Small businesses power our global economy. However, because of their size, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) don’t typically have the advantages of scale, choice and access that larger corporations do when it comes to key business decisions — such as risk management.

The commercial risk market for SMEs is a fast-growing and dynamic one. In the U.S. alone, there are 30 million small businesses that are estimated to spend more than $100 billion in premium annually.

Last year, Aon acquired CoverWallet, the leading digital insurance platform for SMEs, to broaden and enhance the range of risk solutions available to smaller businesses. With CoverWallet’s platform, businesses are able to easily understand, buy, and manage insurance. All through a digital solution, and in minutes. Small businesses are also able to decide how they go through the journey, from an end-to-end digital experience to fully supported flows with a personal advisor.

We sat down with Diego de Haro, Chief Customer Officer at CoverWallet, an Aon company, to learn
how the company’s technology, operating model, user experience design, and data and analytics are building and delivering enhanced digital client solutions.

Q: What is the role of technology in helping small companies manage risk?

Small businesses continue to represent a huge percentage of the overall enterprises of any country or region. All of these small businesses need to do something about their insurance needs and today, more than 90% of small businesses go through traditional channels.

The issue with the traditional channels is that they haven’t been optimized for small businesses. The experience is extremely time consuming—we’re talking about weeks of back and forth—very paper based, and very obsolete and non-transparent. There’s a clear opportunity to digitize the offering for the small business segment.

The way we believe we add value to clients is we give the same services, talent and advice that a broker or a traditional journey would give you, but we complement a lot of that with digital solutions that make that experience for the client faster, more convenient and more transparent. We also deliver better value through optionality, coverage, and the ultimate insurance product that you purchase, which has been optimized for your type of company.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted small businesses and their risk management?

The pandemic has accelerated exponentially the need of these clients to get services in a remote way. And that’s being embraced much faster than we ever anticipated.

The pandemic has brought many devastating things for the world, but there’s one thing that people have adapted very well to, which is engaging with products and services that are delivered in new and alternative ways. Insurance has been part of that.

Q: How does the collaboration with 7-Eleven show what the firm can do for small businesses?

Aon has worked with the convenience store chain 7-Eleven for more than 25 years, providing franchisees with best-in-class insurance coverage. Now CoverWallet is transforming the value we bring by delivering end-to-end digital insurance capabilities to thousands of 7-Eleven franchisees.

One of the things franchise corporations are investing a lot of time and thought into is how to deliver Insurance services to franchisees. There are two key reasons for this. One is to bring value to the underlying franchisee portfolio and demonstrate the value the brand is able to bring in their partnership, enabling them to get access to exclusive or best-in-class products. And two, these programs ensure that franchisees have best-in-class coverage and are compliant when it comes to coverage requirements, making it simpler from a corporate risk management point of view.

Ultimately, we’re helping these larger clients deliver solutions to their underlying portfolio of smaller clients by driving innovation within the insurance space.

Q: How has the innovation in small business impacted the world of larger business?

Smaller businesses have always been more nimble and innovative when it comes to adopting new solutions. There is a clear need for new insurance solutions in the small business segment, and that is being embraced by larger players, both inside and outside of the industry.

Aon has recognized these needs for smaller clients, and as a leading provider of risk, retirement and health solutions for clients globally, is focused on bringing new digital solutions into the space. That concept gets very exciting when you think about the reach and expertise that Aon has around the world.

When it comes to the type of innovation being delivered into this segment, there’s a core focus on the product space: defining what the insurance product is that small businesses need and will consume. There is also a significant amount of innovation in the distribution angle, investing in enabling end-to-end digital customer journeys for this type of products.

So, when you combine larger businesses willing to invest in the space and core innovative risk solutions being developed, the space can be transformed quickly, which becomes really exciting. That is the mission that we have at CoverWallet – bring a delightful experience and suite of products for small businesses with risk and health needs globally.

Thanks to Diego de Haro and CoverWallet for sharing their story. CoverWallet, an Aon company, was acquired by Aon in early 2020 and further advances Aon’s data and analytics capabilities to develop and scale digital client solutions.

Diego de Haro
Chief Customer Officer at CoverWallet, an Aon company