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Mar 21, 2023

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


Today’s guest is John D. Dempsey, CEO and Co-Founder of InsightRisk, Founder and Managing Partner of Dempsey Partners, a risk management consulting firm acquired by Aon. John also formed Terrabella Risk Consulting LLC, which provides insurance advisory and risk management consulting services globally. John advises insurance industry professionals on technology and innovation. Today’s discussion covers water damage prevention with IoT technology, other ways that IoT technology is being tested for risk management, and a review of World Water Day and the UN’s SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework for safe water. #WorldWaterDay.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMScast.

[:14] About today’s episode, our Annual World Water Day episode.

[:25] All about upcoming RIMS webinars, workshops, events, and more!

[1:05] About RIMS-CRMP.

[1:19] About RIMS-CRMP-FED.

[1:53] About RISKWORLD 2023 with closing keynote speaker Danica Patrick!

[2:09] About recent RIMScast episodes.

[2:32] About World Water Day, March 22. Learn more at

[2:46] About today’s episode with John Dempsey, CEO and Co-Founder of InsightRisk on World Water Day, how the IoT can be used to reduce water risk, and the UN’s SDG 6.

[3:10] Justin welcomes John Dempsey to the podcast!

[3:17] John became a RIMS associate member in the ’90s.

[3:45] John started a company in the ’80s that helped risk managers recover from losses and seek recovery from insurance.

[4:04] John’s career helping risk managers culminated in selling his company to Aon in 2013. John spent four great years working with Aon helping companies globally.

[4:24] John focused on exposure valuation, helping underinsured clients to increase their coverage. After Aon, he works with startups to reduce losses through technology.

[5:22] About the RIMS chapters where John has been a member. NY is his favorite.

[5:51] John will be seeing some of his RIMS friends at RISKWORLD!

[6:11] How John became involved in water risk management later in his career.

[6:21] How a hospital was damaged when a contractor left a roof hole exposed to rain.

[7:21] Most man-made water damage losses can be prevented. John explains IoT sensor systems technology. Who pays for the installation?

[9:15] John’s company has a financing methodology to make the system affordable. They absorb the cost of the systems by using them over and over on different projects.

[10:41] John describes the value proposition of the IoT water damage sensor system.

[11:41] As new technology is introduced into the loss management space, testing proves the value proposition.

[12:21] John tells of a partly occupied condominium under construction. A water sensor was triggered at night. A repairman responded and fixed the leak, saving $10,000,000.

[13:34] InsightRisk’s purpose for the sensors is to avert big water damage losses that cause long delays for builders and balance sheet volatility for carriers.

[14:48] RIMS plug time! Sponsor a weekly or dedicated episode of RIMScast! Contact us at Register for RISKWORLD and in-person workshops before RISKWORLD.

[15:50] Justin revisits his interview with Josh Linkner, highlighting why live events are so critical, with the demand for human connection in this era of remote and hybrid work.

[17:55] John discusses areas where new IoT technologies can avert damage. Look at the value proposition. Do the technologies reduce the frequency or the severity of loss?

[18:44] John shares an example: Wearable technologies reduce workers’ compensation and GL claims, and increase profitability.

[19:56] Fire is the second biggest cause of loss. Technology is being developed that can detect very early the potential of electrical fire from degrading insulation.

[20:26] John mentions Chad Hollingsworth and Bret Bush of InsightRisk. Chad and Bret stay ahead of the curve, working to prove and deploy the next generation of technology.

[21:38] About World Water Day and effective water risk management. The emerging world and even some U.S. have major water issues.

[22:12] World Water Day is to achieve the UN’s SDG 6 agenda by 2030, so that safe drinking water and safe sanitation are available to all. There are 17 UN SDG Goals!

[24:29] Justin recalls Henk Ovink telling him about Heineken’s recycling of sludge in the brewing process. Water-intensive industries have to pay very close attention to water.

[25:30] John discusses water use in the mining industry. Risks abound but everybody wants battery-operated cars so we have to deal with the needed supply chains.

[26:50] Risk managers have many responsibilities, including insurance, and a seat at the table for strategic decisions. Are they aware of IoT technologies to avert damages?

[28:16] When risk managers identify a problem, they figure out ways to solve it. John started two businesses this way.

[30:01] John would love to hear from risk managers on what they see out there and what kinds of solutions they’re looking for, that technology might play a role in solving.

[30:47] Justin thanks John for being on the show and sharing his insight on water risk management and water damage.

