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Army of bots tackles household water leaks 

British utility South West Water is sending insurtech Ondo’s LeakBot technology to 6000 customers in Devon and Cornwall under a six-month trial.

The smart devices detect internal leaks at properties. They are clipped to pipes near the customer’s internal stop tap and can detect any constant flow, providing an instant smartphone alert.

LeakBot was designed for home insurers to prevent water damage claims.

Ondo CEO Craig Foster says previous trials of LeakBot – which uses a sensor technology called Thermi-Q – achieved a 60% reduction in leaks in homes.

“A rollout with South West Water will allow us to help prevent unnecessary wastage through domestic leaks across the region,” he said. “We look forward to working on the deployment of the initial 6000 devices and seeing the results.”

Hiscox, Direct Line, Covea and Eaton Gate in Britain, TopDanmark in Denmark and Länsförsäkringar in Sweden are insurers that have rolled out the technology.

“This is a game-changer for the insurance industry, as it means there is now a viable commercial model for using internet of things technology to reduce claims,” Ondo said.

South West Water says it is fixing a record 2000 leaks a month, and about 30% are on customer properties.

“LeakBot will enable customers to detect leaks so they can be fixed quicky,” South West Water Drought and Resilience Director David Harris said. “We’re excited to see the impact.”