Agents: Simple device may save your clients thousands

A flood can be a costly mess. But with a simple, inexpensive device called a water sensor, homeowners may minimize their risk of damage from a flood that starts inside their homes – or stop a flood before it even starts.

This technology can be a win-win for homeowners, as well as their insurance agents and insurers. Water is the second-leading cause of loss for the insurance industry, so finding a way to cut down on their impact or frequency is great for everyone. A water sensor may help clients avoid a serious loss, and have the added benefit of improving loss ratios.

But if you want to help your agency’s clients protect themselves, it’s important that you understand how this technology works. Here’s a quick overview of water sensors, and some handy links for more resources on connected home technology.

What is a water sensor?

Generally speaking, a it’s a device that sends an alert when its probe detects water. A basic water sensor uses on-site alerts, like a smoke alarm, but most newer connected home versions can send alerts to a mobile device. Some of the more advanced devices can even shut off the water valve to a home when water is detected – in some cases without a homeowner having to do anything.

Are they expensive?

The simpler water sensors cost less than $50 and can be quickly and easily installed by a homeowner. Some of the more advanced devices, like water shut-offs, will probably require a plumber. In some cases, these may also need a connected home “hub” to work.

Where are water sensors installed?

In short: anywhere there could be water that leaks or collects, including under sinks, dishwashers, toilets and showers. A laundry room is a particularly good location, since failing washing machine hoses can be a common source of flooding within the home. Mechanical rooms are also a good choice, especially around a water heater.

Can they be used in older homes?

Yes. These devices are designed to be retrofitted into existing homes easily – usually without special tools or knowledge.

Where can I learn more about connected home technology like water sensors?

HSB has created a series of brochures that can help insurance agents and consumers better understand how connected home technology, such as water sensors, could benefit them.

You can download them here.

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© 2016 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only. Under no circumstances shall HSB or any party involved in creating or delivering this article be liable for any loss or damage that results from the use of the information or images contained in or linked to in this article.

Jeremy Coffman

Jeremy Coffman, an insurance professional with over 14 years of multi-disciplined experience, is the vice president of personal lines marketing for Hartford Steam Boiler in Hartford, CT. Jeremy is responsible for all personal lines marketing strategies and initiatives.

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