Sydney-headquartered global insurtech company Cover Genius is eyeing to capture the Takaful market with its expansion into one of the largest Islamic insurance jurisdictions, Malaysia.
With a presence in the US, Asia Pacific and Europe, Cover Genius entered the Southeast Asian region with an office in Kuala Lumpur early this year and sees it as a gateway into the Takaful space.
“We are in talks with the biggest [Takaful operators and insurers] here. It is a matter of time before you see us rolling our products into the Malaysian market,” Vas Ramanujam, Cover Genius’s director of insurance, tells IFN.
Established in 2014 in Sydney, Cover Genius over the last six years has expanded its geographical reach and gained significant success in the travel and mobility coverage space with global clients such as booking.com. Cover Genius now has offices in New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, London, Seoul, Manila, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
And the firm sees “massive” opportunities in the Islamic insurance space, anchored by the immense demand by an appealing demographic and solid regulatory support particularly in Malaysia, Ramanujam explains. Previously attached to Prudential BSN Takaful, Ramanujam understands the potential of Islamic insurance, particularly in this COVID-19 period, and sees Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East as growth markets.
“Before the pandemic hit, [insurers] had a runway of three to five years to get their digital strategy in place. What has fundamentally changed because of the pandemic is that consumer behavior has completely shifted online. What in effect happened is that the digital tipping point is no longer five years away but only two to three years away,” according to Ramanujam.
Believing that the tipping point for digital transformation of the global insurance and Takaful industry is imminent if not already here, Ramanujam opines: “A lot more investments will be put in by insurance companies to optimize from product awareness to operations, to sales and services and claims.” He, however, added the caveat that these digital transformations would not happen overnight as these would take at least a year.
Concurrent with its physical expansion, Cover Genius has also been working on expanding its product suite: over the last year, it launched pet insurance and retail products and is working on natural disaster coverage — the plan is to roll out these solutions in Asia.
“We also look forward to servicing fintech and proptechs,” Ramanujam shares.
This is an excerpt of an interview with Vas Ramanujam, the director of insurance at Cover Genius. For the full discussion on insurtech trends and what the future holds for Takatech, log on to IFN Podcasts.