The Future of Insurance Podcast – Naby Mariyam

Founder & CEO, Coverhero

Season 2, Episode 2, November 9, 2021

Guest Bio

Naby Mariyam is Founder and CEO of Insuretech Startup Coverhero. Coverhero’s mission is to deliver relevant, hyperpersonalised coverage in moments that matter to Millenials lifestyle. We call this moment based coverage for lifestyle and wellbeing.

Coverhero is one of the most innovative insurtechs in Australia and New Zealand to watch for in

2018. Coverhero was part of the Qantas Avro Accelerator program. Coverhero was one of the 15 start-ups that got on first ever Tech Crunch start-up Battlefield In Australia.

Naby Has 20 years of experience in research, Education, Management consulting and start-ups in the last 5 years. She Represented Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in Berlin 2017. She is an advocate for Diversity of thought in technology and women in leadership.

Highlights from the Show

      • The idea for Coverhero was born out of a claim experience Naby had that did not go well, and left her looking for how to bring Insurance in the modern world
      • The original idea was a recommendation engine, but in 2018, Naby went around the world to talk to insurers, reinsurers, VCs, etc to learn more and be sure what they were building would really solve a real problem
      • Naby’s background is from academia as a social scientist researcher, so she used her training to structure how she handled all of these conversations – 200-300 of them globally – using something called Grounded Theory
      • She realized she had a solution, but didn’t know what the problem was, so there was no Problem Solution fit
      • She understood the consumer problems, understood the Big Tech trends, but didn’t understand the issues within the Insurance industry itself, making it hard to figure out how to solve the overall issues
      • The result was Coverhero’s first product, Hustle, which solved a major financial insecurity issue for self-employed people in just 30 seconds
      • They launched in 2020 in Beta, but the pandemic happened, and things didn’t work as planned
      • That meant they had to rethink their distribution strategy and channel
      • This clarified what Coverhero is – a platform that embeds insurance across any other platform at the point of sale to empower the platform economy for personal lines of insurance (e.g. income protection, life insurance, home insurance, etc)
        • They seek to put users in the middle so they can find the products they need, when they need them
      • They have big announcements around Hustle in late 2021, and just made some around their smart home API, Luchi
      • This has all come through a lot of iteration and evolution of the idea behind Coverhero as they’ve learned, tested and grown
      • Rather than being about a specific product or product set, it’s about how the intersection of Marketing Technology and Financial Technology can meet people’s needs
      • They realized through trying different products, you can’t put a Bandaid on things that need re-engineering, so they had to start from scratch
      • Naby sees it like dating, where when you have what people want, you don’t have to try to find success
        • Many of the products they had been thinking about would require huge marketing spend to drive demand, which they didn’t want to do
        • Once they had the ability to enable insurance sales in other platforms, the platforms approached them, offering low-cost acquisition where there was unmet demand instead of having to drive it
      • They’re building a global, universal API to democratize insurance, but not every market is ready for that as not every market is the same in terms of maturity of the gig economy, platform economy, creator economy, passion economy, etc.
      • The platforms themselves are quite mature in Naby’s eyes, as are the ways people use them; a major variability in each geography, though, is the regulatory framework
      • Without solving for the needs of the buyer, the seller and the regulator, you won’t succeed
      • The shift toward self-employment, which MasterCard sees hitting 50% of all employment globally by 2023, was a trend Naby thinks was already in motion before COVID, but it was sped up
        • Big Tech has allowed people to start a business and go to market in days
        • Social Media allows people to create a following and market what they’re doing
        • These things remove barriers to entry and success
      • As more people are self-employed, they need to become more financially and business literate because they can’t rely on the corporate HR function at their job anymore, but many resources are coming to market to help with this

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