With over 20 years of experience in the insurance space, Angel Conlin, chief insurance officer of Kin, knows the role technology plays in the evolution of insurance. "I’ve seen firsthand that technology is a necessary catalyst for change," Conlin said. Now, as part of Kin’s executive leadership team, Conlin and her colleagues have a chance to pioneer a new and futuristic approach to purchasing insurance, using technology as a catalyst for change.
ValuePenguin had a chance to speak with Conlin to learn more about Kin and how it intends to break new ground in the insurance industry.
Q: In what ways does Kin prioritize the use of technology to simplify the insurance purchasing process for customers?
A: Making the insurance experience better for customers is core to our mission. To simplify the process for our customers, we ingest thousands of data points about a home and evaluate its risk in real time. Instead of relying on one data source or requiring input from the customer — who may or may not know all the intricacies of their home’s construction — we leverage a multitude of data sources to more accurately underwrite and price the risk. That means homeowners don’t have to answer super complex questions about their home, and because of our data and accuracy, we can usually help them save more on their insurance, too. Plus, our online application makes it incredibly easy to customize their coverage and apply discounts.
Q: What differentiates Kin from other traditional homeowners insurance companies?
A: Kin is built on the latest technology, and it is committed to providing a delightful direct-to-consumer experience and serving markets exposed to severe weather. Traditional home insurance companies are often reliant on outdated technology, third-party agent distribution, asking customers for self-reported data and avoiding disaster-exposed areas. Many insurers are not made to handle the type of changes we’re seeing today, including things like the pandemic or climate change that fundamentally recalibrate risk. Kin is the home insurance company for every new normal for that reason: We are designed for the future, we’re agile and we’re prepared to meet future challenges head on while helping our customers do the same.
Our Net Promoter Score of 85, thousands of five-star customer reviews and 92% retention rate are proof that customers prefer the easy, customer-friendly, direct experience we provide.
Q: News broke this week that Kin has decided to go public. How will this move affect the overall growth of Kin as well as expansion into new markets?
A: Between our plans to go public through a merger with Omnichannel Acquisition Corp., a Special Purpose Acquisition Co. led by Matt Higgins, and our agreement to buy an inactive insurer shell company licensed to do business in approximately 43 states, both of which are pending approval and completion, we’re poised to rapidly grow and expand into new markets. We’re excited to bring the future of insurance to homeowners across the country.
Q: What advice would you give to a first-time homeowner in the process of shopping for home insurance?
A: I’d want them to know they should expect a streamlined and positive experience when it comes to shopping for homeowners insurance. There’s no reason for the process to be difficult or terribly time-consuming.
If they are comparing quotes, they should make sure they’re comparing apples to apples because not all insurance policies are the same. One policy might be priced lower because it provides lower coverage or the deductibles (the amount the customer must pay in the event of a loss) are higher.
They should also consider a company’s financial stability ratings and customer reviews. You want to make sure a company is fit to handle widespread claims and is committed to providing a positive experience for its customers. They want to be assured that a company lives up to its promise at the time of claims.
And, whether or not they’re in a coastal area, they should know that flood insurance is not automatically included in homeowners coverage. Flood coverage is a key protection that everyone should consider. Customers often need a separate flood policy to protect their home from floods and storm surge damage — that is, unless you work with a company like Kin that can add flood coverage onto the homeowners policy as an endorsement.
Q: What is one core value instilled in Kin that you take pride in?
A: We take our company name to heart in that we treat our customers like family. We believe in putting our customers first in everything we do: the products we create, the service we provide and how we operate. Our insurance company is actually owned by our members, which means our interests are aligned. For example, our Wellness Check program automatically sends a text to customers whose homes are in a storm’s predicted path. We notify them about the storm and offer resources to help them prepare. We also check in after the storm to make sure they’re safe and to see if they experienced any damage, which helps jump-start claims. We’ve consistently heard from our customers that they’ve never had an insurance company check on them before Kin, and many have had homeowners insurance for years or even decades.
And what’s up next for Kin? Well, Conlin teased ValuePenguin about upcoming state expansion, so we’ll all be keeping an eye out for that.