Here’s how Noida startup Zopper is redefining selling of insurance policies

Embedded digital insurance solutions provider Zopper aims to sell over $1 billion insurance premium annually within the next five years from the present level of over $100 million.
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Insurance penetration in the country is under five percent of the population, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). Expanding the reach of insurance products through embedding policies with other services on a digital platform is insurtech startup - Zopper.

This Noida-headquartered insurtech startup, founded by Surjendu Kuila and Mayank Gupta made its foray into this segment in 2018 with a goal to redefine how insurance policies are designed and distributed.

Zopper was founded in 2011 in the hyperlocal mobile marketplace which sold its point of sale software business to PhonePe.

In a conversation with YourStory, Surjendu says, “The biggest challenge insurance companies face is the high distribution cost in reaching out to their customers, while there are others who are keen on cross-selling the policies along with their products.”

As an embedded insurtech startup, Zopper has built its application programming interface (API) platform, which enables both the parties to collaborate and come out with innovative insurance policies, which are appealing to the customers.

Surjendu says consumers will be unwilling to buy insurance policies, which cost around Rs 8,000, but will find it more appealing when it is priced at as low as Rs 25.

“The traditional mode of distribution is not feasible to sell these byte sized insurance products and this can be done only through technology,” he says.

Market dynamics

According to IBEF, the overall market size of the insurance sector is expected to touch $280 billion in 2020. The life insurance component is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3 percent till 2023.

In the Indian insurance market today, there are 55-odd players focused on life and non-life products, and the advent of technology, especially with smartphone penetration, has helped them reach out to more customers.

However, these insurance companies are yet to fully leverage the power of technology as they are more focused on coming out with products, and this is where a startup like Zopper comes into play to assist them with the distribution.

On the other hand, there are companies cutting across sectors such as financial services, ecommerce, and consumer products, who are looking for an opportunity to cross-sell, given their sizable customer base. This would mean bundling insurance products along with their product or service.

For example, Surjendu says, Zopper is engaged with a bank where over 60 percent of its customers come under the senior citizen category. Hence, it created a combo insurance product related to health, covering diseases like cancer and COVID-19.

At the same time, it has also worked with a neobank whose customers predominantly fall in the Gen Z category. It came out with an insurance product which was for screen protection of their smartphones.

Surjendu says, “The traditional boundaries of insurance products are getting erased and we need to come out with new and innovative policies.”

At the intersection

Zopper, which has received the broking licence, comes at the intersection between the insurance product companies and other ecosystem players. It has the domain expertise of the insurance industry and the technology expertise to enable the creation as well as distribution of these embedded products.

According to the co-founder, Zopper’s turnaround time for coming out with an embedded insurance product could be as low as 24 hours, which normally takes about a month.

“We enable companies to generate higher revenue through cross-selling and customers get the insurance coverage,” says Surjendu.

Today, Zopper has tied-up with the majority of the insurance companies, cutting across life and non-life segments. Its customer portfolio includes companies in sectors such as ecommerce, financial services, retail chains, consumer products, and others.

Business

Zopper introduced its platform in 2019 and Surjendu claims it has been recording an annual growth rate of over 300 percent, distributing over three lakh policies every month. It generates revenue by getting a commission on every policy sold.

In February this year, the insurtech startup announced that it had registered an annualised insurance premium sold through its platform of $100 million and it is engaged with customers like Amazon, Ola, Cars24, Xiaomi, Croma, Titan Eye Plus, StoreKing, IIFL, Chaitanya, etc., with presence in over 1,200 cities.

“We have the necessary fire power and vision to touch $1 billion of annualised insurance premium within the next five years,” says Surjendu.

Zopper has raised $25 million till now from investors such as Tiger Global and Blume Ventures.

According to a report by ResearchandMarkets.com, the embedded finance segment is expected to reach $4.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $21 billion by 2029.

Future plans

As part of its future plans, Zopper plans to foray in the overseas markets, and has already established its presence in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Surjendu says the problem statement remains the same even in the foreign countries, which makes it easier to get into these markets. It is doing some pilot projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

The embedded insurance segment has the presence of other players like Symbo and Riskcovry, who offer similar services, but Surjendu believes the industry will expand with the addition of newer companies.

He says, “There is immense interest in this space and we have got the right set of people in terms of technology to become the largest player in the region.”

Zopper is also looking at an initial public offering (IPO) within the next five years.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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