Smart Geyser Risk Reduction

Burst geysers, consequential damage and repairs are the most common geyser-related claims in homeowners’ insurance policies. These are significant given that geysers amount to approximately 50% of home insurance premiums. Sensor Networks’ Internet of Things (IoT) platform mitigates this risk by detecting when a geyser has burst and automatically stopping water flow. This eliminates the consequential-damage aspect of home insurance.

Burst Geysers

For 18 months leading up to June 2019, Sensor Networks Smart Geyser controllers have successfully detected and prevented 95% of all burst-geyser-related consequential water damage. (The other 5% is linked to initial erroneous installation issues, and resulted in no consequential damage.) While burst-geyser claims were the highest of the categories, consequential damage claims have been removed completely from our clients. With no consequential damage and reduced repairs, burst geysers accounted for over 80% of all claim costs during the period. 

Sensor Networks Smart Geyser
Insurance claims as a result of consequential damage have been completely eliminated by Sensor Networks Smart Geyser technology.

Interestingly, burst geysers only accounted for about 50% of water-related threats prevented, with the remainder of the risk mitigation prominent in various water leaks around non-burst geysers, as detailed below.

Water Leaks Around Geysers

Beyond burst geysers, the most common threats for resultant water damage are from various forms of leaks, such as faulty flange gaskets, loose pipe nuts, sweating vacuum breakers, leaking roofs and faulty pressure release valves (PRVs). While these mechanical, electronic and external component breakdowns are often overlooked, their contribution to resultant water damage and reduced lifespan of geysers is financially significant to insurers. The Smart Geyser drip-tray sensor has detected these non-burst geyser leaks successfully, and prevented any consequential damage and gradual damage to the geyser, accounting for approximately 50% of water-leak-related incidents.

No More Burnt Elements

The Smart Geyser is able to prevent elements from overheating, particularly in areas that are prone to water outages (which often leads to dry heating of geysers). Over-temperature faults accounted for approximately 50% of all claimable faults over the last 18 months, and Smart Geyser was able to remotely detect and prevent 96% of these, saving the element from burning out. This is particularly significant as burnt elements are the bulk of geyser repair claims and are some of the most frequently reported fault events in the dataset along with drip-tray faults. 


Drip-tray and over-temperature faults over time (not all of which were claimable).

With geyser maintenance often neglected by homeowners, vacuum breakers and other piping components are prone to malfunction, leaving the geyser at risk of dry heating and other forms of damage. This is particularly significant due to the fact that, in over 85% of these, the geysers’ electronic component warranties had elapsed and would be claimable from the insurer. Over a large client base, frequent element replacement costs, compounded by plumber and logistics costs accumulate and further highlight the value of remotely and automatically preventing these costs through Smart Geyser.

Learnings from these incidents enabled development of in-house dry-heating anomaly detection, aimed at predicting and preventing overheating earlier than before. This ultimately prolongs the natural lifespan of the element, and the geyser as a whole, resulting in further reduced claims.

Mechanical, Electronic and Electrical Faults

The Smart Geyser controller also managed to detect other risky incidents, such as geyser wiring issues, live earth-wire leakage, and – in one oddly specific case – rodent infestation around the geyser through the detection of rodent urine. Together, these accounted for under 10% of incidents, but are notable for their role in prolonging geyser lifespan and continuous monitoring of the geyser surroundings.

Conclusion

Sensor Networks Smart Geyser yields significant benefits to our clients, mainly in the form of removing consequential water damage and reducing electronic-component replacements in the claims’ costs. This translates into a reduction in claims in other categories, besides the natural expected lifespan of a geyser – a risk that can now be better managed thanks to Sensor Networks.

For more information about geyser-related insurance risk reduction, or for insights into our predictive analytics and IoT platform, contact Sensor Networks via the Contact Us page.