GNJ Mitigates $1.4 Million in Claims from Sensor Program

October 9, 2019 | | The Relay, GNJ News

Every year buildings across the Greater New Jersey Conference face the possibility of damage and disruption from water-related incidents like frozen pipes. Unexpected temperature dips during the winter months or faulty heating operations can leave some churches vulnerable to these unplanned burdens to their budgets.

But in recent years this problem has diminished significantly thanks to the introduction of Church Mutual’s CM Sensor 24/7 temperature and water alert system for our more than 400 churches.

The CM Sensor Program, which was first rolled out to our churches in 2017, provides free 24/7 protection against the threat of property damage by sending alerts directly to a mobile phone for elevated water levels, freezing conditions and other issues that may affect a church’s water system.

“GNJ has the highest success rate out of all the churches we serve,” said Tiffany Lupo, a senior account manager at Sovereign Insurance Company, which is the broker agent for Church Mutual.
Lupo added since its start in 2017 that sensors have been installed in 415 of the 420 eligible churches in GNJ. Each sensor equates to a savings of about $20-30 thousand when more costly repairs associated with flooding or other disasters are averted.

The Christ UMC in Jersey City knows all too well how the sensors have prevented that. Since being installed in June 2017, the sensors at the church have saved nearly $30 thousand two different instances.

Reverend Cliff Still Chair of the Conference Board of Trustees said, “GNJ churches have proven to be good stewards by installing these sensors. The conference mitigated approximately $1.4 million in property claims, which assists in helping manage property insurance premiums so more resources stay at the local level.”

Lupo echoed the sentiment. “It’s a great risk-management tool, and we’re happy that GNJ has been so proactive about this. We really value this partnership,” said Lupo. “They are our shining example that these sensors hold up.”

This service, which is provided to clients free of charge, is valued at $200-300 per unit and $30 per month for monitoring. However, Lupo added that they have no intention of ever passing this cost onto their clients.

Each organization is reviewed for the best type and number of sensors to be installed. The number is based on the potential freeze or pipe burst areas in the building. Two or three sensors are normally installed.

Partnering with Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), this state-of-the-art technology is not only saving thousands of dollars for churches throughout GNJ, it also giving them the piece of mind they need so they can concentrate on ministry and bringing more vitality into their churches.

Kevin Nugent, senior risk control consultant at Church Mutual, said, “This not only saves churches money, but sometimes catastrophes related to water damage can keep congregations out of their sanctuaries for a year. This helps prevent that.”

He added that the sensor saves in GNJ over the past two years have added up to $457 thousand.

In 2017, Church Mutual Insurance Co. was recognized for its Sensor Technology program with the “Award in Innovation” by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and by Celent with a “Model Insurer Award for Innovation and Emerging Technologies.” For more information, see www.churchmutual.com/sensors/assets/Sensor_Booklet.pdf.