South African insurtech startup wiCover, which designs, builds and operates highly configurable insurance distribution platforms focused on customer engagement and delivering powerful digital customer experiences, is in the process of fundraising in order to expand globally.
Launched in 2016, wiCover claims to have “redesigned” the customer journey to focus on both new customers and returning customers.
“We are not an insurance company, we enable insurance businesses to deliver world class digital experiences throughout the value chain. We are a cloud-based solution that is big on analytics, big on data, big on the customer and how they want to engage with insurance,” Nick Evans, wiCover’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.
“Our vision for the future of insurance is a single insurance policy that enables users to activate a selection of cover based on their current needs. We build beautifully designed, security obsessed and user friendly mobile apps and web portals to manage customers insurance needs.”
Evans said wiCover’s platforms ensure a consistent digital experience from buying insurance, to claiming directly from the policy, conducting pre-inspection and risk preventative checks, communication and nudges, and being exposed to new insurance products.
“We deliver platforms that can integrate into existing insurance administrators and systems to deliver existing insurance products and then integrate into concierge and assistance services businesses to provide risk mitigation services of the assets under cover,” he said.
“Our platform provides a single digital access point for customers to experience their insurance journey without friction, in a manner that they live and engage with everyday digital transactions.”
wiCover was borne out of personal experiences in engaging with insurance and the perceived lack of personalisation that exists in the insurance industry.
“This includes repetitive conversations with call centres, filling out blank claims forms and not having easy access to new and innovative products. Looking at what the customer wanted rather than what the product provides led us towards providing self service across the value chain,” Evans said.
Self-funded thus far, wiCover is currently engaged in raising funds to expand globally. It is operating in South Africa and Australia, but has plans to expand as its clients scale their offerings globally.
“We have been very exciting with the response from the insurance industry, especially in the pre-underwritten market. We have found markets outside of South Africa that want to generate digital experiences in motor, home and even commercial trucking,” said Evans.
wiCover generates income in a number of ways, depending on how the insurer makes their money or where they experience large distribution costs.
“We ask an upfront platform build fee, we ask for annual licence fees to operate the platform and then we ask for a percentage GWP to benefit in the upside of the change in customer engagement and increase in sales. Our business model is to ensure we have annuity income on three to five year business contracts,” Evans said.
As with all insurtech startups that want to partner with big insurance companies, Evans said wiCover has experienced long sales cycles.
“Building trust is a vital part of building digital partnerships, and ensuring we are the subject matter experts in the digital customer engagement space and allow the insurance teams to be their experts,” he said. “Insurance is also heavily regulated and you need the ability to engage with multiple project teams and be agile in problem solving to satisfy insurance specific challenges.”