A weekly column of news item from both in and beyond the Massachusetts insurance industry
The insurer now offers smart home kits with devices and installation through industry-first digital storefront on Amazon. Skills for billing and home maintenance tips also have launched on Alexa.
This month Travelers announced the insurance industry’s first-of-its kind digital storefront on Amazon. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:
According to the company release, the new storefront will offer smart home kits. Consumers who start a home insurance quote via will be directed to one of the insurers independent insurance agents.
As Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President of Personal Insurance at Travelers, explained in the company release “We continually look for innovative ways to help our agents grow their business, and we’re thrilled that this collaboration with Amazon will give them another way to differentiate themselves and Travelers in the marketplace.”
Travelers says its IA partners are also able to use the new Travelers and Amazon co-branded assets to market to current and prospective customers about smart home technology.
“This is an exciting example of Travelers executing on our innovation agenda to be the undeniable choice for the customer and an indispensable partner for our agents and brokers,” said Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Travelers. “It advances our priorities of extending our lead in risk expertise and providing great experiences for our customers, agents and brokers.”
The new shop will offer smart home kits with the following:
- Security cameras.
- Water sensors.
- Motion detectors with multi-sensor capabilities.
- A smart home hub that wirelessly connects a wide range of smart devices and enables them to work together.
- An Amazon Echo Dot.
Travelers customers will be able to obtain the smart home kits for a discount in participating states and eligible insureds will also receive a discount on their insurance policy with the purchase of a kit. In addition, discounted kit installations are being offered through Amazon Smart Home Services, where available.
In addition to the new smart home kits, Travelers also introduced two new Alexa skills: the “Travelers” skill, which assists the company’s home insurance policyholders with questions regarding billing and payments; and the “Travelers Home Central” skill, which enables all consumers to access property maintenance and home safety tips. For example, “Alexa, ask Travelers when my bill is due,” or “Alexa, ask Home Central for a fall home maintenance tip.” The company plans to add additional Alexa skills over time.
Chubb and Hartford Steam Boiler Join Forces In New IoT Venture Aimed At “Predict and Prevent” Rather Than “Replace and Repair”
Chubb and HSB will join forces to begin offering Internet of Things (IoT) technology installation in Chubb insured homes and businesses. The IoT devices will include sensors to monitor for a variety of potential claims “waiting to happen” such as water leaks and changes in temperature, humidity, vibration and water pressure that often occur after being left undetected.
We’re excited to work with HSB, which offers best-in-class IoT sensors and device solutions. With active monitoring of homes and businesses through smart devices, we will be better able to help our clients prevent a total loss from a water leak or damage to a cherished collection of fine art or wine,” said Sean Ringsted, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Risk Officer at Chubb. “This partnership will advance our evolution from a model of ‘repair and replace’ to ‘predict and prevent,’ which will fundamentally change the relationship between insurers and their customers.”
“Hartford Steam Boiler was founded on the principles of inspection technology and loss prevention, and we’re focused on building on our heritage through new IoT tools and partnerships, including our new relationship with Chubb,” said Greg Barats, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hartford Steam Boiler. “We look forward to offering Chubb’s clients our proactive approach and proven solutions that use IoT sensors and monitoring to help prevent damage and property loss.”
A couple of different programs will be offered through this partnership. One will be for a segment of Chubb Private Risk Services clients, who will be able to install IoT sensors for early water leak detection for both their primary and secondary homes. This program is made available through HSB’s partnership with GROHE, the world’s leading provider of luxury fittings for kitchens and bathrooms and is powered by the GROHE Sense Guard system.
In two other programs, advanced IoT sensors that monitor temperature, vibration and humidity changes, powered by HSB’s Sensor Systems, will be installed in clients’ homes to help prevent damage to valuables such as fine art and wine collections, and, on the commercial side, in businesses and entities with environments sensitive to these factors.
New Resource Which Allows Mass. Agents To Share Information with Spanish-Speaking Commercial Insureds
The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has issued its new OFB-EZ (Open for Business-EZ) business continuity toolkit both in English and now in Spanish Spanish edition of the OFB-EZ toolkit. The addition of a Spanish version acknowledges the growing role that Hispanic-owned business play within the U.S. economy.
Hispanic-owned businesses are a great force driving small business growth in the U.S,” said Gail Moraton, business resiliency manager, IBHS. According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses contribute more than $700 billion annually to the U.S. economy and have generated nearly 32 percent top-line growth over the past five years, more than double the growth rate of all other business sectors.
As IBHS observed the trend of an expanding Hispanic small business market, we also identified the need to assist business owners whose primary language is Spanish to help them better prepare for disasters and other types of business interruptions. Our new Spanish version of OFB-EZ is a valuable resource that Massachusetts insurance agents can share with their Hispanic commercial insureds,” Moraton added.
No matter what language a business owner speaks, the unfortunate reality is that many are wholly unprepared when a natural disaster strikes. According to statistics provided by the IBHS, one in four businesses that close due to a disaster never reopen. Developing a business continuity plan should be a high priority for all small businesses across the U.S. so they can survive and quickly recover from costly interruptions, which can exceed $3,000 per day of disruption.
In conjunction with the rollout of the OFB-EZ Spanish edition, IBHS has also introduced new guidance for tracking essential business equipment during a disaster. Know Your Equipment provides a path for small business owners to highlight equipment essential to staying open before, during and after a disaster. This OFB-EZ module also is available in English and Spanish.
It appears that New Year’s Day is the new number one worst day for holiday car thefts. New data published this month by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that Halloween has dropped from the top spot for the holiday when most car thefts occur to number three.
A total of 22,770 vehicles were reported stolen on the 11 major U.S. holidays in 2017. Reviewing data issued by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the results show that New Years’ Day is now the number day for holiday thefts followed by President’s Day and then Halloween. The following is the complete list as compiled by the NICB:
1. New Year’s Day (2,469)
2. Presidents’ Day (2,312)
3. Halloween (2,297)
4. Memorial Day (2,290)
5. Labor Day (2,180)
6. Valentine’s Day (2,169)
7. Independence Day (2,124)
8. New Year’s Eve (1,962)
9. Christmas Eve (1,737)
10. Thanksgiving (1,682)
11. Christmas Day (1,548)