CoverWallet surpassed 800% revenue growth last year and could soon enter the UK business insurance market
Rapidly growing US business insurance online start-up CoverWallet is using a partnership agreement with Zurich to plot a move into the UK market.
Zurich last month took a minority stake in CoverWallet, building on an agreement at the start of the year allowing the start-up, which surpassed 800% revenue growth last year, to trade across Europe.
Since then CoverWallet has been piloting its offering in Spain to find if there is a European market for its online platform.
The platform enables SMEs to learn about types of policies, get quotes, purchase insurance, and manage their cover, online, in minutes.
Founder and chief executive of CoverWallet Inaki Berenguer said the trial had been successful and that it opened the door for more rapid growth in the UK and across Europe together with Zurich.
‘I’m a technology person’
Berenguer predicted within two years the CoverWallet online platform would be available for SMEs in the UK.
He said: “Everyone tells you in this or that country people don’t buy things on the internet, insurance is all about a process and that you prepare to buy it offline with an insurance broker or insurance agent face to face.
“I don’t believe that. I’m a technology person and an internet person.
“When you make things easier for people, which the internet does, then people adopt those solutions.
“In Spain there were some questions of whether people were interested in only buying these things online or shopping around before they were going to buy, but customers are buying in Spain the same way they are buying in the US.”
The partnership agreement was to be launched in several countries in a short space of time, starting with Spain, and Berenguer expects the UK market to be particularly receptive to CoverWallet.
He added: “Customers in the UK are already used to buying insurance online on a personal level, so on a business level it is going to be the same.
“That’s very similar to the US in that customers have been buying car insurance online since 10 years ago.
“Because the UK is another large English speaking market a lot of the lessons we have learned from the US we’ll be able to take over with us to the UK.”
Founded in 2015, within a year CoverWallet was licensed in all 50 states.
It has raised over $35m in funding and currently has grown to 130 employees and tens of thousands of small business customers.
But Berenguer plans to use this European expansion in the next couple of years to take the number of customers to one million.
He added: “The market is currently undergoing a huge paradigm shift.
“There are 25m small businesses in the US which spend $100bn each year and another 30m in Europe.
“Our prediction is a significant proportion of them are interested in buying insurance online.
“One million customers is not crazy. There is room for four or five winners in online business insurance and we want to be one of those.
“Today we are a leading company despite the fact the number of companies buying online business insurance is small.
“The market is going to grow and we are going to continue growing with the market.”
Subscribers read more