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Name: Rashmi Melgiri
Location: New York, New York, U.S.A
Industry: Financial Services
Reason for starting? I started CoverWallet after meeting with a friend who was working on a business deal. During our lunch, he received a call and found that the deal couldn’t go through without his company’s insurance policy and certificate of insurance, however his agent was out of the office for a couple of days. We started to research the issue, and realized that while there’s a variety of resources for agents, there are few aimed at helping business owners online. Given how many small businesses there are, we realized that there is a significant market need for a platform to digitally manage all the day-to-day interactions with insurance (from getting a certificate, to tracking subcontractor details).
Related: Read about another financial services entrepreneur here.
How do you define success? In terms of success, I see CoverWallet becoming the go-to online destination for small business insurance. No more calling down a list of local agents in your neighborhood to see which one will take your business. Business owners will be able to use a single portal to get everything done online.
Biggest success: We realized that in order to significantly improve the way business owners interact with insurance, we would need to provide them a way of purchasing insurance online, which wasn’t an option when we started CoverWallet. To do this, we not only had to create a great user experience, but also partner with carriers in a new way. So one of our biggest wins came when we began reaching out and started to get carriers onboard with our plan to create a new digital experience. We’re striving to make sure every small business has the option of getting quotes in minutes online, and working with insurers has opened that path.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? As with any young business, we have no shortage of challenges. One of the biggest we’ve faced is also one of our greatest opportunities, and that’s the current customer sentiment around insurance. While business owners understand that insurance can be incredibly helpful, as is often necessary, they hate dealing with it more so than many other company “necessities.” So we’ve put a lot of focus on creating a simplified and unique platform that removes key pain-points common to many clients. And we continue to optimize this process, monitoring how people behave on the platform and potential areas for improvement.
Related: Top 5 Challenges Faced by Women in Business… And the Solutions!
Who is your most important role model? I really admire Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. He personally saw the need for online resources to explain complex topics, as he had received questions from family and friends, and took a product-first approach to creating a solution. His focus on providing the most helpful lessons and resources is reflected in the millions of students that regularly use Khan Academy, as he created the ideal product-market fit.
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Edited by The Story Exchange