Finally, a smart way for insurers to leverage IoT in smart homes | Virtual Reality

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Like many consumers, I tend to be automatically suspicious of insurance companies’ plans to track my behavior. And like many tech journalists, I’m also skeptical of clever new home automation schemes. But painful personal experience has me all excited about a new pilot program involving Travelers insurance and Notion home sensors.

According to a post in Coverager:

Travelers has tapped Notion, the home awareness solution and smart home sensor, to offer smart home monitoring systems to Travelers customers in California. Travelers is working with Notion to provide data-driven insights to customers through Notion’s home monitoring system in order to prevent and mitigate threats such as water leaks, fire damage, and thefts.

Select Travelers’ customers throughout California will now be equipped with Notion sensors to help them better protect and insure properties using Notion’s technology, which monitors for water leaks, changes in temperature, sounding smoke alarms and the opening/closing of doors, garages and more.”

Those two paragraphs constitute the entire article, while Stacy on added that “Travelers will offer five Notion sensors for $50, which is a discount from the normal price of $200. might eventually subsidize the smart home.”

Beware the psychotic dishwasher

I am 100 percent on board with this idea. As someone who lives in a 120-year-old not-so-smart-home, I can confidently state that this technology could have saved both my family and my home insurance company tens of thousands of dollars.

A couple years ago, you see, my dishwasher went crazy and started pumping gallon after gallon of water out into the kitchen and then through the floor into my downstairs bedroom. Unfortunately, I had started the dishwasher’s cleaning cycle as I was heading out the door, and no one noticed the problem for hours. By the time someone realized what was happening, the damage was done.

Cleaning up the mess, drying everything out, and dealing with water damage to floors, carpets, walls, furniture, and household items took weeks of heaters and fans followed by demolition of the waterlogged areas. And that doesn’t even address the reconstruction. Incredibly, while repairing the actual damage took months of unpleasant work, dealing with my insurance company’s hardball negotiating and endless paperwork was almost worse — and took even longer.

A simple moisture sensor in the right place could have stopped all the problems before they got out of hand. At the very least, it could have alerted us to the problem so we would have dealt with it faster. Even better, it could have automatically turned off the water or contacted a remote security agency to address the problem.

That would have saved money and headaches for everyone. Even the dishwasher manufacturer, which was eventually stuck with much of the bill, would have been better off.

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