Home insurance shakeup? Startup Cove expanding into new market

Posted: 5 November 2020 6:18 pm

Father and son with a laptop

When it first broke onto the car insurance scene in 2018, Cove stood out from the major brands that dominated the market.

It offered a single policy type (comprehensive) on a month-to-month subscription basis, along with a slick, user-friendly digital experience.

In short, Cove was betting on Kiwis wanting an experience that felt less like traditional ‘insurance’, and more like having a Netflix or Spotify account. A current Feefo score of 4.8 out of 5 suggests they were right.

Two years on, the Kiwi insurance startup that began in the basement of brothers Andy and Rob Coon, Cove has made launching house and contents insurance products its “top priority”.

“We see the process of buying home insurance in particular as ripe for disruption. The current process is either a 15-minute phone call or an online form which asks questions most Kiwis are unable to answer with full confidence – such as the year of construction or their home’s floor area,” says Cove co-founder and CEO Andy Coon.

“Our goal is to make the customer experience as simple as possible, while still providing great cover. A lot of the issues, such as floor area and year of construction, should be accessible via council records, so we’re investigating how to gather this data in ways which reduce the burden on our customers.”

Coon says that more than half of Cove’s existing car insurance customers have already indicated an interest in bringing their house and contents insurance policies over to the provider. The products will be made available to these existing Cove customers and their families first, before a nationwide rollout in 2021.

Cove sees its smaller size and commitment to simplicity as a key driver for success in the New Zealand home insurance market.

“Cove’s main advantage is that we are a young insurance brand built on digital platforms from the get-go. From a consumer’s point of view, this means that we can deliver slicker digital experiences and put the power back in the consumer’s hand through our full online self-service model,” says Coon.

“Cove can lead the way in innovation and explore how technology can improve the customer experience. Knowing that we have the capability to implement new tech on a shorter timeline enables Cove to explore innovation with more enthusiasm than traditional insurance brands.”

Recent Finder research found that 64% of Kiwis had house and contents insurance. Contents-only insurance was held by 18% of the population, while 12% just had house insurance.

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