Home insurance took a giant leap forward this month when Standard Bank’s insurance arm, Standard Insurance Limited (SIL), partnered with incident-management company, Digicall Group, and Connected Home platform developer, Sensor Networks. The trio have developed a connected-geyser ecosystem aimed at homeowners that monitors a standard household hot-water cylinder and kicks off a fully digitised procedure when a claimable fault occurs.
In the event of a geyser-related fault, such as a water leak, Sensor Networks Connected Geyser hardware takes immediate steps to prevent further damage while also triggering an automatic first notification of loss for the customer and the insurance provider. This allows the insurer’s claims process to kick off within moments, activating a plumbing team via Digicall Group to contact the customer and make arrangements for the necessary repairs on behalf of SIL, greatly reducing the time to fault resolution.
Nolwandle Mgoqi-Mbalo, Chief Executive for SIL, says: “This partnership is game-changing and fits in with our service ethos of protecting what matters most to our clients by proactively leveraging our digital platforms.”
The Connected Geyser solution is currently offered to SIL home-insurance policy holders at a nominal monthly fee, and has a number of benefits for the insurance provider and their customers. For the insurer, the technology offers early-warning indicators for several faults, including overheating and leak detection, with proven results and a reduction of consequential insurance claims by around 90%.
An automated digital claims journey means the incident-management team knows exactly what it faces with each claim, enabling plumbing teams to arrive on site with all the required equipment. Digicall Group CEO Ruben Moggee says this is the natural evolution of the insurance call centre: “Our teams are able to respond to claims faster, and are fully armed with the right information. This takes some of the guess work out of the claim equation, resulting in quicker resolution of claims, and – ultimately – less frustration and downtime for homeowners.”
In addition, customers directly benefit from the solution in that they save up to 40% on household geyser energy usage, and gain access to real-time geyser monitoring and fault notifications via the Sensor Networks Connected Home mobile app.
Sensor Networks founder and CEO Mark Allewell says his company has now proven a real-world use case for the Internet of Things, with clear benefits for insurers and their customers: “When looking at connected homes in South Africa, smart geysers are the litmus test that proves the use case and opens our eyes to the integration of other sensors. At scale, these types of solutions will reinvent insurance offerings for all homeowners.”