Smart home devices are all about convenience and comfort. Imagine not needing to stand up to flick the lights on while playing a video game. You can also make your smart speaker play your favorite songs with voice commands. And a smart bed gathers data and self-adjusts to improve your sleep.
There are also smart home devices for home security. Things like smart security cameras and video doorbells help protect you, your family, and your possessions.
Some smart devices also help you save money. For instance, smart thermostats and air conditioners can turn themselves off when you are not at home. That reduces your energy consumption.
And speaking of saving money, some smart home devices could also earn you a discount on homeowners insurance.
Smart Home Devices and Discounts on Homeowners Insurance
American personal finance company NerdWallet reached out to a dozen insurance companies. NerdWallet found that most of these companies offer a discount to homeowners with smart-home devices. The catch is that the said smart home devices must be designed to prevent water damage, fire, or theft.
Depending on the device and where you live, the research uncovered that you could get homeowners insurance discounts up to 13%. According to the research, water leak sensors, security cameras, and smoke detectors are the most eligible smart devices. But there could be more depending on the company advertising the discount.
For example, Lemonade Inc. and Farmers Insurance Group offer savings for smart locks. Meanwhile, Farmers and Amica Mutual Insurance give discounts for motion sensors.
That said, if you already own one of these devices, contact your carrier and ask them if you are eligible for a discount.
That’s not all! Some insurers have partnered with smart-home technology companies. They aim to make smart devices more affordable – or even for free.
For instance, State Farm policyholders can sign up for three years of free Ting service in most states. Ting is a service that provides a plug-in that monitors your home for electrical problems that could cause fires.
Likewise, Hippo – a homeowners insurance startup – gives away free smart home-monitoring kits from partners to policyholders in eligible states. The said partners include Kangaroo and SimpliSafe. If the policyholder installs and keeps the devices active, they can save up to 13% on homeowners insurance.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company offers almost 50% off the purchase of Notion smart sensors. Similarly, Amica policyholders can save when buying smart home devices from Kangaroo, Moen, or Guardian. On top of that, the companies will give you homeowners insurance discounts once you install the devices.
Why Do They Do These?
So, why do these insurance companies reward smart home devices? They offer discounts for smart home devices because they help fix problems early. In turn, that prevents potentially expensive claims.
Brett Sobol, senior growth initiatives lead at Hippo, paints a clearer picture. Suppose you have a water sensor next to your water heater. Then, your water heater springs a leak. The water sensor will sound an alarm and alert you through your phone. That allows you to take immediate action, preventing the problem from getting out of hand. Some sensors even have an automatic water shut-off feature, and hence they are effective even when no one is home.
Now, think of the same situation but without the water sensor. You could end up filing a claim. Also, you may need to pay a big deductible and have contractors clean the damage in your basement.
With the sensor, you may not need to file a claim at all because the damage is so limited. As Sobol puts it, “The best experience is one where there’s no claim.”
Why You Need To Buy Smart Home Devices
There are plenty of smart home devices on the market you can choose from. A smart refrigerator will keep track of its contents’ expiry date. Smart scales measure more than weight, giving users more details about their health. There are also smart bathtubs, which allow you to fill the tub up to a specified depth and temperature through a control panel. You can also use a mobile app or voice command instead.
But please keep in mind that smart devices are not the most affordable products in the market. The cost of smart home technology can quickly add up.
That said, you have to think about what devices you need to prioritize buying. If you want discounts on homeowners insurance, you need to invest in protective devices.
Karen Collins, assistant vice president of personal lines at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, gives some advice. If you are unsure of which smart device to get, consider your home’s unique risks.
If you live in a neighborhood with high crime rates, a home security system would be your best choice. And if that’s not the case, maybe your home uses older plumbing. That makes water sensors a higher priority.
Sobol says water sensors are great choices for most homeowners. He adds that water damage is by far the most common claim that smart home devices can prevent. Putting water sensors in basements, bathrooms, and under appliances can prevent claims from turning into big claims.
Remember to ask your issuer whether or not the device you are considering qualifies you for a homeowners insurance discount. They might pay for themselves within a few years, depending on the discount amount and the cost of the devices.
Smart home devices don’t just offer comfort. They also allow you to save money. Yes, you have to spend a considerable amount to buy them. But they have many benefits like saving on energy bills and discounts on homeowners insurance.
And the benefits go beyond just insurance savings. Sobol says that smart home technology offers customers peace of mind. And that is indeed true. What will make you relax more than knowing that your home is -better protected?
Perhaps it is time for you to shop for smart home devices. It will be worth every penny.