Updated: Apr 30, 2021
While insurance is a risk-taking business, it is vital for insurers to go beyond their core business and provide new services that help prevent risk and create great customer experiences. Ageas is taking a step further in preventing water claims and the Habit team joined them in a water detection mission — we'll tell you all about it!
Early detection of losses, regardless of their nature, can save insurers millions and prevent customers from irremediable losses — financial and emotional.
According to Bain & Co, “among US home insurance customers interested in ecosystem services, 42% are willing to switch insurers if their own carrier doesn’t provide them.” And more than 1/3 of US home insurance customers who use ecosystem services say they’re prepared to pay higher premiums to insurers that offer these services—another powerful sign that ecosystems can help insurers break the cycle of commoditization.”
Several insurers are going beyond in a meaningful way by bringing together new programs and services that increase customers’ safety while lowering the amount of claims and expenditure that comes along with it. Homeowners insurance is a good example of an insurance product whose claims — and particularly water leakages — are extremely costly to insurers and a headache for customers.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the trade body for the insurance industry, insurers pay out around £2.5m (2.8m€) every day to customers who’ve made ‘escape of water’ claims on their home insurance. Nearly one in five claims made on buildings and contents insurance is for damage caused by leaks.
Ageas Repara to The Rescue
With prevention in mind, Ageas in Portugal launched Ageas Repara, a successful insurance program focused on water claims prevention whose motto is “Before it Happens”. The service looks at the source of water leaks in customers’ homes and repairs them, using innovative and non-intrusive techniques and tools. In Portuguese, “Repara” stands for “repair” and “observe”, which is exactly why Ageas Repara was born — to increase peace of mind in customers by repairing water leaks and making a preventive observation to detect potential new leaks in different parts of the house.
The Ageas Repara team
According to Pedro Mota Ribeiro, Managing Director of Ageas Repara, the company’s mission is to “evolve to a company that provides all services in home assistance, repair and solutions which also delivers a great and emotional customer experience.” Pedro adds that “Supported by technology and executed by well-prepared professionals, all conclusions and recommendations are based on evidence, not assumptions”.
In-Person Home Visit
As prevention and early detection enthusiasts, we were curious to understand what this service was all about, so we had the pleasure of joining an Ageas Repara team in a “mission”, as they call the home visits, to see the specialized tools they use for leak detection and what the customer experience looks like since the technicians get through the door until a fully
customized report is sent to the insurer.
Furthermore — and this may well be one of the most exciting parts of the mission — we discussed how the team plans to upgrade their offer with ‘smart’ water leak detectors for real-time detection of smaller leaks which are hard to detect by the technicians, despite their high-end tools.
The Habit team joined the Ageas Repara team in a water detection mission
The Water Detection Mission (when a specialized team joins high-end tools to the rescue)
This Ageas customer had suspicions that he might have had a leak in his bathroom, as his neighbor had been complaining for a few days about seeing water leaking from his bidet in his own bathroom which he thought could only come from upstairs.
During the mission, the customer is encouraged to participate in it and monitor the situations that are being identified.
See for yourself what the Ageas Repara mission looked like:
The team measures humidity to determine reference values, depending on the construction material.
What cannot be seen with the naked eye, is possible through this infrared search. No destruction on the wall, floor or ceiling.
Video and acoustic monitor
See the inside of the pipes, using a frequency emitted by the chamber probe to identify the exact location of the defect or rupture.
This powder dyes the water so it’s easier to detect that the water flowing from one end is the same that arrives to the other end (e.g. from one unit’s bathroom to the other).
Among other techniques, Ageas Repara also resorts to electroacoustic monitoring to amplify noise vibrations, gas and hydrogen to detect pipe micro ruptures and smoke detection to detect leaks in pipes and sewage.
It turns out that, after thorough testing, the leak was not coming from the Ageas policyholder’s unit. Chances were that the neighbor’s bathroom in front of him was the cause. With that suspicion in mind, the Ageas Repara team also recommended that the complaining neighbor do some fixing around his own bathroom as they detected some other leakages and humidity that were likely to create future damage.
Increasing Protection Against Water Damage with Smart Technology
Ageas Repara is at the forefront of water leak mitigation. Despite using high-quality technicians and advanced tools in their missions, it’s true that they are not yet able to detect a water leak as soon as it happens and consequently take immediate action.
At Habit, we are firm believers that accurate real-time data coming from specialized sensors, processed within the appropriate data models, leads to accurate damage prediction and detection and is vital in emergency situations. That applies to water damage detection, too.
Smart water sensors enable the homeowner, along with the insurer and the assistance team, to take on a preventive role by receiving alerts and recommendations as soon as a leak is detected. At the same time, there are some leaks that flow so slowly that they would only be detectable by a highly accurate device. We also believe that not only does real-time data help with prevention, but also enables insurers to create a risk profile of each apartment, home or building which helps create continuous touchpoints with customers thus improving brand and company NPS (net promoter score).
Smart water leak sensors can be real home saviours. In the photos: GROHE Sense and Wassertein.
Pedro Mota Ribeiro believes that “connecting devices like water leak detectors is not a tech lover’s attitude and can really make the difference when a quick action is needed by receiving an alert through the smartphone by the insurer”. “Would you rather prevent a risk or regret later on?”, he asks. Pedro stresses that “in the medium term, customers can also start saving and rethinking the way they consume water, as well as getting additional discounts on their homeowner’s policy premium”.
Ageas Repara sees smart technology as paramount to what true prevention means, not just in preventing water, but also fire and other home-related risks.
Curious to see how we can help your insurance company can prevent water claims with real-time data? Get a free demo now!