Neos is the first to launch a smart homes insurance policy in the UK. But what is it and how does it work? We found out.

If the thought of home insurance fills you with a certain lack of enthusiasm, then there’s probably a good reason for it. Buying home insurance is often like going to the dentist – nobody really wants to engage with the whole mildly painful business, it’s just that the alternative is worse.

And when it comes to doing the policy-buying deed, it’s usually a matter of hacking through various comparison websites, finding the cheapest option, then hoping they’ll pay out should the children ever burn the house down.

None of this is much fun which is why many within the insurance industry think it’s all ripe for overturning, with the homeowner being the major winner – whether that means getting a better package for your current price, or lower costs.

New technology is making it easier for new providers to enter the business with offerings based around the smart home, and we’ve seen the beginnings of this in the US and Europe with policies that enable smart homeowners to get discounts or receive additional services with their insurance.

Neos, a UK insurance startup, is the first UK company to bring something like this to market here. Launching towards the end of this year, but in beta now, Neos is offering a ‘household protection’ package which combines smart home tech, home and contents insurance and a 24/7 home monitoring service, all managed through a single app.

The aim is to package four elements for securing a home against fire damage, water damage and burglary:

  • Self-installable smart tech for the home, including two smoke alarms, one security camera/motion sensor, three leak detectors and two door/window sensors
  • 24/7 monitoring provided by a dedicated team, who will alert you to any problems at your home and call the emergency services
  • Home assistance, so Neos will call the appropriate tradespeople if something needs fixing
  • Home and contents insurance, so should the worst still happen despite all the above, you are still covered.

Neos says that because smart tech will reduce the number of claims, the cost of providing the insurance element is lower, which is why it can price the whole package so it’s in line with more typical home insurance policies. Chief Technology Officer Krystian Zajac says, “We’ve had the technology to prevent fires, floods and thefts with smart home technology for a long time – but historically, it’s been prohibitively expensive. We can now deliver functionality that previously would have cost tens thousands of pounds for a mere fraction of that sum.”

Neos believes it is just at the start of what will be a major disruption to the insurance industry as a whole which will also see all sorts of changes around how data is used to match policies to individuals and households.

With data integrity an increasingly live issue around the smart home, Neos is keen to stress its use of data is more about developing policies where customers might benefit if say, they didn’t leave taps running. So the company is keen to stress that customers own their data and that it wouldn’t be used against a customer when paying a claim.

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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