The insurance industry is becoming more technologically advanced and disrupted by the day. This is happening against a backdrop where insurers are under massive pressure to manage costs, attract and retain clients in a shrinking market pool, improve claims management and turnaround times, and deliver superior customer experiences in a tech-driven world of instant gratification. The pressure is hardest felt by traditional insurers who are facing an onslaught from new disruptor brands that are unrestrained by the shackles of archaic legacy systems and outdated models of doing business.
“Yesterday’s solutions are simply no longer appropriate for today’s risk challenges. It’s one thing to understand and be aware of the innovations shaping the insurance sector and consumer behaviour, but it’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to integrating such innovations within your business models in a manner that also delivers meaningful differentiation and value to your customers. It takes talented, highly skilled people, a lot of research and development and significant financial investment. This is the key challenge faced by many insurers and brokerages. It’s also why Insuretech partnerships are emerging as the single biggest trend in the sector at the moment. Insurers are finding new ways, through partnerships, to ensure that they can deliver tangible and highly differentiated value propositions to customers, while achieving greater operational efficiencies at the same time,” explains Arno Scholtz, CEO of TechITEZ.
TechITEZ (pronounced Tech It Easy), provides turnkey technology solutions for the insurance industry. Currently, the Insuretech provider is focused on two of the most significant claims causes for personal lines insurers – burst geysers and water pipes or leaks, and the consequential damage this causes for consumers at significant cost to insurers.
“Homeowners insurance faces a very large proportion of claims due to burst geysers and water leaks. Purely from a risk mitigation point of view, and the costs of the consequential damage, it makes sense for insurers to install mitigating technology that reduces the risks and costs for insurers, while simultaneously adding significant convenience value and financial savings on utility costs for the homeowner. These technologies can assist homeowners to save significantly on electricity and water utility costs – to such an extent that the utility savings in many instances can amortise the cost of the monthly insurance premium. These solutions can all be controlled and monitored via any internet-connected device, in the cloud, and the technology is easily integrated into an insurer’s existing business processes without disruption,” explains Scholtz.
TechITEZ’s current insurer offering includes:
- The GEASY – a smart geyser controller that is connected to the internet with a GSM (cellphone-based) connection. The consumer benefits from the technology through the energy efficiency it provides, with the estimated 30% savings on electricity for water heating often amortising the entire home insurance monthly premium, making it an attractive proposition for any prospective client and a significant differentiator for insurers. GEASY has leak detection technology which allows early warning of a possible geyser burst, preventing large claims and thus reducing the risk associated with geysers for the insurer. The controller can also support water metering, valve control and a solar pump.
- Dropula – a smart water meter can be installed on any pulse-capable water meter. The Dropula has been used extensively since 2017, with its principal claim to fame being the #SmartWaterMeterChallenge which was implemented in the period preceding the possible Day Zero event Cape Town was facing during the drought in the Western Cape. During a focused campaign these meters were installed at schools in the Western Cape who were often large, inefficient users of water. Some 350 schools received Dropula units, resulting in estimated savings of approximately 640 million litres of water and R46-million over a two-year period, to date. For the insured, the Dropula would notify of any unusually high water usage which could indicate that a tap has been left running, or that a pipe has burst and there is an undetected leak. It saves on the costs of lost water for the insured, and for the insurer the costs of consequential damage to foundations, walls and flooded buildings, especially where an underground leak could go undetected for a significant time, ramping up the cost of damages and losses.
- Flood Sensor – A much reduced version of the Geasy, a simple flood sensor, notifies its users as soon as water is detected, indicating possible bursts, leaks or flooding The device is a small ‘set-and-forget’ IoT device with a battery life of 10 years, with daily keep-alive communication, providing long term peace of mind.
- The Software Stack – a complete software stack, from installation and fleet management, to white-labelled end-user application and API access directly to and from the TechITEZ database for advanced integration is provided to insurers and B2B clients wanting to integrate the TechITEZ solutions with their business models. An end-user application allows the end-user to manage, control, monitor and schedule their linked IoT devices and receive alerts and notifications via SMS and email. Additionally, weekly usage-report generation is done. An Operations Application allows insurers to manage their installations, users and devices. The API Interface is used to integrate the TechITEZ backend into the insurer’s own platform or apps if required.
“Insurers have the option of using the TechITEZ platform as is or white labelling it as their own, while API access allows for integration with their existing systems and platforms. Event notifications, such as leak events detected by GEASY, can be received by multiple parties via SMS, email or API, allowing for action to be taken timeously. All TechITEZ’s devices can be accessed via a web-app and consolidated in one portal. For the insured consumer, they’re able to access their devices and monitor and schedule their geyser heating, and also check their real-time and historical usage patterns to better manage their utility costs and behavior – all from the comfort of their phone, tablet or laptop. The web-app makes interpretation of information intuitive and empowering for end-users to make behavioral changes and informed decisions about appliances and upgrades to their home.”
“Insurers are now enabled through TechITEZ’s solutions to connect technology in different domains to enable better business outcomes not only in terms of costs and operational efficiencies, but to take the perceived ‘grudge purchase’ of insurance into the realm of true value for their customers. Insurers are able to harness the opportunities provided by Insuretech collaboration to grow and capture greater market share, and that is ultimately achieved by creating relevant technology that improves insurance product performance to work better for customers,” concludes Arno.
For more information visit www.techitez.co.za