A Chat with Craig Foster, CEO at InsurTech Company: Ondo

Ondo Insurtech is the UK’s first insurtech to list on the public market. We are a growing insurtech working with home insurance companies around the world to deliver sustainable risk reduction. Initially our focus will be on the global scale up of LeakBot the smart water leak alarm, which spots hidden leaks before they become bigger problems. LeakBot aims to help protect homes from the impact of water damage – the biggest driver of home insurance claims.

LeakBot uses its patented Thermi-Q technology to detect water leaks in the home, without the need for professional installation. It connects to the home’s wireless network and, if it detects a leak, notifies the customer via the LeakBot mobile app and provides access to a team of expert LeakBot engineers to ‘find and fix’ the problem.

LeakBot is an example of a smart home telematics device that enables proactive monitoring allowing insurers to pre-empt problems that drive higher-value claims. The device is capable of spotting hidden leaks that may otherwise snowball and cause significant damage and costs if left undetected.

This means that potential costs and prospective risk can both be significantly mitigated. This is useful for home insurers, with escape of water consistently found to be one of the costliest and most pervasive threats in domestic properties worldwide – water damage costs insurers $17 billion in damage to properties every year with the debris from 1.6m water damage claims ending up in landfill.
 
 
Ondo - Sustainable Risk Reduction
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
The initial idea was born when the team were looking at how the internet of things could revolutionise the insurance industry and reduce the risk of some of its biggest claims. We wanted to know if there were devices that could proactively monitor the heat, power and water supply in our homes and if they could provide early warnings on potential issues in addition to valuable data and insights on risk levels.

One of the projects that was started focused on detecting water leaks in the home. We quickly realised that the products already on the market were either too expensive or didn’t detect leaks very well so we tried to invent our own solution. We then quickly learnt that escape of water was a huge problem for the home insurance industry and they needed a better solution to solve this problem. This is when LeakBot was born.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Although the pandemic has been extremely difficult for nearly all industries, we have had a real breakthrough year against the odds. We have seen our established partners grow the percentage of customers that have the LeakBot product and service and we have managed to launch new partnerships with Direct Line Group in the UK and Sagesure in the US. As a result, we have seen strong growth during this time.

This period of success has come to a head with our intention to float on the public market and the establishment of Ondo Insurtech. Our aim with this company is to grow the business by working with home insurance companies around the world to deploy this technology to deliver sustainable risk reduction.
 

What can we hope to see from Ondo in the future?

 
Ondo’s mission is to lead the revolution toward sustainable risk reduction firstly with the global scale-up of LeakBot.

Working with our insurance partners we are looking to solve the problem of escape of water by helping to prevent water damage claims, reduce the amount of waste caused by water damage and help lower premiums for both insurers and customers.

Smart home telematics solutions like LeakBot can deliver excellent underwriting results for insurers. These products and services drive value by allowing insurers to gain more granular insights into customer policies and their individual risk level. Instead of the traditionally reactive model of responding to incidents after they have happened and pricing risk and premiums based on the average homeowner, telematics-based policies enable home insurers to operate through a much more proactive and personalised model, using individual customer data to deliver more bespoke policies.

They also benefit proactive consumers by encouraging responsibility and positive customer behaviour, empowering the policyholder to take a much greater stake in their own cover. This could deliver savings on premiums in the long run, while also helping insurers to mitigate risk more effectively – useful in particular for diversified insurers looking to offset the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across their books.

Reducing costs, waste and risk is an attractive prospect for insurers and customers alike and sits at the heart of our strategy of sustainable risk reduction.