Fireside Chat: Cover Genius at the World FinTech Festival

In a recent interview with Stone & Chalk at the World Fintech Festival, Chris Bayley, Chief Innovation Officer & Co-Founder, explains why Cover Genius was developed and discusses the future of embedded insurance within financial products. 

Cover Genius’ vision of protecting the global customers of the world’s largest digital companies has been consistent since the company was founded in 2014 and ‘We make it our own’, ‘We make it better’ and ‘We create magic’ are core values key to the company’s success. They have been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the Asia-Pacific region and this follows Cover Genius’ recent Series C funding round of $70M USD, which is being used to expand its global distribution platform, XCover, and support new global partnerships 

For Chris Bayley and Angus McDonald, Co-Founders of Cover Genius, knowing the problem first hand was the initial drive towards establishing their company. Both Chris and Angus had experience in the technology sector and together they set up an online travel agency and noticed during this process that insurance wasn’t completely optimized. They had set out to improve the process and noticed the lack of platforms available to deliver any line of insurance into their front end. 

For many, purchasing insurance is a second step and as such more than 80% of people in the world are underinsured and Chris believes that this is a structural problem. Embedded insurance creates convenience by “joining the dots” and no matter the activity, it’s about finding a relevant insurance product to protect the customer by leveraging data. That means when purchasing a new phone or listing your property on a short-term rental website, insurance does not have to be the second step. 

Upon reflecting on the founder’s journey, Chris mentioned speaking to traditional insurers early on, with many insurers stating that the platform he was trying to build was impossible; however, the first sales call was with a Bookings.com executive and the feedback on the spot was positive and exactly what they were looking for. The faith and early validation in this product created the drive to meet the company’s vision. 

Within insurance, focusing on the end customer means prioritizing claims. The quality of the customer experience is important and as a technology company, Cover Genius is able to seamlessly unify the claims experience. “From the initial quote, through to the management of the policy and account, to the claims process when things go wrong”, Chris highlights the advantage his company has to help protect the customer, “we know who the customer is and there is no need to re-enter details”. 

In a recent study, ‘convenience’ and ‘trust’ in each of the 13 countries surveyed were the highest reasons for purchasing insurance. Thus, the funds from the Series C capital raise will contribute towards scaling to more partners and include more countries to effectively remove the second step when it comes to purchasing insurance.

Key Video Highlights:

  • 1:27 Introduction to Cover Genius 

    2:20 What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve received from an end customer or a partner? 

    3:48 What are your end customers saying about Cover Genius?

    7:12 Can you tell us a bit more about the creation story for Cover Genius? What led you to develop and build out the company?

    10:25 You’ve been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in Asia-Pacific. Where do you see the opportunities and challenges in APAC for embedded insurance? 

    14:42 What is it about embedded finance products such as insurance, e-commerce that work so well together? 

    17:28 Are you tempted to branch out into other finance products? 

    20:29 How do you run a global unicorn in Sydney? How do you run the operation from there? 

    22:38 How have your team values contributed to your success?

    25:02 What is it about Sydney as a financial technology innovation hub that has made this success possible?

    28:40 How will you be spending the funds raised? 

    29:55 Beyond scale, what’s the next big thing for Cover Genius? 

    31:58 [Reflecting on your founder’s journey and building a startup] Looking back, is there a particular moment that was absolutely pivotal to your success?