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Inspiring Canadians: Entrepreneur Danish Yusuf

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Zensurance specializes in serving Canada’s small business community by bringing the commercial insurance-buying process into the 21st century.

The Canadian business insurance industry is often perceived as slow-moving and resistant to change. And for small business owners, entrepreneurs, startups, and self-employed professionals searching for affordable, adequate insurance to protect their financial well-being, it’s a complex and time-consuming process.

Enter Zensurance, a Toronto-based technology company and small business insurance brokerage established in 2016 that’s disrupting and modernizing the commercial insurance landscape by making it easy and user-friendly for small business owners to buy the coverage they need online.

The brainchild of Founder and CEO Danish Yusuf, Zensurance is a first-to-market insurtech (insurance technology) dedicated to serving Canada’s economic backbone: small businesses.

Recognizing the inefficiencies and complexities inherent in Canada’s traditional insurance brokerage model during his time as a former leader in McKinsey & Company’s Digital Insurance practice, Yusuf identified the opportunity to leverage proprietary technology to create a better way for small business owners to get insured. 

Whereas purchasing small business insurance online is common in countries like the U.S. and the U.K., Canada’s insurance industry remains glued to a laborious, paper-based, cookie-cutter approach to serving small businesses and startups. It is an industry ripe for disruption.

“Although Canadians are typically quick at adopting new technologies, and we embraced e-commerce for everyday purchases early on, buying commercial insurance online was not an option widely available for small business owners in 2016. Canada’s insurance industry was lagging behind our American and British counterparts significantly,” Yusuf says. “By bringing a unique value proposition forward and making buying small business insurance as straightforward and quick as purchasing any consumer good online, Zensurance defined itself in two critical ways: an insurtech focused solely on supporting our small business community and bringing the insurance-buying process into the 21st century while providing top-tier customer support.”

A software architect and developer at IBM Canada before his time at McKinsey, Yusuf envisioned digitizing the business insurance application process. By using proprietary technology and analytics to recommend insurance policies for different types of small businesses, he developed a robust, secure platform featuring instant pricing through a partnership network of more than 50 insurance providers for business owners and self-employed professionals to get a free insurance quote and explore and manage their options. 

However, establishing trust and credibility in the small business community was paramount. Small business owners and independent professionals are often risk-averse and accustomed to relying on established institutions for their insurance needs. 

To overcome this skepticism, Yusuf focused on transparency and education. By demystifying insurance jargon, simplifying complex coverage options, and providing clear, concise information, Zensurance empowers small business owners to make informed decisions. Furthermore, he emphasized the time-saving, cost-effective nature of Zensurance’s services, highlighting the ease of use and the ability to receive immediate coverage without requiring extensive paperwork or visiting an office.

He also built up a licensed team of brokers to serve as trusted insurance and risk mitigation advisors to help guide the firm’s clients and customize their policies to suit individual needs.

The results since 2016 are impressive. Named to The Globe and Mail’s annual Report on Business ranking of Top Growing Companies in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and with a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Google Reviews, Zensurance served its 250,000th client in early 2023. Moreover, its fully remote-working employee base has grown to more than 275 people.

For more information, please visit https://www.zensurance.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.