[31:14] Check out the links for past coverage of World Water Day. Sponsor a RIMScast episode to reach a global audience! Justin shares other RIMS offers including a transitional membership!


Mentioned in this Episode:

RISKWORLD 2023 — April 30‒May 3 in Atlanta, Georgia! Public registration is open!

Riskworld: In-Person Workshops April 29‒30 | Save 30% on pre-conference workshops when you register to attend RISKWORLD!

RIMS-CRMP Exam Prep Course — In-Person at Riskworld, April 29‒30! Register by April 21.

RIMS-CRMP-FED Virtual Prep Course — May 8‒10, 2023 | Register by May 1.

RIMS Diversity Equity & Inclusion page

Contribute to Risk Management Magazine

Insight Risk

UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 Global Acceleration Framework

Upcoming Webinars:

“Cyber Solutions: Parametric Protection of the Digital Supply Chain” | Sponsored by Parametrix | March 30, 2023

“Forced Labor and Supply Chains” | Sponsored by Sayari Analytics | April 13, 2023

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“On The Menu: Restaurant Injury Risk Trends in 2023”

“World Water Day 2022 with Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands”

“Earth Observations, Acronyms, and Risk with Dr. Shanna McClain of NASA” (2021)

“Combating Water Scarcity with AquaShares Founder James Workman” (2020)

“Riskworld Keynote Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM President and CEO” (2023)

“Innovation and Improvisation with RISKWORLD Keynote Josh Linkner” (2023)

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

Captive Market Outlook and Industry Insights | Sponsored by AXA XL (NEW!)

“Using M&A Insurance: The How and Why” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Zurich’s Construction Sustainability Outlook for 2023”

“Aon’s 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Overview”

“ESG Through the Risk Lens” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“A Look at the Cyber Insurance Market” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“How to Reduce Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Risks” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Managing Global Geopolitical Risk in 2022 and Beyond” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Keeping Subcontractors Safe Through Partner Elevation” | Sponsored by Highwire

“ESG: A Responsibility and a Growing Megatrend” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Prioritizing People: Focusing on Your Team to Deliver Exceptional Quality and Service to Your Clients” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“Bermuda Opportunities in 2022 with BDA Chair Stephen Weinstein” | Sponsored by Bermuda Business Development Agency

“SyncR: A Tool to Enhance Your Risk Quality & Insurance Strategy” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“RIMScast: Navigating the Risk Landscape in 2022” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“RIMScast: Prioritizing People: Expertise and Innovation” | Sponsored by Gallagher Bassett

“RIMScast: Risk Findings for the Industrial & Manufacturing Industry” | Sponsored by Aon

RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

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Follow up with Our Guest:

John Dempsey


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“Exposure to water losses was endemic. … The forms of water losses are many, including storms and storm surges, which we’re all aware of. … The less sexy forms of water loss are things like a hole in the roof of a hospital ... the night of a major thunderstorm.” — John Dempsey


“When we deploy the [water damage sensor] system, there’s no additional cost to the insured or the carrier. We absorb it and make up for it by using the systems over and over again on different projects. … It’s an additional cost that nobody wants to pay.” — John Dempsey


“What’s needed is a very solid value proposition. And that means that if you’re a risk manager on the buy side or you’re a carrier looking to finance better risk control, if you spend X, how much do you get out of it? What’s … your return on the investment?” — John Dempsey


“Every risk manager knows, when there’s a problem, there’s a way to resolve it and sometimes if you take bite-sized pieces it’s a little easier to solve those pieces one at a time. SDG is 17 initiatives, only one of which is water.” — John Dempsey


“I know from experience that when risk managers identify a problem, they figure out ways to solve it. In fact, I started two businesses that way.” — John Dempsey


Additional background detail about SDG 6:

COVID-19 makes us acutely aware of our shared vulnerability and common destiny. Yet the extraordinary global disruption caused by the pandemic offers a unique opportunity, and a new hope, to “build back better.” With a shift in priorities, we can get the world on track to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 including SDG 6 water and sanitation for all.

Launch of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework:

Hosted by UN-Water, the Sustainable Development Goal 6 Global Acceleration Framework launch during the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be a high-level and multi-stakeholder moment to generate commitments for ambitious solutions on water and sanitation in support of the Decade of Action to deliver SDGs by 2030. The framework is driven by country demand and will align the international community to strengthen country planning, implementation, and knowledge sharing for SDG 6 while supporting country response to the COVID-19 pandemic.