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David Tideman

 

The insurance industry's perspective on home fire sprinklers

State Farm's David Tideman tells attendees at NFPA's 2015 Fire Sprinkler Summit in Boston why his company supports sprinklers

Deemed the largest property casualty writer in the U.S., State Farm offers up to a 10-percent insurance discount for homes equipped with these devices. "State Farm's approach has been to incentivize safe behavior," David Tideman, counsel in the Corporate Law Department of State Farm Insurance Companies, told attendees at NFPA's 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit in Boston. (State Farm is also a member of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition.)

While his company supports home fire sprinklers, Tideman noted that support from competitors is uneven. "There's been a lack of enthusiasm because of water concerns," he said. "If State Farm is giving a 10-percent discount, [do you think it would do so for something that] causes more water damage in your home than the fire damage it'll prevent?"

Tideman also tackled the issue of making sprinklers a customer choice. "It's nice to say, 'Let people choose.' That has not been a formula for success. Safety measures usually require a law. Sprinklers enhances State Farm's political capital because we're promoting safety." 

He tasked the group with highlighting the firefighter-safety aspect of sprinklers and continue advocating and educating on the issue. Together, these tactics will bring about societal change, he said. 

Download Tideman's summit presentation for more information.