March 21, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
Desjardins General Insurance Group has announced the cross-country availability of a new home insurance program designed to keep policyholders informed of potential leak sources so that action can be taken and water-related damage prevented.
Water damage accounts for more than 50% of home insurance claims, Quebec-based DGIG reports in a statement Tuesday. By acting quickly in many of those cases, the insurer notes, “homeowners would have been able to prevent significant damage” and avoid the related disruption.
When a client with a home insurance policy from Desjardins Insurance or The Personal sign up for the program – called Alert – he or she will receive a free water, freeze and humidity detector to place close to potential leak sources inside the home.
These places include near the kitchen sink or dishwasher, in the bathroom, near the washing machine, near the water heater or anywhere else a leak might occur.
The program will also be offered to clients of State Farm Canada in June, DGIG reports.
The small, sleek detector is a connected object that – if it senses an issue – will send an alert by the client’s choice of notification, text message or email to his or her smartphone so that steps can be taken to limit damage.
Program participants can name a person as a monitor to receive the same notifications to ensure a response should the main participant be unable to get home quickly.
The voluntary program comes with one detector for each home insured, DGIG notes.
Its agreement with the fintech/insuretech, Roost, its business partner and Alert technology provider, means additional detectors can be bought at an affordable price, says Alex Veilleux, vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at DGIG.
Technology can be harnessed to help avoid the stress and loss that water-related damage can bring, Veilleux suggests.
Depending on the extent of water damage, “it can mean lost valuables and family treasures that just can’t be replaced, not to mention a possible relocation during repair work,” he points out.
The program is voluntary and participation “can never lead to premium increases or changes in existing coverage, regardless of how many alerts a client receives or the actions they take,” the insurer notes of the prevention tool for policyholders.
The launch of Alert represents an opportunity for DGIG “to capture its entire mobile offer in a single smartphone app, called Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto or The Personal,” states the company, reporting this this make it “the first insurer in Canada to introduce a connected home and auto insurance offer.”
As well as Alert, the app includes the Ajusto program, which rewards clients for improving their driving habits, and serves as a hub for online services, where policyholders can access their insurance policies, change their addresses, store vehicles, start claims and get online quotes.