Preventing bad things from happening in the first place: the insurance of the future?


Preventing bad things from happening in the first place: the insurance of the future?

Matt Poll, chief executive and founder of Neos

Insurtech firm Neos is focused on prevention first, payouts second. Matt Poll, chief executive and founder of Neos and one of the speakers at Intelligent InsurTech Europe, which will take place in October in London, chats to Intelligent Insurer about the company’s successes so far and current goals.

Tell us more about Neos and its USPs.

Neos is the UK’s first smart home insurance. Unlike traditional home insurance, Neos includes smart technology as part of our cover to help prevent bad things from happening in our customers’ homes in the first place. Should the unexpected happen, our customers are still fully covered with comprehensive home insurance—but our focus is prevention first, payouts second.

“Insurtech will also make significant gains towards improving customer engagement and retention, and creating new pricing models, as well as potentially improving claims and policy management processes.”Every Neos policy comes with a HD smart security camera as standard; a device which has benefits in everyday life as well as emergencies. It provides a real-time view into the home and features motion detection along with night vision. Given that homeowners worry more about intruders and leaving their home unoccupied than any other threat, this device gives them comfort that everything is OK. It can be equally useful for checking in on pets and children.

From a claims perspective, there’s no denying that escape of water is major issue. That’s why Neos also offers water leak sensors, with additional smart sensors for smoke and door/window sensors.

The smart security camera and smarts sensors connect to the Neos app, which lets customers monitor their homes from anywhere, detect problems and get our help to fix them via our home emergency network—all from their smartphones.

Because Neos is controlled via a single app, we’ve also found most customers talk with our agents in-app to resolve everything from security threats to changes to their policy. It makes life much easier for the customer to have everything in one place.

Ultimately the unique selling point of Neos is that it has the potential to change people’s perception of home insurance from something that sits in a drawer or inbox waiting for the worst to happen, to something they interact with daily and actively works to keep their home safe—preventing rather than just paying out.

Where are you in your business plan—what are your aims for the next 12 months?

It’s early days for Neos: we’ve had a strong 2018 so far, following our successful Series A funding in 2017. Our plan moving forward is to build a B2C smart home insurance and operate in the B2B space also. In respect of B2C growth we are well ahead of our original sales target, achieving an average of 40 percent month on month growth in 2018. We’ve also received great customer reviews and positive press coverage from industry publications as well as consumer names such as Techcrunch and Which?, which is brilliant place to be in.

In B2B we’ve launched a connected home solution with Aviva in the UK and signed our first European partner, due to launch later this year. There is a lot of interest in what we are doing and services we can provide, in Europe and in the US.

I see the two sides of the business as complementary: the B2C business allows us to stay close to our customers, understand what they value most about the preventive smart technology and learn how we can improve our service offering. We use the learnings from our B2C business to help develop our B2B proposition. It gives us and our partners confidence that we are investing in the right things that will deliver real value to customers.

Over the next 12 months we will develop our smart home insurance proposition further, for example introducing Leakbot into our range, and continue our growth trajectory in the B2C business. In B2B, we will be working with carefully selected partners in Europe and the US. We want to solidify our position as the first and leading smart home insurance brand in the UK and in turn help the UK insurtech sector to thrive and change the industry for the better.

How do you measure your success?

Given that we’re a prevention-led insurtech, success for us is ultimately measured in terms of detected and prevented incidents—the amount of times we can say we actively protected one of our customers from experiencing damage to their home, losing things they love and having to make a claim.

We want to give customers more comfort and control over what is happening at home, so we have range of measures to help us understand how we are doing. Ultimately, the impact on overall claims metrics will take some time to mature, but other measures are more immediate, eg, the percentage of connected, healthy systems we have in homes, the number of issues accurately detected and the frequency with which our customers engage with the app.

The most important measure for me is the feedback we get from customers. We use tools such as Trustpilot, regular surveys and our beta tester community to gather feedback on how they feel about Neos and the service we provide. We’ve had some great stories from customers about how Neos has helped—that’s success for us.

To what extent do you believe that insurtech will revolutionise the insurance space in the next five years?

Few deny that insurance has been ripe for disruption for a number of years now, with growing distrust and apathy among consumers towards the industry. Insurtechs are only beginning to make inroads but over the next five years I think they’ll effect some really positive change industry-wide.

According to McKinsey, currently 75 percent of insurtechs globally have focused their efforts on revolutionising distribution, so it stands to reason that there’ll be a lot of new, exciting developments made in this space.

Through my work with Neos I think insurtech will also make significant gains towards improving customer engagement and retention, and creating new pricing models, as well as potentially improving claims and policy management processes.

Products like Neos have the potential to make communication with the customer less one-sided, while also more effectively meeting the needs of that customer through intelligent use of data.

What do you hope to gain from attending Intelligent InsurTech Europe?

I think Intelligent InsurTech Europe will facilitate some really interesting conversations and debates about which innovations hold the most potential to help transform the insurance industry and how to unlock them.

AI, IoT and blockchain are three key transformative technologies but all are still in the early stages of adoption within the insurance industry. As the CEO of an IoT startup, I hope to gain further insight into the questions and concerns incumbents have around IoT and, specifically, smart home technology.

If you have an interest in Insurtech, join us at Intelligent InsurTECH Europe 2018, the only insurtech event with dedicated streams for CXOs, Data/Analytics, and Claims. Find out more here.

Insurtech, Insurtech Europe, London, UK, Neos, Matt Poll, Home insurance, Technology

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