Keeping your future 'in sure hands'

Keeping your future in sure hands
Hadi Radwan and Rachid Abi Nader, co-founders of Aqeed.

dubai - Aqeed.com aims to make insurance simple, transparent and accessible



By Muhammad Riaz Usman
 MAKING IT WORK

Published: Mon 9 Jul 2018, 6:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 Jul 2018, 8:40 PM

After working in the Middle East insurance market for a significant time, Rachid Abi Nader and Hadi Radwan noticed a common problem across the region - most people did not really understand the technical insurance jargon and the cover they had purchased.

With a vision to make insurance simple, transparent and accessible, they decided to establish Aqeed.com. "We designed our technology solutions to help consumers understand, manage and buy insurance on a friendly and efficient platform," says Abi Nader, CEO and co-founder of Aqeed.

Founded with the shareholders of Barents, an A-rated international reinsurance group, and Equitrust, a company member of Choueiri Group (a media and advertising group), Aqeed aims to change the way customers perceive insurance.

"Aqeed stands for 'sure'. When we decided on the name, we wanted something that resonates with our target market. We wanted to create a persona that is confident and guarantees the right answer to every question posed, a person who is assuring, guiding and helpful. That is how we came up with Aqeed, which reflects reassurance and confidence. We also trademarked our tagline: 'In sure hands', which also aligns with our vision. At the end of the day, when customers give you their money for a future benefit, it all boils down to trust and that is what we are building at Aqeed," he continues.

While the rapid and revolutionary advancement in technology has disrupted global economies and industries, the insurance industry is also disrupted thanks to new technologies re-inventing and digitising the business.

"However, insurance in the Middle East is still lagging and perceived as a complex product. The customer journey remains bumpy and related processes are not streamlined despite the increase of customer awareness during the past few years reflected in the growth of penetration rates and density, which was mainly driven by the introduction of compulsory insurance," Abi Nader describes.

"Aqeed.com was built to bridge the gap and to accelerate the digital transformation of the insurance industry in the region and align it with global trends. It will address this common problem through the help of Aqeed's key pillars of simplicity, transparency and accessibility. We are not only addressing the need for transparency in the region, but we are also offering our customers a friendly and simple journey to better understand and leverage the insurance they are buying," he adds.

Aqeed started in early 2017 when its focus was on building the team and the platform.

After getting the full support of founding shareholders and raising $18 million in series A funding, Aqeed launched in the UAE.
"Undoubtedly the largest round for an insurance technology company in the region, the funding will go towards penetrating the UAE and KSA market, hiring the right talent and investing in the latest insurance technology," says Radwan, chief product officer and co-founder of Aqeed.

Patrick Thiriet, chief strategy officer of Choueiri Group, believes Aqeed is introducing smart InsureTech to improve the life of Mena consumers.

"Our capacity to reach out to consumers in the region is certain to be an asset as they gain traction with their unique offering."
Radwan says after the launch of the core platform, Aqeed.com is adding value for money adjuncts, including the development of a mobile application.

"Motor insurance is available immediately and Aqeed will be adding home and travel insurance to the portfolio very soon," he says.
Radwan claims that Aqeed not only directly addresses common problems in the insurance market, but the concept also goes over and beyond insurance aggregators currently in place.

"Unlike many competitors, we're coming from the insurance industry and we believe we understand better than anyone else how the interaction between consumers and insurance providers can be improved. Our technology aims at making this interaction simpler and has been conceived as a platform where customers can easily access and manage all their insurance documents in one place [it will soon include a mobile app that will facilitate the process further].

"We are working with our sister brokerage entity that handles all customer services. We guide our customers not only through the buying process but also help in the post-sale process, i.e. in case of claims," Radwan elaborates.

Abi Nader believes it is simple to stay ahead of rivals: "Bring the best value to customers - whether by working on innovations, delivering the best customer service or by offering the widest and deepest product mix, in addition to building the Aqeed brand."

He says the role of technology is paramount for Aqeed. "Our objective is to invest heavily in bringing the latest InsureTech innovation to the ecosystem, from artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, telematics as well as business process enhancement and automation," concludes the CEO.

- riaz@khaleejtimes.com


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