Future Now report - Innovation Property UK

Certus client The Innovation Group has launched a new report exploring the impact of technology on the home. Millions of UK homeowners are set to benefit from lower premiums as technology shakes us the market and consigns tradtional loss adjusting (at least in volume claims) to history.

Smart technology will revolutionise home insurance says new report from Innovation Group

Millions of British householders are set to benefit from a technological revolution in the way their home insurance claims are prevented and managed, according to a new report.

“The Future Now Report – UK Property”, by leading business services and insurance software company, Innovation Group, says that apps and other smartphone technology, and the growing use of home eco-systems which connect up home appliances to a central control system, could reduce claims made for leaky or burst pipes by up to 70%. Other losses, such as that from fire and theft, could reduce losses by up to 60%.

Home insurance claims in the UK totaled nearly £2.2bn in 2013, of which £522m was from escape of water, £327m from fire and £369m from the weather.

Paul Irvin, Managing Director for Innovation Property UK, who commissioned the report, explained: “Home eco-systems will be able to detect an escape of water in its very early stages or even before it happens. A message will be sent through to our control centre, which then alerts a plumbing team to go round and fix the problem. All this will happen in a very quick timeframe.”

He said: “Burst pipes can cause many thousands of pounds of damage, and devastate a family home. If we can prevent this happening the customer is happy, and insurers are also happy because their claims costs fall significantly. Lower claims costs can have a dramatic effect on home insurance premiums, which currently average £274 annually in the UK.”

Mr Irvin explained that technology will also come to the rescue if a customer needed to make a claim, such as for storm damage.  “Rather than having to wait for a variety of different suppliers – loss adjusters, scaffolders, roofers or builders - to turn up, often at inconvenient times, the customer can book their own appointments at a time which suits them. They will also be able to use their mobile phones to upload pictures of the damage to the insurer and get an instant decision on the claim.”

“The traditional approach, where the customer is visited by a loss adjuster with a hard hat, clipboard and pen is already being consigned to history,” he said.

Mr Irvin said the report also called on government, planning and local authorities to rethink housing and urban design in the future to take account of climate change and the increased incidence of flooding. “Many of our towns and cities are simply not designed with today’s weather in mind, he said.”

In the report, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) argues for a ‘joined-up’ approach to housing development in high flood risk areas, better flood risk mitigation in housing design, and a more strategic flood risk management policy, using green infrastructure and water-sensitive urban design.

“If technology can help make individual homes safer, we need to see the authorities stepping up to the plate too, so that we can meet the challenges of climate change and future housing development head on.”