How McXtra is working towards being every Indian’s personal insurance buddy

22nd Aug 2018
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Insuretech startup McXtra lets you upload, store and access your policies, works as your one-stop guide to queries and claims, and lets companies track and analyse the progress on insurance drives.

Let's say you lose your passport while on a trip abroad - what do you do, aside from panic? The regular answer would be visit the Indian Embassy, report a loss, apply for a fresh passport, et al.

Amid this, did it ever strike you that you are entitled to passport insurance, and a few hundred dollars in cash, which will be deposited into your bank account to help you get to the embassy? What if you have to be hospitalised, and are clueless about insurance policies and cards? Mumbai-based McXtra aims to resolve these and other such insurance-related worries.

McXtra, started in 2016, is the brainchild of two insurance and banking veterans. Co-founders A.S. Narayanan and Nimish Airon were clear they wanted to blend insurance and information to provide accountability.

“We have been in this industry for 20 years, and realised that if information is key to help people buy the right insurance, technology is the key to connect them to the right stakeholders (such as hospitals based on their location) and ensure their risks are well and truly covered,” Narayanan says.
McXtra founder A S Narayanan

McXtra, which stands for “maximum and extra”, is an insurer-agnostic platform that offers services across health, life, travel and motor sectors. The platform enables corporate employees and their families to "consolidate all their insurance policies in one vault". In case of an emergency, the McXtra Red Button provides immediate geolocation-based emergency aid and simultaneously triggers the benefits available under a person's policies.

How it started

Nimish has worked in the insurance, steel, and technology sectors for the last 20 years. He started off as a local sales lead and ended up in insurance as a lead before rising up the corporate ranks in Bajaj Allianz. He met Narayanan, who was the chief distribution officer at Bajaj, and they began to spend hours jotting down customer problems. The friendship soon led to a business venture – the duo started out as consultants and a brokerage company in 2014 before deciding to launch McXtra.

Narayanan says his team spent a good two years researching consumer problems, and built their network and technology around these issues.

The McXtra app finds your location and shows you the number of hospitals that accept your policy in the vicinity. It can pull out your policy details (the tech analyses all the fine print in the policy and the hospitals that accept the policy in your vicinity) and connect you with the hospital of choice. With McXtra, the policy is digital (the customer should scan the physical policy on the app) and the customer is not caught unawares in case of an emergency. All customer information is secured and the customer signs up to be tracked in McXtra just like any other app.

Information about each policy is public data and is coded into the software to help customers know their policy completely.

“We want to be the de facto app for all insurance-led emergencies and dissemination of information,” Narayanan says.

The 50-member company in 2017 raised Rs 10 crore from the Ajcon Group and a clutch of 12 investors, which includes Rakesh Bhatia, the ex-worldwide CEO of HSBC Trade Finance and fintech investor based out of Singapore.

The McXtra benefits

  • The document vault provides state-of-the-art service and assistance, irrespective of insurer and intermediary. Just upload your policy to this app and it decodes the fine print - what ailments the insured person is covered for and which hospitals offer treatment on a cashless basis. It also provides information about the hospitals that service the area where the customer is located.
  • The app provides emergency assistance, including doctor on call, ambulance and roadside assistance with geo-location tracking.
  • It provides data-driven advisory curated specifically for customers based on customer’s dependents, financials, existing health conditions, and existing policies. It also offers data-driven advisory reports to corporate customers.
  • It organises family insurance, making policy details available at the click of a button. It also explains all policy details in a simple-to-understand dashboard format.
  • The Red Button does a data and voice call at the same time, cutting through all IVR processes. If it’s used in case of hospitalisation, app extracts all policy related information; it then suggests what you can ask the hospital and how you can settle your claims. The insurance company is immediately notified for settlement.
  • The company provides all details of general and life insurance and lets the customers provide advisory and allow the customers to buy from McXtra or even seek advice on investing.

“Our idea is to create a service and assistance ecosystem that has not been experienced. We want to take away all the insurance hassles from consumers,” Narayanan says.

On the growth path

McXtra has partnered with over 40 companies, which have over 60,000 customers who they are serving on the McXtra platform. The company does not want to reveal its numbers on the B2C side.

The revenue model comes from subscriptions and purchases made by customers on the platform. The subscription product works with companies who provide it to employees to upload their policies. It also has a B2C model where consumers can buy insurance directly on their platform.

McXtra is generating very little revenues as of now since it went live in January 2018. But the company has received some subscriptions from companies.

BankBazaar and Policy Bazaar are the largest companies in India when it comes to insurance discovery. They can use McXtra to complete the loop of customer policy redemption and getting them to sign new policies. However, they have competition from TruCover, which focuses on individuals, and Perilwise, which is targeting B2B business.

According to research firm IBEF, insurance is a $280 billion industry. Policy Bazaar has raised more than $346.6 million while BankBazaar has raised $109 million. The future lies in being able to complete the “loop of service” for customers, care providers, and businesses.

Ashish Chandra, Co-founder of TruCover, says: “Insurance is yet to penetrate most of India. People in cities use it only for tax saving rather than focusing on outcomes. There is enough opportunity.”

Startups are all about opportunity, and Narayanan and Nimish want McXtra to be the little extra that makes insurance really customer-friendly.

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