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Aviva is embracing IoT to differentiate its home insurance offering

Scott Carey | March 21, 2017
The insurer is harnessing IoT to keep its home insurance customers engaged and reduce the number of claims

MyAviva app
MyAviva App. Credit: Aviva via Computerworld UK

Aviva is increasingly turning to the internet of things (IoT) to set its home insurance offering apart from the competition. Through a range of partnerships with UK-based IoT startups, the insurer is looking to keep home insurance customers engaged year-round, and hopefully cut down on claims in the process.

Aviva breaks home insurance down into the three main issues its customers are most concerned by: safety, security, and leak. "Where that plays in is the new generation of cameras, sensors, smoke detectors and leak detectors, which give us this new capability," said Nick Ayrdon, head of prevention and services at Aviva.

To harness these new capabilities, Aviva has taken the strategy of partnering with the best IoT startups in the UK rather than developing the technology itself. It has partnerships with home security camera company Canary, it holds a stake in Cocoon and is working with leak detection sensor LeakBot, developed by HomeServe Labs.

While leaks might not necessarily keep homeowners up at night, they certainly do insurers. Escape of water claims are the single biggest cost for home insurers, making up a quarter of all home claims paid out.

Aviva has been working with the LeakBot for over two years, allowing it to test the device in the field and gauge customer response. "The drivers for us aren't just claims, it is about helping our customers keep their lives on track," said Ayrdon.

In terms of home security, Aviva gave away 500 Canary smart home cameras in October 2015 to new home insurance customers. Ayrdon said this exercise allowed the insurer to "harness all of the insights from that experience" but that it has not yet "integrated it into our product".

Similarly, Cocoon is a UK-based smart home company which manufactures what it calls a "complete security system in a single device" and although Aviva hasn't piloted the product with customers yet it has invested in the startup through its ventures arm.


Customer engagement

The insurance industry is becoming increasingly obsessed with the idea of customer engagement, bringing it in line with important everyday services like your bank account through digital channels. "Most of the year customers aren't using their insurance and aren't making claims very often," Ayrdon said. "So keeping us relevant is a big thing."

The eventual aim for Aviva is to take all of these partnerships across those three tenets of home insurance - safety, security and leak - and to bundle it together for customers, ideally with everything managed via the MyAviva mobile app. So in practice a new home insurance customer wouldn't just get a policy document but could buy a premium policy which sees them receive a smart home security camera and a LeakBot all at once.


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