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Irish-invented smart water valve has potential to lower insurance premiums

Companies have already started using the Flowsafe Smart Water Valve.

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Justin McInerney invented the Flowsafe Smart Water Valve (Conor McCabe)

Justin McInerney invented the Flowsafe Smart Water Valve (Conor McCabe)

Justin McInerney invented the Flowsafe Smart Water Valve (Conor McCabe)

An Irish smart valve which automatically shuts off water systems if it detects the smallest of leaks could lead to lower insurance premiums.

Invented by Cork-based company Smartzone, the Flowsafe Smart Water Valve is potentially able to eliminate the cause of 40% of property claims worldwide.

Insurance giant Aviva has introduced a number of pilot schemes where it is offering discounted premiums to customers who install the device.

The device’s inventor Justin McInerney, CEO of Smartzone, said it is the “most advanced” water valve in the world.

“It is capable of smart detection leaks down to a level of 0.1 litres per hour, giving complete protection,” he added.

“Working seamlessly with the Smartzone smart home alarm platform, Flowsafe shuts off water when the client is away from their home and eliminates the potential for water leaks, which cost an average of 9,000 euro per claim, when no-one is in the building.

It is capable of smart detection leaks down to a level of 0.1 litres per hour, giving complete protectionJustin McInerney, Smartzone

“It allows real-time monitoring at a single home or at an enterprise level allowing water to be turned off immediately if leaks are present and alerting the user instantly.

“On a larger scale, the valve offers advanced analytics at utility level so water companies can see leaks occurring locally and react quickly to resolve.”

The invention will be used worldwide by Alarm.com to eliminate leaks in the built environment, manage and reduce water consumption and provide real-time data on water use.

“Leaks or the escape of water is one the biggest cause of claims for insurers and accounts for a significant proportion of their personal and commercial property claims,” said Aviva Ireland’s chief underwriting officer Brian Mahon.

“With an estimated annual cost to the Irish insurance industry of over 100 million euro, this issue is a huge factor when pricing premiums, especially if a leak has occurred.

“Failure points have increased dramatically over the past 20 years due to the increase on pressured plumbing systems, and there is a high likelihood that once there is an initial leak, more will follow.

“This Irish technological solution shows early signs of potential to solve this problem, and Aviva is planning to put in place a number of pilots offering discounts to customers that install a device that automatically cuts off the flow of water when there is an water-related issue.”

PA