Safer, smarter homes with Sonic


Escape of water is the number one cause of home insurance claims in the UK – accounting for 24% of all claims by value, and costing insurers around £865 million per annum. In the US, the total cost of leak claims tops $9.6 billion. Sonic can help to reduce the frequency and severity of escape of water claims, while helping to build meaningful customer relationships by actively protecting homes as well as insuring them.

Sonic uses HD UltraSonic technology to detect even the kind of slow, hidden leaks that tend to go unnoticed until significant damage has been done. At the other end of the spectrum, the Smart Shut-off valve can respond to burst pipes in a matter of seconds – so the damage from a catastrophic failure can be greatly reduced. Depending on the duration of the leak and the volume of the home’s plumbing, Sonic can reduce escaping water by as much as 90% – which might be the difference between a drying company and a new kitchen. Sonic can detect when pipes are going to freeze and warn the homeowner via the mobile app, so in some cases it can even prevent a claim outright.

It’s not easy to build meaningful relationships with customers at the best of times, but insurance is a product that many people buy hoping they’ll never to have to use. A solid home insurance policy provides an excellent safety net, but prevention is better than cure for insurers and homeowners alike. Sonic doesn’t just guard against leaks – it lets homeowners check up on their home remotely via the mobile app; use the “circle of trust” feature to send alerts friends and family if they’re going away, or just relax knowing that Sonic will automatically respond to severe incidents like burst pipes. It’s exactly the kind of peace of mind that homeowners are looking for when they purchase home insurance – perfect synergy.

A major challenge for insurers is providing value outside of a claim scenario. Sonic helps homeowners to understand their water usage, save money and protect the environment, so even if they’re fortunate enough to never have a water leak there’s opportunities to demonstrate tangible day-to-day value. Likewise for insurers – between flow data, temperature, geolocation, app activity and the host of other touch-points provided by the Hero Labs suite, Sonic can generate significant data insights for use in actuarial models. Flow data provides a proxy for occupancy and number of residents, and our algorithm can even recognise certain flow patterns to determine which white goods are in the home. It’s like vehicular telematics for the buildings.

Bundling Sonic with home insurance policies provides an excellent way to differentiate your product offering while actively reducing the risk profile of the homes that have it installed. If homes are safer, everyone wins.


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