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Willis Towers Watson and Roost to establish home telematics consortium of 5-10 U.S. carriers


May 31, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter


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Willis Towers Watson (WTW) announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Roost, an innovator in smart home technology, to establish a “home telematics consortium” of five to 10 insurance carriers.

WTW, the global advisory, broking and solutions company, and Roost “intend to help the property insurance industry take advantage of the Internet of Things” by establishing the consortium, WTW said in a press release.

“We’re excited that our engagement with Roost gives us a new way to help property insurers innovate,” said Doug May, senior broker at Willis Re, said in the release.

The consortium will combine household data to measure the effectiveness of home telematics devices on mitigating insurance losses for water and fire, as well as increasing customer engagement, WTW reported. Carriers will offer their policyholders a kit made up of the Roost smart 9-volt battery (for smoke alarms) and Roost smart water leak detectors that deliver notifications to customers’ smartphones when a suspected water leak or fire event occurs. WTW will then analyze the consortium’s policy and claim data, appended with Roost’s telematics data, and communicate the results to the consortium members.

“Leveraging our experience and success with DriveAbility in the auto telematics space, we’re eager to apply advanced analytics to reveal insights regarding the effect of home telematics on loss mitigation and customer engagement,” said Claudine Modlin, director of insurance consulting with WTW, in the release.

Roel Peeters, chief executive officer with Roost, added that the consortium offers an “exclusive opportunity for carriers to quickly attain statistically meaningful insights in home telematics with a minimized investment. Carriers will learn best practices for policyholder outreach and deployment of the smart home devices, which are low cost, easy to install, leverage existing Wi-Fi technology, and alert homeowners of water or fire activity through our smartphone app,” Peeters said.

With roots dating back to 1828, WTW has 40,000 employees serving more than 140 countries. It designs and delivers solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent and “expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals,” the release said.

Technology company Roost is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. Creators of the Roost Smart Battery, Roost Smart Smoke Alarms and the new Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector, Roost has developed a “unique, patented, connected platform of sensors that deliver the ultimate in installation simplicity and the most affordable way for insurers to deliver home telematics solutions,” the release concluded.