Sparklab – a focus on the day after tomorrow

        The Sparklab Team
      The Sparklab Team

Innovation is a key focus point for NN Group's strategic agenda. A striking example is Sparklab,  Nationale-Nederlanden Non-life’s proven concept machine and innovation lab in the Netherlands. Those who comprise the team at Sparklab learn by innovating and innovate by learning.  They don’t consider what the world will be like tomorrow; they focus on the day after tomorrow. Because so, NN’s innovative efforts are creating , the insurance company of the future.

Home protection service pilot

At Sparklab, prototypes go live as soon as they can, and investments are minimal. Based on customer feedback, the Sparklab team decides whether or not to continue investing. Business cases aren’t used, as business cases means you assume that you know what the future will be like, based on many parameters that are not necessarily true. Under these philosophies and in keeping with the Lean Start-Up method, Sparklab launched a home protection service. It includes a smart doorbell, advice on burglary prevention, tips & alerts and additional burglary coverage. The prototype will be tested at customers’ homes in the The Hague area.

SmartHome pilot

As well as implementing the above  concept, the team made the homes of a small group of colleagues ‘smart’ by installing sensors. The SmartHome pilot will teach NN Non-life more about real-time monitoring, and whether customers appreciate this type of product - which lets them keep an eye on their house by way of an app. The pilots tie in with the ambition of NN Non-life to make the Netherlands a little safer every day.

In the future, it is expected that the average house will contain around 100 sensors. The sensors are connected to each other, and to the residents. In this way, residents can keep an eye on their houses remotely, and also ‘control’ them. Expectations go even further, to include ‘thinking’ homes: if a pipe starts to leak, the water main could shut off automatically. And that could have a tremendous impact on insurance.

Other initiatives

Sparklab is also working on initiatives relating to the sharing economy and cybercrime. Both are growth markets, with new specific liabilities. In addition, the Dutch car insurance services ‘Fairzekering’ and ‘Voorop’ are also managed by Sparklab. The common denominator for all of these themes is data. Data analysts apply new data technologies to existing portfolios as well as to new propositions. Incorporating all these aspects, Sparklab is the data and knowledge centre for NN.

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