Indoor water damage can be a homeowner's nightmare. And for insurance companies, settling water-damage claims can be a complex process. But help is on its way in the form of connected devices that can dehumidify rooms and automatically report power consumption to speed up the settlement of claims.
Indoor flooding and soaking rank high among the mishaps that tenants and homeowners fear most. The cause can be a burst pipe, or a fire is extinguished only to leave the place soaked with fire-fighting water. I personally experienced this kind of calamity in 2018, when a storm named Fabienne stripped tiles from my roof, allowing rainwater to flood my apartment. To dry my floors and walls, I had to run a dehumidifier for 12 days, which resulted in a huge electricity bill. A service representative came by every few days to measure the room’s humidity. During those twelve days, I had to empty the dryer's water tank several times. And my electricity meter kept racing day and night.
Fixing water damage is also very time-consuming for restoration firms as each dehumidifier has to be assigned to the correct order. Once the rooms are dry, readings are taken for the power consumption of each device. This data is then evaluated and compiled for the insurance companies, to enable them to settle the claim.
Fast claims settlement and payment
I did indeed get reimbursed for my extra power use, once everything was dry and all the damage had been repaired. But it did still test my patience. Help is at hand with the joint solution provided by Polygonvatro, a global property damage expert, and Deutsche Telekom. A smart box integrated in the dehumidifier’s extension cord measures power consumption, temperature, and humidity, and then transmits this data to the Deutsche Telekom cloud. Using a cell phone app, field service technicians can identify each box, access the dehumidifier, assign it online to the correct customer order, and then read out the dehumidifier's data from the cloud. As a result, the complete process is now digitalized, from the socket to preparation of the final invoice for the insurance company. Ideally, the field service technician only needs to visit the customer twice: once to set up the dehumidifier and once to remove it.
How wonderful. The nightmare of water damage can come to a happy end much more quickly!