Neos has just launched the UK's first smart home insurance product - we spoke to CEO Matt Poll to find out why

Neos announced the release of its new smart home insurance product yesterday – a UK first. We caught up with CEO Matt Poll to find out more about what Neos is doing and why.

Can you explain what your product is to those who might looking to renew their home insurance?

Neos is an insurance policy that helps people protect their home through the use of smart technology as well as including the traditional elements of insurance. It puts the customer in control through the use of the clever Neos App.

Matt Poll, Neos CEO

Matt Poll, Neos CEO

Will you offer this to people who already have a smart tech setup?

We have carefully selected the best tech devices for the job in hand and integrated them with our App and so Neos comes as a package at this stage

Will customers who buy insurance now be locked into your current tech offering, or can they upgrade as technology improves?

We will be staying on top of the rapid changes in technology and plan to upgrade our offering as the market evolves. Not only that we will look to upgrade existing customers as well!

Data security, utilisation and ownership has been cited as a challenge for the smart home and associated services. What’s your take and how does Neos address it?

This is challenge we thought long and hard about before we launched. Neos strongly believes that customers own their own data and we will only use it with their permission. Our plan is to use it to improve our product and service for customers benefit.

We are really confident in our system’s data security as we use bank grade encryption technology. No-one but the customers will be able to access the information from their homes. Even Neos employees will never be able to see the data that identifies customers personally without their prior consent.

You’ve been quoted as saying insurance has a poor image with customers – how do you think new technologies will address this?

Unfortunately, customers do not always see value in insurance unless they have to make a claim as the traditional products are pretty intangible until that point.

I think new technologies will help to add customer value above and beyond the point of a claim including making insurance quicker and easier for customers to purchase. Hopefully it can also help customers understand what cover they really do and don’t need. If data is used wisely and for customer benefit is should really allow companies to develop much more customer centric and personalized solutions.

Hopefully it can also help customers understand what cover they really do and don’t need

There’s been criticism that insurers are being slow to recognise the challenges and opportunities being presented by the new connected technologies. What’s your view?

I think that is true to a point but I do know that there are a lot of insurers looking at new connected technology and investing heavily. Motor telematics created the first wave but so far that is still very much a young driver solution as the only real perceived customer benefit is price reduction.

The challenge the large insurers face is that their working culture is not really geared towards agile development and innovation. They are by their very nature also quite risk adverse. I think that the real changes will be led by start ups initially as they can move much faster, have no legacy systems and don’t have the layers of bureaucracy that large corporates tend to have.

How do you think insurance in general is likely to change over the next few years? What do you think consumers will be able to do, that they currently cannot, at the end of the process?

I think it will change significantly. Fintech has been more focused on the banking and payment markets until recently, but now you are seeing a wave of start ups and investment targeting insurance as people have woken up to the fact that it is is multi trillion dollar industry.

Also, the more forward thinking insurers are trying to disrupt themselves, recognizing it is better to do that than have someone else do it to you! I think and really hope all this will mean customers value and trust insurance much more. For me this is important, as fundamentally at its core, insurance is a great concept and has done a lot of good for individuals, communities and businesses.

When will your product be going live in all its glory?

We plan to launch in beta in June and we already have had a huge amount of interest from customers wanting to involved in this which has been hugely encouraging. We will use customer feedback to improve our solution and then the big launch is planned for early Q4 this year which is exciting.

Neos’s pilot programme is underway – check this link to find out more and sign up using the exclusive promo code QJUMP500 or just hit the button below for priority access.

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