Bibby Financial Services (BFS) is to launch a new on-demand insurance business for SMEs in the first quarter of 2019.
Coverly is designed to be a flexible, pay-as-you go service enabling businesses to ensure that they have the right cover, and only pay for the cover they require. Fully backed by BFS, the start-up aims to transform the way in which small and medium sized businesses buy and manage their insurance needs online.
Coverly is headed up by managing director, Jodi Cartwright and product director, Bryan Phillips. Cartwright has more than 22 years’ experience of the commercial insurance industry, having held various roles with Aviva, Brokerbility and a start-up digital broker.
Phillips takes on the role of product director following two years’ at BFS as head of product innovation. Prior to joining BFS, he held a variety of project management and innovation roles at the BBC, Digital Production Partnership and Santander.
David Postings, BFS’ global chief executive, said: “We want to be the financial services partner for ambitious businesses, so while SME funding remains at the heart of what we do, we want to be able to help businesses to grow and thrive by providing a wide range of innovative financial solutions.
“We launched our FX business two years ago for those trading internationally, and insurance provides us with a further opportunity to support the 5.7m SMEs in the UK.
“We know from our own research and third-party data that SMEs find the process of buying and managing insurance confusing and with Coverly, we are creating something which is truly unique.
“We have a fantastic management team in place with extensive experience and this is a hugely exciting venture for BFS, leveraging our 36-year history of helping small and medium sized businesses to succeed.”
BFS’s research shows that 43% of UK SMEs do not understand what their insurance policies cover them for and a similar proportion (44%) do not regularly review their insurance cover.
Cartwright added: “We know that many incumbent insurance providers are struggling to keep up with the needs of the modern SME and we are developing a digital experience that will both simplify the process of buying insurance, and ensure that businesses do not pay for cover they don’t need.
“Though insurtech has moved on at a pace in recent years, much of this innovation has focused on personal lines insurance. Our research among SMEs shows that many providers are still unable to provide the seamless digital experience that small business owners desire.
“Coverly provides this truly end-to-end digital experience, putting business owners directly in control of their insurance needs.”