Nov 9, 2023

Guarding against water damage: the IoT revolution in insurance claims

Julie Sylvest

In this article, we look at how IoT plays a crucial role in the management of insurance claims related to water damage.

Imagine it’s a cold winter night, and you’re miles away from home, enjoying a relaxing vacation. Suddenly, your smartphone chimes with an alert from your home security system. There is an unusual level of moisture in the air, a potential precursor to water leakage. Thanks to the IoT-connected sensors installed in your home, you are instantly aware of this change and can contact someone to check on your house. The potential disaster is averted from the palm of your hand. This real-world scenario illustrates how the IoT’s capacity to detect and mitigate risks in real-time has not only transformed the way we live but is also reshaping the realm of insurance claims, making them more proactive and responsive than ever before.

In a world driven by data and connected devices, there is a clear opportunity for the insurance industry to redefine how it manages and processes claims. Notably, an analysis of nearly half a million insurance claims ranks water damage claims as the third most commonly filed global claim. In 2019 alone, insurance companies spent three billion euros on tap water damage. This article focuses on water damage claims and explores how IoT is revolutionizing this area to mitigate financial and structural risks.

Understanding IoT in water damage insurance claims

Understanding the role of IoT in water damage insurance claims is crucial to grasping the ever-evolving landscape of claim management. IoT empowers insurance companies to adapt and enhance their processes, enabling early detection and prevention of damages, data-driven claims assessment, and effective risk mitigation.

  • Early detection and prevention

IoT seamlessly integrates into the claims process, offering a proactive approach to the early detection and prevention of water-related issues. Connected devices excel in water leak detection, providing insights into the root cause, location, and extent of the damage while enabling remote monitoring. Insurance companies can remotely oversee these devices, swiftly identifying abnormalities that might foreshadow potential leaks or issues that could escalate into water damage incidents.

Moreover, IoT data can be subjected to in-depth analysis for risk and loss assessment. Leveraging historical data, insurers can pinpoint properties at a heightened risk of water damage and make premium adjustments accordingly. The real-time alerts generated by IoT systems ensure rapid responses to mitigate damage, ultimately reducing the overall cost of claims and enhancing the efficiency of the insurance process.

  • Data-driven claims assessment

IoT devices play a crucial role in streamlining the claim assessment process. Through the precise timestamps associated with IoT data, we gain a valuable tool for verifying the legitimacy of a claim by establishing when an incident occurred. This data assists adjusters in accurately assessing damage, determining causes, and expediting claim processing. This not only reduces the time to settle claims but also mitigates the risk of fraudulent claims. IoT technology provides a reliable source of data to authenticate filed claims.

Additionally, data-driven claims assessments enhance the overall customer experience. The expedited claim processing made possible by IoT data is likely to result in higher customer satisfaction levels. This service can also be used to increase customer retention and attract new clients to the insurance company. IoT also serves as a preventive measure, helping to avert unwanted disasters from even occurring.

  • Risk mitigation

IoT systems are also helpful in identifying properties at elevated risk of water damage. Utilizing real-time data and analyzing patterns, IoT can precisely pinpoint vulnerabilities in plumbing, drainage, or other factors contributing to water-related disasters. Once these high-risk properties are identified, policyholders can receive recommendations for proactive risk mitigation. These suggestions may include upgrading plumbing systems, improving drainage solutions, or implementing other preventive measures.

By leveraging the wealth of IoT data and offering actionable guidance, insurers, and property owners are empowered to address water damage risks. This not only enhances overall safety but also reduces the financial impact of potential claims.

Use case: mitigating water damage risks

Let’s put ourselves back on vacation when the IoT sensor at home detects abnormal moisture levels in the air. Just as this information is invaluable for homeowners, in the world of large construction projects, it’s game-changing information. Its impact can be profound, leading to project delays, exceeding budget constraints, and compromising structures if not managed effectively.

Adjacent to the akenza office, a construction site is in progress that has a significant challenge at play - groundwater leakage. This issue has proven to be an obstacle, impeding progress and significantly increasing the project’s vulnerability to water damage. The groundwater not only delays construction but also poses a huge risk to the structural foundation. Corrosion, deterioration, mold, and mildew are all challenges that come with waterlogged sites and may require robust waterproofing measures, adding to the construction time and cost.

Water damage is a prevalent and often underestimated threat in the construction industry, ranking as the second most frequent cause of loss during building projects. Preventing water leakage damage is not costly, but requires planning sensors into a project’s strategy, quality control, and testing throughout the construction process. We will look into a few devices that can support this and other use cases.

Construction site near the akenza office

How akenza supports water leakage prevention

akenza is at the forefront of supporting water leak prevention with its comprehensive ecosystem that seamlessly integrates a wide range of devices, providing diverse water monitoring solutions. When setting up a data flow on the akenza platform, you can effortlessly choose your device from our extensive pre-integrated sensor list and your connectivity without a line of code.

We’ve established partnerships with leading hardware providers, including Milesight, Browan, Decentlab, and Disruptive Technologies, each offering state-of-the-art water monitoring detectors. Through these collaborations, we empower property owners, insurance companies, and various stakeholders to proactively monitor and protect their properties against the potentially devastating effects of water damage. Here are some of the devices we’ve currently integrated:

The EM300-ZLD helps prevent potential water damage to properties or assets through instant water leak detection. The rope type is suitable for detecting leakage in large areas covered by 3m of cable, with optional lengths of hundred meters available. It supports leak detection when liquid levels reach 5mm.

The TBWL100 is a device designed to prevent water damage caused by floods and leaks. This sensor promptly sends an alert when it detects water, providing early warning for potential leaks in your kitchen appliances, boiler, or tanks. Additionally, it integrates humidity and temperature monitoring functions for enhanced utility.

The DL-PR26 allows for remote monitoring of water levels in open bodies of water, tank fill levels, groundwater levels, and a wide range of other applications. It measures the pressure at the sensor head in relation to the pressure at the cable’s end. When the sensor head is submerged in water or any other liquid, the relative pressure directly corresponds to the depth at which the sensor head is placed.

The Wireless Water Sensor is a powerful tool designed to swiftly detect the presence of water in its surroundings. Upon contact with water, it seamlessly triggers a wireless data transmission to the cloud. Furthermore, the sensor consistently sends a heartbeat message at 15-minute intervals, guaranteeing uninterrupted communication with the system while confirming its operational status.

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