Introducing Cover, a consumer-centric insurance company

Today, I’m excited to announce that Cover has raised $11M across our Seed and Series A rounds of funding, with Social Capital leading our most recent financing. Arjun Sethi, founder of Lolapps, MessageMe, purveyor of sound advice and Partner at Social Capital has joined our board. His talent as an operator in consumer mobile is hugely valuable to our team.

Cover is your trusted advisor for insurance and benefits on mobile. We make getting insurance as easy as taking a few pictures and offer a slew of free services to our users, available whether they purchase insurance from us or not. We’ve handled requests for just about anything you can insure – cars, homes, pets, jewelry, farm animals, tanks, and even selfies requesting life insurance.

Starting as a lead-gen business, we processed more than 90,000 requests for insurance through our apps. In less than a year, we’re now licensed to sell insurance across the United States directly, and work with nearly 30 insurance carriers. We’ll soon be able to search the entire insurance market and pinpoint policies tailored to our customers in less than 30 seconds.

Our business is about simplifying getting property insurance, and offering value to our customers beyond what any typical insurance entity could. Product market fit already exists in our space - people buy existing insurance products (though begrudgingly), largely because they’re mandated to by law. Our focus at Cover is on finding ways to change the value equation of insurance in favor of our customers.

Tommy Zhang, Natalie Gray, Karn Saroya, Ben Aneesh, and Anand Dhillon in spirit.

Tommy Zhang, Natalie Gray, Karn Saroya, Ben Aneesh, and Anand Dhillon in spirit.

What’s next?

Insurance in the future will be about services + insurance. Our company is geared towards figuring out the right mix of services that resonate with customers such that they’re getting the most out of their premium dollars.

What does this utility look like? Today, we’re launching the first ever implementation of computer vision in insurance, available now to all of our users in the Cover app. Our customers can literally walk around their homes, and Cover will auto-detect, identify, and catalogue their property against an existing policy, or a new one if they need it. We’ll also setup price drop alerts on any policy, and port the insurance you have on your credit cards to Cover. These tools uncover insurance our customers already have, automate behaviors they already perform (shopping rates), and make insurance as intuitive as getting your property on camera. Take our services + insurance view to the extreme, and insurance premiums start looking like the next ad dollars – spinning out free products and services that bring joy to insurance customers, the basis for a consumer-centric insurance company.

What we’ve learned in a bit more than a year

  1. GEICO is our primary competition.   
  2. The value of insurance isn’t communicated well in this business. Customers buy insurance mostly because they’re required to by a landlord, bank, or the law.
  3. Price matters, and plenty of players in our space will be disintermediated to bring insurance premiums down.

Most importantly, insurance products are consumer products, yet have never been treated as such by incumbents.

For us, it’s great that everything is broken in insurance, at every part of the stack from distribution through claims servicing. Incumbents aren’t going to change fast enough, since they generally lack incentive to deliver new experiences, as well as an understanding of how to bring transformative experiences to new platforms, like mobile. Porting over their existing web experiences to an app will not be sufficient.

Until a few weeks ago, Cover was being run entirely out of the living room of the house where our co-founders live, myself included. Post Y Combinator, we’ve entertained the C-Suites of insurance companies from around the world at our kitchen table. It was pretty funny to ask armies of seasoned insurance executives to take off their shoes when they showed up at our place. They were much cooler about this than I expected.

To build a true consumer-oriented insurance entity, we’ve moved out of our home and into a pretty nice space in SOMA, SF. We’re also hiring, so email me at karn@usecover.com if you’re interested in taking on old-guard insurance entities, in a space ripe for change.