We talked to Seun Ayegbusi, the Founder and CEO of “Coverdor” Intermediaries Limited about Nigeria’s most affordable health insurance plan for small businesses.
How are you and how is your family in these times of COVID-19?
Seun Ayegbusi: We are doing quite fine. We are religiously following the COVID-19 safety protocols. We are hopeful these trying times will pass over soon and receive the vaccine soon as well.
Tell us about yourself, your career and how you started Coverdor.
Seun Ayegbusi: I am a Nigeria-based tech entrepreneur, business and product developer, an Insurtech thought-leader and a serial innovator with extensive knowledge of the African emerging markets.
My journey into startup innovation began early in my university days when I picked interest in tech startups and started researching and learning how the startup ecosystem works, making new friends who we shared ideas and vision together, and also worked together on a few side projects back then.
My passion to tackle one of Africa’s most stubborn social development issues led me onto the journey that birthed the startup – Coverdor: an insurance technology startup helping low-income earners access social benefiting and affordable healthcare insurance products when they need it the most.
Aside from being a startup freak, I am an ardent lover of soul and jazz music genre and I also play the drums in a local music band in Nigeria.
How is Coverdor innovating?
Seun Ayegbusi: Coverdor leverages ecosystem partnerships with Mobile Money Operators, digital and traditional banks, online lenders among other financial ecosystem stakeholders to distribute its micro-insurance healthcare plans to the un(der)served customers using API technology.
Through our API, our partners can set up an insurance quote-pay-bind flow and also access a range of micro-insurance products to offer their customers through a single all-in-one API. As a technology, our API is omnichannel ready, flexible, and supports seamless handover of customers transactions details.
Our unique business model of point-of-sale insurance distribution and embedded insurance coupled with our proprietary technologies affords us to be at the forefront of innovative insurance distribution in Nigeria.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business and how are you dealing with this crisis?
Seun Ayegbusi: Inasmuch as that COVID-19 slowed down the economy, and also reduced disposable income in the hands of customers, inadvertently changing the business landscape, it has also given us an opportunity to meet our market’s need for health coverage. COVID-19 opened up many Nigerians to the imminent need to own health insurance coverage, saving themselves from covering unexpected healthcare expenses through out-of-pocket means.
Hence we had to respond to this need by upgrading our product offering, from gadget insurance to include an innovative and affordable health insurance plan for low-income earners costing as low as $1 per month
Did you have to make tough choices and what are the lessons learned?
Seun Ayegbusi: Not as much as we would have done if we had not beforehand incorporated flexibility into our team, allowing us to work remotely and put the safety of our employees first.
Aside from this, we learnt to adapt fast and focus on customers’ needs (in this case customers most crucial risks that need to be insured), and as a company working in the insurance space, led us to add healthcare insurance to the suite of insurance products we offer.
Our greatest lesson learnt remains to go where the market needs leads, keeping our ears close to the customers’ needs and providing products and services that adequately meet such needs
How do you deal with stress and anxiety during this time and how do you and Coverdor see yourself in the future?
Seun Ayegbusi: I discovered that my anxiety stems from feeding on unverified gist, conspiracy theories and fake news from social media about the COVID-19 during this pandemic, hence I needed to tune off social media channels from time to time and source information from verified sources only. This strategy has indeed helped me a lot.
In the future, I see Coverdor becoming a fully digital micro-insurance company, with a license to underwrite our insurance policy while expanding our product offering to include other social benefiting and affordable insurance products.
Also, I see Coverdor becoming a leading digital insurance solutions provider for the insurance ecosystem in Africa, partnering with insurers, brokers to accelerate their digital insurance transformation strategy providing them with SaaS solutions that optimize claims, underwriting, customer service, and distribution among others.
Who are your competitors and how do you plan to do well?
Seun Ayegbusi: Our competitors are other insurance Intermediaries; brokers, agents and tech companies that distribute insurance products to end-users. Our plan to do well is to create more proprietary technology, and ingenious distribution channels backed by technology, and also create human-centric customer service channels to drive high customer satisfaction
A final word?
Seun Ayegbusi: Amidst this pandemic, I can’t overemphasize the need to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols. I commiserate will those who have lost love ones to the virus, and to those who are sick with COVID-19, I wish them quick recovery and I look forward to us all returning to our new normal lives soon.
Lastly, I believe it’s time for the insurance incumbent stakeholders in Africa to inculcate insurtech into the core of their strategy and also explore strategic partnerships to create a win-win situation between incumbents and new generation insurtechs for a better experience for the customers and ultimately the ecosystem as a whole.
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