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How IoT helps insurers mitigate the risks of climate change

Thor Olavsrud | April 13, 2017
The internet of things offers insurers a chance to collect better data and create new business models to engage consumers -- and reduce risks.

These services range from home security and monitoring to temperature control to dispatching a plumber at the first sign of a leak.

"Concierge type services will take over," he says. "It's a much more holistic approach to the home as a result of the availability of data," Meagher says. "You can bundle all these different services together to create a broader package, including a warranty service that takes care of everything for the home, including property and personal belonging insurance. One of the services would be if your house should catch fire and burn down, it's covered."


You're collecting what?

Ultimately, he says, a model of this sort depends upon better engagement with customers. Insurers need to be explicit about what data their sensors are collecting and what they will do with that data.

"If I pass your data to an insurance provider, I will only do that with your permission and I'll be very explicit: data from this sensor, this sensor and this sensor," Meagher says. "I need to help the customer understand, 'What's in it for me?' For example, that might be: 'If you let me tell your insurance provider that the battery in your smoke detector is working, I'll give you a 15 percent discount.'"

"In the age of the IoT, data and digital relationships, insurance companies can do a lot more to engage with you as a consumer and be seen to be helping you with the very thing you've come to them to buy," he adds. "I personally think they should take more proactive steps. They should be offering these solutions to their customers, offering them as part of their insurance policies. I believe there are a ton of customers that would perceive great value from having safety devices fitted to their home. Even if insurance companies did nothing more than discount them, offering the lowest possible price points for consumers that have the devices, it's a win-win."

ROC-Connect released its home safety solution as a turnkey solution for insurers in November of last year. The offering includes a Home Safety Kit that helps consumers protect their homes from fire, flood and frost. Customers can use their smart phones to monitor their homes remotely, and a new Home Safety Scorecard that helps them recognize risks and reduce potential losses.

The kit includes fire and water sensors that are monitored around the clock and link directly to emergency services. A range of other smart home and IoT devices can be added to the system, including home automation.

The Home Safety Scorecard is powered by data from global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider CoreLogic. ROC-Connect uses CoreLogic's data, including property size, location and features, to analyze risk. It combines that data with data from smart home devices.


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