At times it can feel like the smart home sector is becoming increasingly uniform: a plethora of identikit businesses that pitch their products in an identical fashion to the same group of early adopters. Set against this backdrop, Neos Insurance stands out as a company determined to do things a little bit differently.

As the first UK-based company to combine smart technology with a comprehensive insurance package, Neos has set out its stall to provide a complete home protection service that actively works to prevent your property from danger, while also providing a financial safety net in case the worst should happen.

The rationale behind its proposition is relatively simple: while most home insurers pay out when something goes wrong, they don’t actually protect your property from harm in any way. Dangers such as fire, floods and theft that could be prevented by smart home technology are not only potentially catastrophic for the homeowner, but also result in hefty costs for insurers. It goes without saying that a service that can mitigate these threats would benefit both parties immeasurably.

Smart home protection with added value

Neos believes that quality home monitoring technology can be combined with insurance into an all-in-one service without the cost being onerous for customers. Alongside its insurance policy, the company supplies motion and leak detectors, smoke alarms and window contacts, as well as other smart devices. These units monitor key locations in the house and alert the user via the Neos app if something untoward occurs.

The above is combined with a 24/7 home monitoring service that makes sure the customer is aware of problems as they occur and can supply tradespeople to fix issues before they become critical. Like a traditional insurance policy, in the event of unpreventable damage it will pay out; Neos has gone on record saying that it won’t use the data it collects against the customer to refuse to payment of claims.

All bases covered

Security – and in particular data privacy – is a critical flaw in many smart home systems. Neos has addressed this head-on, with ‘bank-grade’ encryption that uses Transport Layer Security digital certification and one of the most secure cipher suites available to ensure a highly secure means of data transfer. All data processing takes place on its own Virtual Private Cloud network behind a secure firewall, while the data centres it uses meet the strictest requirements set out by security and compliance laws world-wide.

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Neos backs up its technological prowess with a credible grounding in the insurance world: it is already one of the few businesses selected by the FCA to be part of its Innovation Hub, while its policies are to be underwritten by an established player in the insurance sector. The company’s board counts entrepreneurs and experienced business leaders drawn from both the insurance and technology worlds, with Matt Poll (formerly commercial director at More Than) and Michael Postle (previously a director at RSA Insurance) taking leadership roles alongside Krystian Zajac (MD at Andrew Lucas London).

“At the root of insurance is the desire to protect that which our clients hold dear; smart monitoring and home assistance means that we can play a much more active role in achieving this. The combined expertise of our carefully-assembled team means that we have both the technical capabilities and the insurance nous needed to create a comprehensive package that offers customers something completely unique, at a price they can afford.”

– Daniel Knight, chief product officer at Neos Insurance

Heading in one direction only

Some early adopters of smart home technology might rankle at being forced down a particular product path, as Neos requires that customers use its specified smart technology. This means that those who already use other smart home products in their home will not be able to exclusively use their existing technology and still benefit from the insurance and home assistance elements of Neos’ offering. However, for homeowners that haven’t yet taken the plunge to invest in a connected home, this may well prove an attractive means for discovering the benefits of such technology without having to make the additional investment this would usually require.

The company has not yet specified a date when it will become fully commercially available, although it has indicated that this will likely be sometime during mid-2016.