NEOS Life Opens Its Doors

New kid on the block, NEOS Life, has opened its doors to the Australian retail life insurance sector.

NEOS Life Founding MD, Brett Yardley

Positioning itself as a life insurance business offering a new and distinctive alternative, especially for the independent adviser market, NEOS Life’s agenda is to offer what it refers to as ‘…a comprehensive suite of retail life insurance products through financial advisers.’

The new business is backed by NobleOak Life as the issuing insurer and by Pacific Life Re as its reinsurer and for its new-age ‘UnderwriteMe’ underwriting package.

NEOS Life MD, Brett Yardley, said his business has been built to address what he considered to be poor service, outdated technology and protracted application and implementation processes:

…we want to set a new standard in life insurance

“We believe that life simply doesn’t have to be so hard and are passionate about finding better ways to help customers and advisers,” said Yardley, adding, “Our vision is simple – we want to set a new standard in life insurance.”

Yardley noted that the opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper has meant that NEOS Life hasn’t been constrained by outdated technology or legacy processes. He said NEOS Life has “…reinvented, rather than replicated – by going back to basics and fundamentally challenging every aspect of the traditional life insurance business model.”

Implying a more targeted approach to the Australian consumer market, Yardley noted, “Instead of trying to be ‘all things to all people’, which inevitably leads to mediocre service and high prices, we’ve built a focused life insurance business that provides value-for-money protection for regular people, with everyday needs.”

…we’ve built a focused life insurance business that provides value-for-money protection for regular people, with everyday needs

He said NEOS Life aimed to provide advisers and customers with the most responsive and efficient service in the market and via the new UnderwriteMe technology solution, was targeting being able to make 80% of underwriting decisions in three working days.

In what constitutes a soft or pilot launch, the statement announcing the launch into the Australian market noted products will initially be distributed through a limited group of adviser partners whose selection was based on their desire to improve the service and efficiency of their businesses and their customer interactions.

“The low levels of adviser and customer satisfaction means there is a place for a new entrant to re-energise the market with a radically improved offer,” Yardley concluded.

  • Advice Guy

    About time! Let this be a wake up call to all the large institutions that have screwed us advisers for too long. I for one welcome a new entrant focused on creating a better experience for me and my clients.

    • Squeaky_1

      I agree AG but need more detail than “New and reinvented” before I sell my soul to a ‘trusted’ life company ever again. Every life company and it’s dog these days is supposedly “passionately committed” to advisers and the “adviser distribution channel” so for this to be different they will indeed need to impress some old and crusty and burned advisers. Need detail – this article gives none. Am willing to be impressed and amazed but have been let down FAR to often by similar sounding life office marketing and ‘promises’ before – the execs leave the company and it all reverts to ‘less than best’. Too many times, as the Mentals sang in the 80’s. Still, willing to listen and consider based on facts, when they come . . .

      • Insider

        Hmmmmm… you need to understand, every life company and it’s dog doesn’t need you to ‘sell’ their product. Do some research and understand the future of AI, then you’ll
        Understand what NEOS is doing, is positive.

        • Squeaky_1

          Thanks for the inside take, insider! I never said what NEOS is doing is not positive. I simply stated that I want more detail before deciding they were “different”. I hope they are indeed a ‘new generation’ of life company execs wanting to change things for the better – God know we need them. I don’t think you’d be naive enough to say life companies have not let advisers down, enmasse recently and through history. They did NOT champion out plight against an arguably illegal (by corporations law) 2 year responsibility period OR the insulting commission reductions. I won’t hear a word that says anything other and don’t belittle yourself trying. Life companies should be abjectly ashamed of their abandonment of advisers in this regard. If NEOS can change any of this I am listening.

  • That guy John

    Not a lot of substance here – what exactly is new and reinvented?

  • Advice

    Not a lot that is different.

  • Ken

    Agree John
    Does not really say much ! who are the select advisers and how are they to be paid ?? fee structure or commission
    Look forward to more info before I start applauding

  • Matt

    I have met with them, recommend you do the same. As a fellow adviser, I found plenty of substance, looks like an exciting offer & amazing service standards. I now have choice to best serve my clients & support an Australian company.

  • Alleycat

    All of you be forewarned !
    Some of you don’t know what product differentiation means !
    Wrapping the same inferior product offering in a different wrapper doesn’t make this any different to anyone else.
    Life companies have been making promises starting with the first claim ever paid.
    But how many of you have seen that even the basic promise to pay a genuine claim has been met with denial, followed by the intervention of ACA, 60 minutes, a good lawyer or dare I say it,… even the ABC.
    There have not been too many life companies that have managed to differentiate themselves from one another.
    I could name them on 3 fingers but none of those companies exist nor do their unique quality products.

    The starting point would be to find one product that would capture a client’s attention and cater for their needs that can’t be bought from any other life company.
    Forget technology, everyone’s into that, you need a human face at a life company that an adviser can interact with, for the benefit of all.

