Cove is within weeks of introducing the first insurance experience in New Zealand to be fully managed by a chatbot.

Cove Insurance is a local insurance startup led by Andy and Rob Coon, sons of Sovereign and Partners Life founder Chris Coon.

For six months the Cove team has been studying how to make consumers insurance experience simpler, through focus groups and studying what has worked abroad.

“Most people spoken too admitted they didn’t understand all the insurance lingo, didn’t always know what they were buying, and in general insurers left a bit of a bad taste in their mouth”.

“We took note of how simple the insurance process was in Europe, and how digital insurers in the States are achieving enormous popularity” explained Andy.

So what do chatbots bring to the table?

Chatbots are still a relatively new technology, however their growth in recent months has been substantial. Both Air New Zealand & the responsible drinking campaign Cheers are trialing or have launched chatbots in New Zealand to positive reception.

Chatbots can simplify the process of purchasing traditionally complex products such as life insurance, and make it a smoother process to navigate without reams of paperwork. More importantly, chatbots can seamlessly connect with other technologies, such as facial recognition software, to detect a person’s age and health from a simple selfie.

Internationally chatbots in the insurance industry have enabled claims to be paid in as little as 3 seconds, and policies purchased in just 90 seconds.

“Initially we are looking at offering a life insurance product that will be free from jargon, easy to manage, and simple to understand” explained Head of Product, Rob. “However early feedback from consumer testing on our next range of insurance products is extremely positive, and we look forward to introducing them to New Zealanders early next year”

Life insurance is a product that is typically purchased when buying your first home, having your first child, or changing careers. As traditional insurance companies struggle to connect with this younger digitally-focused market, chatbots offer a way to open the conversation and educate this audience of the role life insurance plays in their lives, and provide a simplistic manner to purchase the policy that best suits the individual.

As the younger and more technologically adept market continues to grow, the insurance industry has a responsibility to transform their image from a complex policy focused sector, to one that is more in tune with providing an exceptional user experience for all New Zealanders.