Has COVID-19 triggered the digital and e-commerce turning point

Does embedded insurance deliver reassurance to the Post Covid19 Consumer?


As Coronavirus infection rates rise back up again, travel, events and experience retailers around the world are asking themselves an uncomfortable question – will consumers buy? Consumers are still influenced by Covid related restrictions. New habits have formed due to inaccessibility of goods in Covid, we see increased consumption of delivered food , demand for high speed broadband bandwidth and growth in outdoor leisure events.


Businesses on the other hand have  had to deal with volatility of their inventory, changing consumer demand patterns, making a complete move to online ordering, changing their product mix, restaurants have changed menus to accommodate a better pickup/delivery experience). What we can now say for a fact after dealing with 1.5 years of Covid is this:


  • All consumers, including previous nay-sayers, have become more comfortable shopping online
  • Using eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and others, every business is able to spin up a virtual store in no time
  • Consumers want relevant offers to be made where they shop. 
  • There is consumer resistance to generic ad-tech offers. 
  • Consumers expect higher levels of service, they look for higher certainty and flexibility from the businesses they buy from 


Reality for every person is now changing at a much faster pace. One moment you may be planning to leave for Hawaii for a few weeks, and the next, you are quarantined at home because your kid has a runny nose. 


There’s an old Yiddish saying “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” – Man makes plans and god laughs. 


Business in uncertain times

The current situation begs the question – How can businesses succeed in an environment where everything is possible, but nothing is certain? Many businesses have found the answer  is to give consumers a level of certainty high enough that they reach a conviction that allows them to purchase. Create a sense of security around their ability to  make changes/cancel or return the goods. 


Into this gap comes embedded Insurance. When done right, it allows insurance products to meet consumers when and where it makes the most sense and deliver highly sensible protections which they really want. What makes embedded insurance so exciting is that it changes an insurance model that is centuries old. Transitioning it from a 3rd party (insurer) selling model, to a 1st party (consumer) buying, from a 2nd party (business) that’s providing. If you are thinking to yourself, how does this all relate to changing consumer behavior and help increase consumer conviction – consider this – a family is researching the option to go on a vacation via an online travel agent (OTA). They are interested in a beach resort in the Maldives, they will not book until they have very strong conviction that there’s very little or no risk to their travel plan or their experience. Risk means different things to different people at different times. In normal, non-pandemic times, a family like that might care mostly that the weather is nice, or that the water is free of jellyfish, or that there’s no air quality issues, whereas nowadays they may care more about having medical coverage, getting infection rates and screening procedure updates, or that they simply have the flexibility to cancel if something goes wrong or doesn’t feel right.


Embedding Insurance to create trust


Undoubtedly, the merchant selling the goods is the one who knows the consumers and their purchasing behavior the best in the world. This kind of business oversees the customer journey and can therefore recognize demand, conversions and trending concerns. The challenge they have in these uncertain times is consumers hesitate due to perceived risks. Embedded Insurance can be inserted into the online buyer path to create reassurance around the associated risk. Using AI, a good embedded insurance can allow for additional value-add protections to be customized and tailored to the needs of each consumer. This is a seamless experience as the consumer has already supplied all of their relevant details to the supplier.. In order to complete a positive online experience, bundling, pricing and drafting of the policy needs to be done in near real time. 


With a sea of protection and service providers, insurance companies, technology platform providers, and more, how can a bookings business go about selecting the best solution? In my mind The key elements to finding an insurance partner:


  • They understand the complexities of how businesses sell to their customers, 
  • Is up to date on what consumers expect, 
  • Have a wide portfolio of protections and coverages either in-house or from third-party providers, 
  • Use data to base their decisions on, 
  • Is able to seamlessly integrate with the merchant
  • It can offer insurance streamlined into the core product or service sale.


Including an embedded insurance or service offering in the product offering can further boost customer engagement and overall customer lifetime value. These protection policies can be auto-renewed or set as a subscription service to ensure customers keep coming back. Embedded insurance is the way forward for many online businesses to offer confidence to consumers, so they buy products and services in what are undoubtedly uncertain times.



Meitav Harpaz is the CEO and co-founder of Palo Alto based insurtech startup Pattern that is reinventing personalized insurance. Prior to founding Pattern, Meitav was the founder and CEO of multiple startups in the financial industry, including Eccella Corporation (sold to NGDATA) which provided data engineering solutions and data strategy planning to large corporations in Financial Services. Meitav holds a practical engineering degree in electronics and a BS in Computer Science from IDC Herzliya.


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