Aviva says that it has become the first insurer to offer LeakBot – a smart connected water leak detector – to its customers.
The insurer partnered with HomeServe Labs – a home assistance provider which manufactures the LeakBot – on a five-year deal which was signed in 2015. The deal entails that Aviva will underwrite HomeServe’s products.
LeakBot is the latest development in that partnership in a bid to ‘make customers lives easier through home innovation.’
Aviva tackles water leaks with IoT
After trialling various products, Aviva has launched LeakBot, claiming that water leaks are the second biggest driver of home insurance claims.
LeakBot is designed to monitor and spot a potential leak in the home before any damage occurs. The product uses Thermi-Q technology and can be installed ‘easily’ by clipping the device to a pipe near the stopcock.
It monitors the mains water supply 24/7 to detect and alert customers via their smartphones to issues such as dripping taps, hidden leaks on pipes and taps being left running. Customers can then choose to access on-demand repair assistance from HomeServe.
‘LeakBot is a real game changer’
This is the latest in a long line of home IoT products, and, while it’s a product that seems to be answering a real need, it will be interesting to see whether the software works alongside other devices.
It’s hard to believe that consumers will want numerous different smart devices littered around the home.
Commenting on the news, Martin Bennett, CEO, HomeServe membership, said: “We know that water damage is a major issue for the insurance industry and their Customers, and LeakBot is a real game changer.”
Stephen Pond, managing director, prevention and services at Aviva added that damage caused by leaks accounts for one in five of Aviva’s home insurance claims.
“Unfortunately, many leaks happen behind the scenes…meaning water damage can be extremely extensive, destructive and disruptive to put right. So, catching leaks early and fixing them before much damage is done is definitely the way to go,” he said in a press release.
Targeting the ‘low hanging fruit’
Celent senior insurance analyst Craig Beattie thinks Aviva’s move is positive.
“Looking at today’s homes preventable escape of water is not only the low hanging fruit, but the big hanging fruit in terms of greatest benefit to both insurer and consumer,” he told Internet of Business.
“Multiple insurers and vendors are examining the opportunity around devices to assist in this space and Aviva appears to have moved swiftly with a device that is minimal effort for its customers relative to the benefit. The cost of the device is still high which will challenge profitability on this line of business but this move clearly positions Aviva as a leader in digital home insurance propositions in the UK.”
LeakBot was designed and created by HomeServe Labs, in Walsall, UK, and went on sale this year at £149 ($182).