Innovate and automate

Smart home technology is more than just talking speakers - it’s about protecting what matters most by Craig Foster, CEO, LeakBot

The proliferation of smart home technology has brought about futuristic advancements in the way we experience technology within the home. From smart speakers which note down your shopping, video enabled doorbells or a locking device that responds to your voice, home automation is the futuristic trend gripping consumers. However, this technology is not only limited to what can be seen or spoken to. In fact, many truly effective smart home innovations are those that perform functions in the background protecting what is most dear to us – the home itself.

According to LeakBot’s research, escape of water is now the single biggest driver of home insurance claims in the UK. What’s more, with gas shortages and supply chain issues likely to send the cost of living in an unfavourable direction the last thing anyone needs is preventable water damage to their homes. Hidden escape of water is a very common problem in British homes with over 40% of homeowners having faced domestic water leaks, a very costly problem to resolve with the average insurance claim reaching more than £2,500.

IoT technology and telematics provides the base to empower devices, and therefore people, to make changes and prevent damage to their homes. Revolutionary smart home technology can now make water leaks a thing of the past, all whilst saving homeowners thousands on their insurance premiums. This is just one example, out of many, where automation in the home is serving a protective purpose.

Innovate and automate

Over the past half decade, products which focus on home protection have proven to be some of the most innovative in the smart home space. Motion detecting security systems which turn on your lights upon the detection of an intruder, kitchen appliances which send you notifications to prevent overheating or smoke detectors which shut down the HVAC system upon detection of a threat are just a few successful examples. The factor that unites each of these products is an attention to basic scientific principles that keep a home functioning or may pose a threat. The patented Thermi-Q technology within a LeakBot is no exception.

A leak, however small, will draw cooler water from the mains supply and therefore cause a consistent drop in temperature throughout the entire system. Once clipped onto a mains water pipe, the sensor can accurately measure both air and pipe temperature and provide a constant stream of data to a mobile app. If a leak in the system appears, the prolonged and consistent drop in temperature is picked up by the sensor.

Even a small leak in a pipe some distance away from the sensor will cause a drop in temperature at the mains pipe, hence why the LeakBot is able to detect and alert you to the potential problem and protect an entire home. Once this problem emerges, the user is notified via their mobile app and a professional can be brought in to find and fix the issue.

Building a product that is trusted by the insurance industry

Whilst the innovative design and automating capabilities might be the most eye-catching element of protective smart home technology, they can also offer another key benefit: lowering insurance premiums. 

For home insurers, insurtech solutions provide a proposition to their business that allows them to better manage losses after the uncertainties of the past year. Telematics products can deliver excellent underwriting results because they allow for far more granular insights into customer policies and their individual risk level. This is why many insurance providers are partnering with smart automation, with some taking steps to make the devices mandatory for their home insurance customers. They are transforming the insurance market from a protective model to a preventative model.

Technologies such as these also empower the user, by giving homeowners the opportunity to take greater responsibility in the amount they pay for cover by demonstrating proactive behaviour which will mitigate the risk. In essence, this is a win-win situation for insurers and homeowners alike. The fact that smart automation products can often provide real time information and analysis to users and insurers alike helps to provide a more transparent system of home protection and fairer premiums for homeowners. Smart home technology is at its best when it provides benefits for the homeowner and third parties alike, levelling the playing field through accurate information.

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