February 17, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
Northbridge Insurance has teamed up with Alert Labs for a pilot project that provides customers up to $150 in annual savings on their home insurance if they purchase sensors aimed at protecting homes against water damage.
The pilot project offers customers the savings when they purchase an Alert Labs Home Solution package (with a 15% discount), consisting of a Flowie water sensor and a Floodie companion sensor, Northbridge said in a statement on Wednesday. Alert Labs sensors can be installed by homeowners in less than two minutes on municipal water meters, the company reported.
The pilot project is currently underway, and was launched in collaboration with Northbridge’s broker partners “that focus on areas in Ontario where the risks of water damage are especially high,” Northbridge said in the statement.
Designed to detect potentially damaging incidents like leaks, power outages, temperature fluctuations and floods, Alert Labs sensors send alerts to homeowners on their computer or mobile device in real-time when something goes wrong. Each sensor is equipped with a battery back-up and works using a cellular connection and not Wi-Fi, “so they’ll continue to work in a power outage – right when they’re needed the most,” the statement said.
“Our technology tracks and analyzes water consumption, and customers are notified of incidents that could point to a leak, such as continuously running water,” explained Alert Labs CEO George Tsintzouras. “This makes us different from a lot of other solutions that focus on alerting customers after a flood has taken place. Our goal is to help homeowners avoid the expense and hassle of water damage in the first place with technology that’s easy to use.”
These sensors also allow customers to capture and analyze water consumption, which can lead to savings when it comes to utility bills. “A single toilet leak can cost up to $600 per year in wasted water,” Tsintzouras pointed out.
Ilda Dinis, vice president of customer experience and marketing for Northbridge, said in the statement that she realizes that “no one wants to come home and deal with a water damage claim. We’re always looking for innovative ways to help our customers protect what matters to them, and partnering with Alert Labs is a great way for us to do that.”
Based in Kitchener, Ont., Alert Labs is an Internet of Things technology company that builds “affordable and reliable” sensor-networks for residential and commercial property owners, the statement said. The easy-to-deploy sensors can be placed on water meters, sump pumps, furnaces, near toilets and other appliances to detect water leaks, floods, power issues and other events. Customers receive real-time alerts and data analytics via SMS, email and the Alert Labs app.
Policies from Northbridge Insurance, owned by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Corp., are underwritten by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation and Northbridge Personal Insurance Corporation. The former sells transportation and logistics insurance policies and commercial insurance policies, while the latter sells home and auto policies. All Northbridge Insurance policies are sold through independent brokers.