  • Stuart

    Alleycat – I notice you continually put your negative 2 cents in on various forums. You hide behind your secret identity, then stir the pot and not have the strength to put your real name to back your views. One day I would love to see you actually positively support news and applaud improved options for clients. Your dull views make me question your experience & your lack of desire to support improvements in the industry. Are you living in the dark ages or have you simply over stayed your time in the industry.
    Sounds like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.
    I am also an independent adviser trying to grow a practice & I applaud what appears to be a fresh adviser focused offering I can consider for best interests of my clients. I also encourage you Alleycat to have an open mind & positively support a 100% IFA focused business, I will be giving them a chance to unveil their offering. I welcome faster & easier experience to complete business, will improve my bottom line and cashflow.
    Maybe your comments should have a ‘Forewarning’ disclaimer, you come across short sighted Alleycat. Am sure you would not appreciate being negatively judged as an adviser before you had opportunity to present how you can make a difference to their lives or showcase your service & points of difference.
    My experience with various insurers are they do everything they can do to pay legit claims. As a community we need to talk about the great scenarios that are achieved, share that with clients. Suggest build better relationships with your insurance brands & understand insurer and us advisers are in this journey together, only when we work together with no fence dividing us with a win/win/win industry/client objective, will ensure a brighter future for us all, including clients.

    • Squeaky_1

      Stuart, how do we know you are . . . Stuart? You see, everybody who doesn’t put their full name here, and stands by it, is anonymous in the final analysis. Very few choose to be identified, including myself for the time being. Why? Because certain entities will be punitive when you speak against them. Being anonymous on these forums is good for a real freedom of speech without a corporate retaliation. If you want to be seen to NOT be anonymous, Stuart, then the only way, if not well known in the industry yet, is to put your full name AND company name AND, for true effect, a mobile number! THEN we will know you don’t want to be one of us – anonymous.
      .
      Don’t be too hard on Alleycat – I share many of his views. It is difficult for older advisers not to be negative with our industry at times. There has been SUCH a betrayal by our supposed number 1 partners: the life companies. The 2 years responsibility and commissions reduction is way over the line and many advisers cannot get past this as a major slap in the face from the entities who should be championing our cause! The life companies have MUCH for which to answer. I am hopeful NEOS can restore some faith as so much has evaporated thanks to the ‘traditional’ versions of the companies dropping the ball so profoundly so many times.

  • Alleycat

    Dear Squeaky
    Thanks for the post but I don’t need to be defended.
    For yours and Stuart’s benefit, before these forums and others went online, they used to be in print versions. They were selective in printing comments made by advisers, but I was often printed anyway and that resulted in 99.0% of respondents to my comments agreeing with them.
    I made the mistake of using my real name and I would get telephone calls and emails from people from all over Australia including some industry leaders that I had never met,… agreeing with me.
    I put a stop to that by using a pseudonym

    @ Stewart

    Just to educate you just a little since you seem both naive & gullible and appear to have worked about 5 minutes in this business.
    Those previous comments come from a position of experience !

    My background is extensive in the Life insurance industry having been a former Agency Manager (NSW) for a major insurer where I had 45 agents under me and 3 BDMs answerable to me.

    I used to make life insurance sales for some of my agents.

    You won’t find one BDM capable of doing that today otherwise they’d be out there running their own business.
    I used to go to other company product launches (as a spy) to see where my company had a competitive advantage over our competitors. You won’t find one BDM who does that.

    I lectured on IP through the old Life Underwriters Association (LUA).
    I’m a graduate of LIMRA( Connecticut). That stands for the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association.

    I also hold a CFP designation and went back to University in my 50’s to study Tax Law.
    I had 3 senior Life Underwriters from different companies who knew my life insurance and investment knowledge was such that I earned their trust.
    Unfortunately 2 have since gone to a better place.

    I also know the details of every policy product being offered by the current crop of insurance companies.

    Since you’re so clever … Do You ?
    I can tell you that Company “A” is one that I wouldn’t trust to pay a claim if it was the last company on earth.

    There’s another one that was connected to which bank ?… that is on the public record for refusing to pay legitimate claims.

    This is not a negative view, but a dose of reality which you seem to need.
    Maybe when you’ve been around a bit longer… you might learn a whole lot more than you do now on how life companies operate and which ones actually understand,… that they are in the Risk business !!!

    I

  • JM

    What strikes me is that new players like NEOS are coming into the market with the excitement of better / smarter service “we have no legacy” etc. etc.

    But if you take a helicopter view about what’s going wrong with the industry – it’s really nothing to do with faster underwriting, quicker claims process, sexy AI or the like. Unless the fundamental problems are addressed, it’s all just more of the same same.

    Will NEOS new sexy technology resolve any of the issues that have lead us into a royal commission, a PJC, a productivity commission, a forced life code of practice etc?

    For example – will NEOS sell the same products that are driven by the rating house / best interest process? This has been nothing short of a disaster! The products are so bloated with unnecessary product features that are increasingly costly, that incentivise people not to return to work, and have been losing the life companies more and more money. [If you want to understand the driver of lots of the life companies behaviours – take a good look at the lack of profits that they’ve given shareholders over the last decade].

  • James White

    A sleek user experience on top of an industry that has some fundamental structural problems. I was in Europe recently and met a company that’s building very clever solutions based on some mind warping AI and blockchain technology. You can scoff, but there’s a growing number of startups in this space. They are working on ways to distribute risk that defy the current way of thinking. 5-10 years from now the life insurance landscape will be unrecognisable.