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HSB uses Internet of Things to help insurers prevent losses

Brian Anderson

Using sensor technology to remotely monitor business equipment and facilities could prevent millions of dollars in losses for insurers and their policyholders. But how do insurers collect and assess the data they need to head off a problem? The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB), part of Munich Re, Oct. 4 introduced an Internet of Things-based turnkey service to help insurers manage risk.

“The rapid advances of new technologies are increasing the demand for value-added services that are included with insurance coverage,” said Greg Barats, president and chief executive officer of Hartford Steam Boiler. “HSB has used its extensive equipment data and experience with IoT-based systems to develop an early warning system for insurers and customers.”

In a pilot program with Church Mutual Insurance Company, HSB’s IoT service saved customers more than $500,000 by avoiding property losses from frozen pipe leaks. HSB and Church Mutual are expanding the service to thousands of additional houses of worship insured by Church Mutual.

“At Church Mutual, we embrace innovation,” said Richard Poirier, president and chief executive officer. “We want our customers to thrive, and partnering with leaders such as HSB in advancing technology helps us help our customers.”

HSB continues to develop its IoT service offerings targeted at insurers, installing sensors at commercial locations insured by its client insurance companies to monitor conditions that pose potential risks. The program is customized for each insurer to reflect the types of businesses it covers and can focus on the challenging classes of business in its portfolio.

The wave of new IoT applications has many insurers exploring the use of sensors and other new technologies to identify exposures and interpret the data for policyholders. Yet, although 60 percent of insurance companies have piloted or considered IoT programs, only 15 percent have launched IoT-based solutions which require specialized technology skills and knowledge.1

Peter Röder, member of the Board of Management of Munich Re said, “HSB is building on its deep technical expertise and transforming itself toward a new value proposition that shields its clients and partners from the complexity and churn of the technology world, to power Munich Re’s efforts to lead the disruption of insurance from IoT.”

HSB works with insurers to install sensors that continuously monitor equipment and conditions at customer locations. HSB analyzes the data and sends alerts to policyholders via email, cell phone, or text when an issue needs attention or could result in a breakdown or property damage.

1. Usage-Based Insurance Global Study 2016, PTOLEMUS Consulting Group.

Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), a member of Munich Re’s Risk Solutions family since 2009, is a leading specialty insurer providing equipment breakdown, other specialty coverages, inspection services and engineering-based risk management that set the standard for excellence worldwide. The company focuses on clients and partners with them to craft inventive insurance and service solutions to cover existing and emerging risks posed by technological change. Today, as throughout its 150-year history, HSB’s mission is to use its engineering knowledge and insights to help clients prevent loss, advance sustainable use of energy resources and build deeper relationships that benefit business, industry, public institutions and consumers. For more information, visit www.hsb.com and connect onTwitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 43,000 employees throughout the world. 



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