carriers that CoverWallet has on the platform, including Chubb, Starr, CNA and AmTrust.

“As a result, they will be able to generate quotes and bind policies without needing direct appointments from the carriers. In order to be onboarded, they are required to be licensed in the state(s), sign an agreement with CoverWallet, and have $1 million in E&O coverage,” said Hally Peck, director of communication at CoverWallet.

According to Berenguer, there are 40,000 agencies, in the U.S. and a half million agents that “unfortunately don’t have access to the same tools that we have. And they don’t have the resources to invest in technology.”

Registering with CoverWallet for Agents can change that, he believes.

In essence he says his company is not an insurance company; it’s a technology company. “I think some other competitors are insurance companies that are trying to tech-enable business,” he said, noticing that experience in data, design and technology are some of the things that differentiate CoverWallet from Insureon, CoverHound and other insurtechs serving the small business market.

Since launching the direct-to-customer site in 2016, CoverWallet has received more than $30 million in funding from investors including Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Two Sigma, and Foundation Capital, as well as Zurich Insurance Group and Starr Companies.

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Insurance Journal West January 7, 2019
January 7, 2019
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