Former-Zurich CEO talks about simplifying insurance

Co-founder and CEO of Evari explains the foundations of the company and how it is trying to help small business insurance

Former-Zurich CEO talks about simplifying insurance

Insurance News

By Alexi Demetriadi

“We started with small business insurance,” Daniel Fogarty, co-founder and CEO of Evari, told Insurance Business. “I came very much from an insurance perspective, and we saw a number of claim cases where small businesses didn’t have the right insurance.” Fogarty and Evari, along with co-founders Robert Jeffrey and Brack Norris, sought to try and change that.

Evari offers flexible online insurance options to small businesses across Australia, giving owners the ability to make changes to their policy whenever they need to, all at the click of a button on their online platform. On top of that, its Saas platform means that insurers are able to launch and manage insurance products that are easy to buy, easy to manage and flexible to changing needs.

Fogarty talked to Insurance Business after giving a talk at ANZIIF’s Insurtech conference in Sydney, an organisation for which he is board member, and spoke about Evari’s beginnings and what it is doing next.

“After finishing up at Zurich, I wanted to do something like this and move into this space,” said Fogarty, former CEO of Zurich Australia’s general insurance division.  Fogarty studied for a master’s in business management at Standford and returned to Silicone Valley to meet old classmates and understand the pathway to setting a business like this up. En route, it turned out he was on the same Qantas flight as his now co-founder, Jeffrey, and soon after the two set the chain in motion to establish Evari.

“I brought the insurance expertise, but I’m not a programmer – I didn’t initially know to do the technology,” explained Fogarty. “Brack and Rob came from different perspectives – banking and technology and then small business.” Put together, it made for the perfect blend of expertise to give Evari a foothold.

The firm’s first project was to try and improve insurance for the small business space.

“That has been a general challenge for the industry – how do we help solve that,” said Fogarty. “There’s so much data out there about business, why don’t we use that to help small businesses make sure they have the right insurance?”

Evari set out to make it easier for small businesses to do just that. By introducing a platform that made insurance easy to manage, the firm allowed for a flexible way of controlling insurance. Fogarty said that it was born out of the idea to simplify the product in the same way most things are nowadays. “We thought, ‘we can control everything else with great flexibility, why not insurance?’,” he explained.

The firm sought to do this by creating technology that allows for maximum flexibility.

“Insurance is one of the few things that you don’t know how much it will actually cost when you sell it,” explained Fogarty. This means that flexibility, ability to respond to unforeseen events, is hugely significant. “Our SaaS platform allows underwriters to change things very quickly, of course in a controlled way, but easily and rapidly,” he said.

Evari’s attempt to modernise small business insurance into a flexible, adaptable 21st century product is the aim of the firm.

“Customer expectations have changed,” said Fogarty. “They want flexibility and we try to offer that.”

Since this article was written, Evari sold their direct to small business online insurance business to Envest in mid-2021.

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