Neptune Flood, a St. Petersburg insurtech firm focused on the flood market, has completed a nationwide product rollout and topped the 50,000 customer mark.
The company also has finished work on its proprietary policy management system, and is preparing to move into a new headquarters early next year.
Those are significant milestones for Neptune Flood, which launched three years ago and says it is now the largest entirely digital flood insurance company in the United States.
The company ended 2019 with about 20,000 clients. It grew its client base 250 percent during 2020.
“There are very few insurtechs that have been able to get 50,000 clients. We’re happy to be in some pretty rarified territory,” said Trevor Burgess, president and CEO.
Neptune, which uses an artificial intelligence driven technology to make it fast and easy to buy flood insurance, is in 48 states, after expanding late last month into Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming as well as Washington, D.C.
Burgess, who previously was president and CEO of C1 Bank in St. Petersburg, has found that growth in the insurance industry is different than in banking. Unlike the banking industry, which is regulated nationally, insurers are regulated by states.
“You have to follow the rules in each state, and the rules in each state are a little bit different so takes a lot longer to become nationwide,” Burgess said.
The only states Neptune is not in are Kentucky and Alaska. The company uses very specific data to analyze buildings before determining if it will write a policy, and the data available for Alaska isn’t good enough right now, Burgess said. Kentucky has complex rules for insurance companies, he said, but Neptune hopes to be in that state in 2021.
Poseidon, the company’s policy management system, has recently come online.
“We’ve always been really easy to quote and to bind a new insurance policy. We made it really easy to figure out what the price was and to buy that insurance. But we used a back end system that was about 20 years old. So we built our own new policy management system that allows the administering of your policy to be a slick as the purchase was. Things like adding more coverage, or changing your address, or adding your bank as a lien holder — all those administrative things are now super easy as well,” Burgess said.
Neptune will continue its growth in 2021, he said. The company currently employs 20 people and should be up to 30 employees by the end of next year.
Construction is expected to be complete in January on Neptune’s new headquarters, at 400 6th St. S. in St. Petersburg. Neptune’s team has been working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic and likely will continue to do so until there is a vaccine widely available, Burgess said, but a few people may work out of the new office in a limited capacity.
Neptune also will continue to grow its agent distribution base next year. The company sells directly to consumers, but that’s only about 5 percent of its business. About 95 percent of sales comes through independent agents, who are helpful in demystifying the complicated flood insurance process for homeowners. There are about 10,000 agents on Neptune’s system now, and Burgess would like to get up to 100,000 agents.
“We look forward to continuing to grow our distribution, especially in the newer states,” he said.
Another focus for 2021 is increased sales of flood policies for commercial properties, including offices, hotels, condominium and apartment buildings and restaurants.
“We’ll have a big push in 2021 to make sure agents understand Neptune can make it super easy to buy flood insurance on commercial buildings and not just residences,” he said.