Like many consumers, I tend to be automatically suspicious of insurance companies\u2019 plans to track my behavior. And like many tech journalists, I\u2019m also skeptical of clever new smart home automation schemes. But painful personal experience has me all excited about a new pilot program involving Travelers insurance and Notion smart home sensors.\nAccording to a post in Coverager:\n\n\u201cTravelers\u00a0has tapped\u00a0Notion, the home awareness solution and smart home sensor, to offer\u00a0smart home monitoring systems to Travelers customers in California. Travelers is working with Notion to provide data-driven insights to customers through Notion\u2019s home monitoring system in order to prevent and mitigate threats such as\u00a0water leaks, fire damage, and thefts.\nSelect Travelers\u2019 customers throughout California will now be equipped with Notion sensors to help them better protect\u00a0and insure properties using Notion\u2019s technology, which monitors for water leaks, changes in temperature, sounding smoke\u00a0alarms and the opening\/closing of doors, garages and more.\u201d\n\nThose two paragraphs constitute the entire article, while Stacy on IoT added that \u201cTravelers will offer five Notion sensors for $50, which is a discount from the normal price of $200. Insurers might eventually subsidize the smart home.\u201d\n\nBeware the psychotic dishwasher\nI am 100 percent on board with this idea. As someone who lives in a 120-year-old not-so-smart-home, I can confidently state that this technology could have saved both my family and my home insurance company tens of thousands of dollars.\nA couple years ago, you see, my dishwasher went crazy and started pumping gallon after gallon of water out into the kitchen and then through the floor into my downstairs bedroom. Unfortunately, I had started the dishwasher\u2019s cleaning cycle as I was heading out the door, and no one noticed the problem for hours. By the time someone realized what was happening, the damage was done.\nCleaning up the mess, drying everything out, and dealing with water damage to floors, carpets, walls, furniture, and household items took weeks of heaters and fans followed by demolition of the waterlogged areas. And that doesn\u2019t even address the reconstruction. Incredibly, while repairing the actual damage took months of unpleasant work, dealing with my insurance company\u2019s hardball negotiating and endless paperwork was almost worse \u2014 and took even longer.\nA simple moisture sensor in the right place could have stopped all the problems before they got out of hand. At the very least, it could have alerted us to the problem so we would have dealt with it faster. Even better, it could have automatically turned off the water or contacted a remote security agency to address the problem.\nThat would have saved money and headaches for everyone. Even the dishwasher manufacturer, which was eventually stuck with much of the bill, would have been better off.\nAnecdotally, this is a common problem\nSure, a single incident hardly proves that this kind of technology would be commercially viable. But I know at least four other families who have survived similar \u2014 or much worse \u2014 \u201cdisasters\u201d that could have been prevented with the right IoT technology. Still anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but it's hard to ignore when you\u2019re standing on your soaked bedroom carpeting.\nIf and when this technology becomes generally available, this is one IoT solution that I\u2019d be more than willing to buy for my house, especially if the insurance company was smart enough to help cover the cost.\nAs I\u2019ve written before, though, while insurance companies often express interest in gathering and using IoT data, they don\u2019t have a great track record of actually using the data.\nThere is hope that could change. Earlier this summer, for example, Bob Cummings, vice president and global head of insurance at SAP, wrote to me about how \u201cMindHome Insurance uses AI-based algorithms that interpret signals from a consumer\u2019s home and responds in real time with notifications and connected preventative actions.\u201d\nWhile as of mid-August MindHome\u2019s website was still \u201cunder construction,\u201d it\u2019s clear that at least some forward-looking insurance companies and technology vendors are paying attention to this opportunity.