American Modern Launches Water Sensor Pilot in Three States
American Modern, a subsidiary of Munich Re, has launched a pilot program to provide homeowner policyholders in Alabama, Colorado, and Ohio with a free water sensor . The sensors are designed to detect water leaks and then provide alerts via a mobile app so that the homeowner can alleviate the damage and reduce the loss.
“American Modern continues to explore new ways to leverage technology to help keep our customers’ homes safe, secure and protected. Our water sensor pilot will help us better understand our customers’ needs and learn how these devices can protect homes from the devastation caused by water damage” – Head of IoT for American Modern’s newly created Innovation & Digitalization team, Shannon Lewandowski.
Water damage in homes typically occurs when there are plumbing issues, such as frozen or leaky pipes, a burst hot water heater or a defective line to the toilet or washing machine. American Modern uses the LivingWise smart home to test a variety of devices that can prevent or reduce loss, including water sensors. In 2016 the LivingWise house tested several water sensors and was purposely flooded to simulate a burst pipe. A water sensor located in the kitchen detected the leak within eight minutes – at that point property damage in the LivingWise house was assessed at about $1,000. Ignoring the water sensor alert, the water was left to run for a total of two and a half hours, creating an estimated $5,000 in damages and taking nearly five days to dry out.
“While ruined hardwood floors and soggy drywall make for a huge mess, it’s heartbreaking when pictures and keepsakes – things that can’t be replaced – are gone forever. Water sensors can help prevent or mitigate this risk for American Modern’s customers” – Lewandowski.
American Modern is working with two water sensor device manufacturers that provide Wi-Fi enabled water sensors that don’t require professional installation. One type of sensor is placed by water fixtures or appliances, such as hot water tanks, washing machines and supply lines, to detect the presence of water. The second type of sensor is placed on the main water meter to monitor water usage and provide user alerts about water usage. Existing American Modern policyholders in Alabama, Colorado, and Ohio can go to AMRefinery.com/water to sign-up and see if they are eligible to participate in the program.
The pilot program will run until March 31, 2019; at the conclusion of the pilot program, users will participate in a survey to give feedback on their experiences.