Nigel Lombard: Our magic sauce is our team.

June 3, 2024
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A quick introduction about what your company does/your values/mission.

PeppercornAI is an insurtech startup that’s developed the world’s first conversational AI-based digital assistant built for insurance. The company is using AI to completely change the insurance model, offering a personalised, linear experience that takes the confusion out of insurance for customers and leading to a more informed purchase decision.
Last year, the company announced that their platform would be available to insurance providers via a SaaS proposition, Pipr. In addition to offering customers a better customer experience, insurance providers can benefit from lower operational costs and more effective risk protection and counter-fraud. We spoke to CEO and Founder Nigel Lombard about what makes PeppercornAI unique, the company’s plans and why it’s secret sauce is it’s team.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve worked in insurance, technology and digital my whole career and previously founded two insurtech startups, Drivology and Hedgehog. PeppercornAI is an evolution of what I’ve learnt throughout my career and how I see the industry needs to transform, which is well overdue.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Trust your instinct when it comes to identifying risks and missteps early on. And act quickly and decisively to solve them before they become an issue.

What problem does your business solve?

PeppercornAI is a technology company that uses conversational AI to completely change the insurance model. We offer a wholly digital experience that replaces traditional online forms and call centres to buy and manage insurance policies.
For consumers, it means they’re in control of the conversation and can ask questions. Not only is this a more personalised experience, but it also takes confusion out of insurance and results in a more informed purchase decision.
For providers, we offer this experience via Pipr, our SaaS proposition and they can benefit from lower operating costs, better customer experience, more effective counter-fraud and more effective screening of customers.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Insurance started being sold online around 25 years ago but the market has barely changed since then. That’s because the insurance industry has tied itself to systems and processes that favour providers, are inefficient and that ultimately cost consumers. I previously looked at how other technology could change the model, but since then, AI has matured as a promising technology that can benefit both consumers and providers. That’s how we got to PeppercornAI.

What is your magic sauce?

Our magic sauce is our team. We are specialists in insurance, technology, customer experience and underwriting that have come together to build the world’s first conversational AI assistant that’s been purposefully designed for insurance. Our solution can deliver genuine value to the insurance industry, unlike other technology solution providers that don’t understand the sector. We are very much Insurtech 2.0.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Towards the end of last year, we quietly launched our SaaS proposition, Pipr. We are focused on growing Pipr’s presence amongst insurance providers. Our key focus for the next few years will be ensuring Pipr is a sustainable revenue stream for us and I’m happy to report that we’re seeing great interest in the platform.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges is how quickly AI is developing, particularly as insurance is an industry that moves carefully and slowly rightly seeking to mitigate risk. There are perceived challenges and unknowns with deploying a new and rapidly changing technology in this environment. However, on the plus side, many CEOs are willing to work with us because it’s easier, quicker and much more cost effective than creating a solution in-house. And, critically, I’m proud to say, our deeply experienced and highly respected team have proven Pipr in real life. We’ve eaten our own dog food as the saying goes (ha ha).

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you’re an insurance provider that is seeking to do any one – or all – of the following things:
1. Radically improve your expense ratio,
2. Better select insurance risks to help the loss ratio or
3. Deliver a superior customer experience to your policyholders

Get in touch and book a demo because I can confidently say it’ll impress.

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