Legal & General has become the third UK insurance provider to offer the LeakBot smart home device for detecting water leaks to its customers.
It hasn’t always felt like the customer is king in the insurance market. In a conservative industry, innovation and change – particularly where new technology is concerned – have not come easily, and ‘one size fits all’ policies have dominated for too long.
Times are changing, however. Insurtech companies – start-ups that combine insurance and technology expertise to offer more personalized policies – swept up a significant portion of global insurance investment in 2016, according to Accenture. And that has got the majority of insurers thinking they need to innovate in order to compete.
Innovate or stagnate?
Legal & General is just one insurer among many that is looking to adapt to this new age of personalization. In a bid to offer customers a better way to protect their homes and contents, the insurer will offer customers a LeakBot device when they take out insurance.
The LeakBot is a connected water leak detector that protects against water damage in the home. It was developed by HomeServe Labs, the innovation arm of home emergency repair company HomeServe. The device uses Thermi-Q technology to alert customers to dripping taps, hidden leaks in pipes and taps left running.
For protection, the device is simply clipped onto a customer’s water pipes near the stopcock. Customers can then download the app onto their smartphone, giving
them access to instant updates on any potential water leaks at their property. They can then opt to request on-demand repair services from Homeserve.
Prevention better than cure
Cheryl Agius, CEO of Legal & General’s general insurance business, said: “Anyone who has experienced a leak of water in their home from a burst pipe or leaking radiator knows just how devastating the damage can be.
“By raising awareness of the risks posed by the escape of water in the home and offering a solution to detect any leakage, we hope to be able to help our customers minimize their potential exposure to water damage.”
Towards the end of last year, Aviva claimed to be the first insurer to offer the LeakBot to customers, revealing that one in five of the home insurance claims it receives involve water leaks. RSA Insurance Group is also offering customers the LeakBot.
At present, insurers seem to be focused on making life easier for customers through offering this home innovation. Catching leaks before they occur is certainly useful and prevention will always be cheaper than the cure, but it may not be long before customers begin to demand reduced insurance premiums if they go to the effort of fitting a LeakBot device.