Insurance providers in South Africa are embracing the benefits of integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) into existing insurance models and systems. This follows Santam Specialist Real Estate’s recent partnership with Sensor Networks to provide smart-home insurance solutions to homeowners across the country.
Kicking off in the Free State earlier this month, Santam Specialist Real Estate has started rolling out IoT smart-geyser devices designed by Sensor Networks into homes across Bloemfontein and nationally in the coming months.
Geyser-related issues are the most common household insurance claims in South Africa, and they can cause a great deal of anxiety for homeowners and tenants alike. Coupled with the fact that geysers only have an expected life of around seven years, it’s safe to assume most homeowner’s insurance policy holders will suffer geyser-related issues at some point.
A Sensor Networks smart-geyser device is retroactively fitted to the customer’s electric geyser and linked to their smartphone via an app. In the event of a leak, burst geyser or blown element, the device recognises the problem and automatically shuts off the water and electricity supplies to the geyser, limiting any resultant consequential damage.
Using Sensor Networks’ bespoke IoT hardware and software platforms, Santam Specialist Real Estate also provides their clients with an added layer of control. Clients are able to manage their geyser temperature and heating schedule, which are arguably the main contributors to household energy usage. Meanwhile, Santam receives immediate notifications when an issue occurs, leading to the speedy processing and resolution of any resultant claims.
Head of Santam Specialist Real Estate, Karl Bishop, says, “This technology allows us, as the insurer, to either pre-empt or react proactively to potential incidents, rather than acting on a reactive basis. Our policyholders benefit by either having a potential incident completely averted or the effects of the resultant damage being significantly reduced.”
Sensor Networks Founder, Mark Allewell, says IoT and InsureTech go hand in hand, “IoT sensors of any kind are much-vaunted, but Sensor Networks has more than two years of real-world use-case data, placing us at the forefront of the industry on a global scale.”
Allewell says Sensor Networks is currently running proof-of-concept projects on a fully integrated smart-home solution, giving forward-thinking insurance providers the ability to reduce risk and build claims-prediction models based on streaming data received by IoT sensors.