Franklin Mutual offers free “smart sensors” to homeowners

Home sensors can detect water leaks, humidity, and freezing pipe issues

Franklin Mutual offers free “smart sensors” to homeowners


By Sam Boyer

Franklin Mutual Insurance has announced it will provide free household “smart sensors” to all homeowner policyholders.

The move comes as the New Jersey-based firm announced a new partnership with Roost, a home telematics company. The move is intended to “drive insurer enrollment, customer loyalty and engagement,” with each homeowner with a policy eligible to receive a Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector.

Celebrate excellence in insurance. Join us at the Insurance Business Awards in Chicago on October 26.

The home telematics technology helps mitigate claims costs and hassles for policyholders, by sensing water leaks, as well as humidity and freezing temperature situations. The sensors – set up in areas most prone to water leaks, such as near sinks, hot water heaters, toilets, and appliances – send notifications via smartphones to homeowners if something is wrong.

The agreement follows on the heels of a similar play with Desjardins, one of the largest insurers in Canada, earlier in the year.

Roel Peeters, co-founder and CEO of Roost, said the arrangement between the sensor company and the insurer was beneficial to both parties, as well as helping out the consumer.

“There are two key value propositions … the most obvious one is how do we prevent claims from happening,” Peeters explained. “Because we can detect the water leaks, so you can be there before it does that much [damage] and clean it up and a claim is never filed. So that’s the obvious one, but it’s typically not the reason insurance companies are interested in doing this.

“The biggest reason … is what we call digital engagement. A lot of these insurance companies do not have a digital relationship with their customers. Most of them have the property address and that’s about it, so they’re only able to communicate by snail mail. You might get a bill in the mail. But that’s no longer how you and I communicate – if I don’t have a relationship through my phone, I don’t have a relationship.”

So the sensors bring something of value to a customer, in the form of tangible sensors, and also added peace of mind; while also bringing something of value to the insurer, in the form of a better customer-relationship.

“The insurance company doesn’t want you to have a claim, and you don’t want to have a claim,” he said.

Brian Lytwynec, president and CEO of Franklin Mutual Insurance, said the partnership with Roost allowed the company to offer policyholders “innovative services, products and coverages.”

“Together we are pairing valuable innovative devices with excellent insurance that delivers protection and priceless peace of mind around the home for our customers,” Lytwynec said.

Related stories:
Insurers to use data from smart homes to manage risk
Nest and insurance: What the deal will mean for homeowners policies and client privacy

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!