Multiline commercial insurer Hartford Steam Boiler is rolling out updated sensor technology powering its Sensor Systems by HSB suite of services for small to midsize business owners.
Launched in 2016, Sensor Systems by HSB helps building owners monitor property conditions for potential claims events, like freezes and leaks. The new sensors use LoRaWAN low-power wide-area networks wireless technology, with extended range thanks to cellular — rather than Wi-Fi — technology — to connect dispersed equipment and facilities through building walls and floors. The insurer has developed algorithms to analyze temperature, water accumulation, power outages, motion and humidity data, accounting for regular business uses.
“What we’re doing with the engineering data is tailoring it to their business class: If you’re a church or school we have precise and compelling solutions for you,” says Gordon Hui, VP of strategic innovations for Hartford Steam Boiler. “For the business itself, it’s an opportunity to prevent financial loss and business interruption, including things that may not be covered by traditional insurance.”
The company has about 20 different classes of businesses using Sensor Systems, Hui adds. HSB’s decision to design and build its own sensors is unique, but Hui says the company will use partners as needed to tailor the system for their customers’ evolving needs. Current partners for Sensor Systems and other HSB IoT initiatives include:
- Mnubo, for data analytics
- Augury, for vibration analysis
- Meshify, to create the management layer for alerts
“What we do is a lot of R&D, trying our technologies in a lot of different environments,” Hui says. “We think the potential for IoT in small commercial is limitless.”