Smart technology has evolved so quickly over the last decade due to the growth of the Internet of Things (IOT), that the kind of high-tech security systems previously reserved for the super wealthy are now both available and affordable for the general population.
MoneySuperMarket surveyed the nation and found that 77% of Brits have heard of a connected home, but if you find yourself in the 23% who aren’t familiar with the concept you have come to the right place.
A connected home will have a range of devices such as a smart thermostat, smart lighting or even video doorbells that are controlled by either your smartphone or voice controlled by a home assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa. This kind of connectivity is only going to increase as smartphone ownership reaches 79% of the UK adult population in 2019, presenting a huge opportunity for growth within the market.
In a fully connected home you can wave goodbye to walking in to a cold house by using your smartphone to switch your heating on before you get home. Got your hands full with groceries? Simply say ‘Alexa, lights on’ to illuminate your way to the kitchen.
These nifty little devices are great for convenience, but you could argue – How difficult is it to manually switch a light on? The true benefits of living in a connected home become apparent when you use your connectivity to boost your security.
One of the worries you may have while you are on holiday is the fear of returning home to discover you’ve been burgled. With a smart sensor fitted to your main doors and accessible windows you can relax with peace of mind that if someone were to pay your home an unexpected visit, you can receive an instant notification to your mobile phone. This technology can be purchased for as little as £30 per unit, providing you with museum-level security for a fraction of what it would have cost 10 years ago.
A video doorbell, such as the one created by Ring can send your smartphone or tablet a notification when you have a visitor. Through the app, you can see who is at your doorstop and communicate with them when you are at home, or even abroad. Its motion-detection activation and infrared night vision can provide excellent protection from theft. Aside from the security benefits, this device can ensure you never miss a delivery and can even avoid answering the door to nuisance visitors!
Similarly, to the video doorbells available, you can install smart cameras in areas of your home most vulnerable to break-ins. Triggered by motion-sensors, a notification is sent to your phone with live video footage and ability to communicate with any would-be-burglar, acting as a highly effective form of deterrence.
What does this mean for insurance?
One of the strongest benefits of a smart home is the ability to help protect a home from damage, which in turn can reduce the volume and costs of claims. According to The Association of British Insurers (ABI), Escape of Water caused 30% of domestic claims, costing the industry a whopping £3.9m per day.
There are smart devices on the market, which can not only notify you of a leak, but can also allow you to shut your water off at the source via your smart phone. Installing devices that can help prevent these claims would be of interest to both the consumer and the insurer but the industry is slow to jump on board, with only a few disruptor companies entering the market in the smart-tech space.
On a positive note, this kind of tech creates a huge opportunity for insurers to innovate and reward consumers who install this kind of tech with lower premiums, while benefitting from having to pay out for less claims. Could the Internet of Things revolutionize the insurance industry, resulting in a win-win for consumers and businesses alike or will this industry fail to recognize that 58% of Brits would buy a smart device if it reduced their insurance premiums.