Start-up to bring pay-as-you-go commercial insurance to the UK's SME "heartland"

Jodi Cartwright
Coverly managing director, Jodi Cartwright

A new insurtech business launching in the first quarter of 2019 will provide flexible pay-as-you-go commercial insurance to SMEs.

Seeing the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses as its “heartland”, Coverly will target in particular micro SMEs, which is to say businesses with fewer than 10 employees and a turnover of up to £2m.

The business will be working with one unnamed wholesale MGA, that will be revealed shortly.

“The current model is archaic and doesn’t fit the needs of modern businesses,” said Coverly managing director, Jodi Cartwright. “SMEs want to be able to manage their insurance needs digitally and on-the-go, 24 hours-a-day, and it’s this control that Coverly provides.

Cartwright, pictured, explained that “businesses will build their plan through our digital interface. They’ll choose what products are relevant to them whether its employers liability, public liability, business equipment etc.

“As time progresses, we’ve got a really flexible interface where they can just go online and change that – they can reduce their cover if they need to, or they can boost their cover if they want to do that.”

“One of the challenges SMEs face is that every time they want to make a change on their insurance policy, whether it’s to change their name and address, to cancel, or any element, they’re charged a fee. We won’t be charging fees. We just want to make the whole interaction a lot easier.”

Cartwright – whose resume includes Aviva and Brokerbility – explained that Coverly would launch initially with clerical businesses and build out from there, offering premiums under £5000.

Bryan Phillips, product director at Coverly – who has previously held roles with the BBC, Santander and Digital Production Partnership – added: “We are going to radically transform the commercial insurance experience for SMEs through intelligent data integration and a simple interface that gives back to the business, the time and control they need.”

“Additionally, being free from legacy systems and conventional question sets allows us to bring something unique and fresh to the market, with an insurance experience that is fit for a modern business.”

The venture is backed by Bibby Financial Services, which provides support for small and medium-sized businesses.

Commenting on Coverly’s relationship with BFS, Cartwright said: “They’ve got massive expertise in the SME market, so we’ll learn from their experience as well as supplementing that with our own experience.

“They’ve got tremendous expertise in HR and finance, so they offer a professional services wrapper for us as a company.

“We’ve got very close relationship with BFS as a company. Equally, the fact that we’re a pure digital business means our learning will feed back into BFS to influence their longer term strategy.”

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