Last week, I went to Texas for the annual Dig-In Conference, where I joined fellow insurtech industry leaders Mark Breading from Strategy Meets Action, Yuval Harry from Hippo, and Brett Jurgensin from Notion. On our panel, The Future of P&C is Proactive, discussing the factors and technologies driving the insurance industry towards becoming more proactive.
I focused on smart home data: How connected devices will become tools that will allow customers to avoid accidents and mitigate risks. I believe that combining this technology and insurance can create a new experience for customers and insurers:
Homeowners are beginning to understand how connected devices can make their lives easier, with smart thermostats, cameras, and voice assistants. A study from Parks Associatesindicated that once a smart home device was put into the home, 75 percent of homeowners were pleased with the device and its performance. Connected devices such as water and smoke detectors can do even more than make lives easier: A wide variety of smart home sensors available, such as door/window, water, temperature, humidity, etc. can provide notifications that can help prevent home damage. For example, a water sensor by Notion can send homeowners a notification when a leak is detected under the sink or by the washing machine. In this case, if a pipe starts leaking in the basement, as soon as the homeowner see the notification they can go home to stop the damage or have the pipe serviced immediately. The alternative: The homeowner arrives home from work — or worse, vacation — to discover water damage already done and possibly getting worse.
With these smart home devices, insurers have the opportunity to become partners for their customers in preventing home damage. As a partner, an insurer can help homeowners ensure that smart home devices are updated and installed properly, or recommend key devices for the best results to help them minimize home damage. For example, in addition to a connected water sensor, homeowners can add a smart shutoff valve to the main water line — so that in addition to being notified about a water leak, they can almost instantly put a stop to the problem by shutting the line remotely. With faster notifications, the insurance industry could potentially see less damage in customers’ homes, leading to fewer claims filed. When smart home devices are used properly in customer homes, time and money will be saved by both parties, opening the opportunity for insurers to reward customers for their pro activity.
This new partnership will change the customer experience in insurance, and, consequently, begin to inject pro-activity into the industry. A study from Parks Associates showed that reduced household bills and discounts on insurance premiums raised interest in purchasing smart home devices by 60 percent among households across the United States. With this interest in discounts tied to smart home technology, customers and insurers will find synergy in lessening damage and claims. This could even jump-start the claim process: When a leak is detected, the insurer can check in with the homeowner, or the homeowner can share data from their device that water is detected. In the end, smart home devices combined with insurance will continue to create a new and improved insurance experience for both insurers and customers.
If you didn’t meet me at Dig-In, please connect! This advancement in the space is being created through innovators and new partnerships. Stay tuned for even more from SmartInsure, or check out what my team is doing: https://www.mysmartinsure.com/