Can Renters Insurers play a bigger role than just Risk Mitigation?

Property managers play an important role in ensuring that condos and apartment complexes are effectively managed.  

 

While managing the Multi family unit is the responsibility of its resident, property managers still come to play a critical role in gray areas that are not well defined.  A most common one is the impact of water damage.  Who is responsible for the broken pipe in an upper unit causing damage on the lower floors specially if it is unoccupied?  How does one ensure that the leaks are caught immediately so that the damage is not as widespread than it usually ends up being?

 

Most of the property management firms address this by relying on the tenants to flag such issues.  Damage mitigation and prevention is then carried out through a supervisor who usually stays on-premise.  However, this approach makes two critical assumptions that in many cases prove false.  One is that the tenant is able to immediately alert the occurrence of such an alarm event.  This is unfortunately not true as many families have dual working parents and school going children that results in the house remaining empty for long hours.  The second is that the supervisor is immediately available upon such an alert to initiate mitigation activity.  While the supervisor remains on-site, the response time is dictated by the amount of 'tickets' that has been raised during the period.  With no way to objectively prioritize the complaints from residents, it is very likely that the supervisor reaches the unit way later than needed in order to limit the damage.

 

The juxtaposition of these twin variables invariably results in a much larger damage leading to loss in revenue and customer satisfaction for the property owners, management companies and the insurance provider.

 

Leveraging a smart-sensor based technology that can immediately alert an alarm-event to multiple stakeholders including residents, supervisors, property managers and insurance providers can address this challenge.  By allowing the stakeholders to be aware of the issue even when they are not physically present in the house, we are immediately able to substantially increase the probability of an effective mitigation.  Purple Ant achieves this by leveraging a combination of alarm event triggers through mobile-apps, SMS messages and even phone calls to the resident and supervisor.  Further, we have built-in logic that allows the property management company to track the response of the supervisor, thus ensuring a faster response time where needed.  Residents are able to interact with the mobile-app and indicate false alarms when needed as well.

 

Given the increasing losses that such damages can cause, it is only a matter of time before more and more property managers and insurers adopt this simple, yet incredibly useful technical innovation for apartment complexes and condos.