Imagine you’re at work when you get a call from your teenager telling you they’re locked out of the house. With the simple tap of an app on your smartphone, you can unlock the doors and let them in. To make sure they’re eating a good after-school snack, you can check the fridge to see what’s available, again…all from your phone!
Our phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, refrigerators and the light-bulbs that power our lamps are now controllable online. Tech Crunch tells readers that an estimated “nine billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices [will be in circulation] worldwide by 2018.”
An IoT home is supposed to make living easier, and it does. The convenience of being able to check the fridge to make a dash to the store after work and turn on the AC from the car is awesome. But, when a home runs on technology, what happens when it malfunctions? Will homeowners’ insurance cover the cost? What if an electric power surge blows out your smart devices and the IoT system at large? Or worse: what if a cyber-criminal gains access to your network, steals and corrupts your data?
While cyber insurance will cover a general data breach, will homeowners’ insurance cover your house’s IoT breach?
IoT in Industry
Homeowners’ insurance covers property damage and injury liability. If someone falls and injures themselves in the kitchen or if a burglar makes off with your stuff, homeowners’ insurance will pay for the costs. The real question is whether homeowners’ insurance will cover tech damages brought on by IoT use.
Happily, the insurance market is already preparing for the protecting the IoT home, especially as the smart home is becoming more and more commonplace. As per the Electronic House, “the smart home is already going mainstream.” The company notes that big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s are competing with service providers like AT&T and tech giants like Amazon and Google to bring IoT services to the home; where’s there’s a market, there’s insurance to cover it.
IoT, Your House and the Insurance Industry
Now, you’re probably wondering, “What will the cost difference be to my homeowners’ insurance when I sign up for a plan to protect my IoT-connected house?” The answer is, likely not much if any at all.
Here’s how we know this:
– By using a homeowners’ insurance calculator via websites like CoverHound, you can find a homeowners’ insurance policy that will fit in your budget and cover your electronics.
-Insurance companies will grow with tech. Electronic House tells homeowners that “the IoT and access to data will reshape [insurance] industry boundaries and create new opportunities. The IoT will allow insurance companies to move from the traditional passive role of underwriting risk to take a more active position by supplying smart-home products and services.”
So not only will your insurance company offer you devices and tech to keep your smart home working smoothly, but Business Insider reports that you’ll also be rewarded for owning a tech-sophisticated home: “Home insurance executives often provide discounts to their clients for using smart home devices…[A] home with an alarm system, for example, is 300 percent less likely to be robbed than a home without one…[And] a home with a connected smoke detector that automatically alerts the fire department could save insurance companies $35,000, the average claim amount for fire damage.”
Homeowners’ insurance discounts reward responsible homeowners. If you install tech in your home that can monitor temperature levels, warn you about a water leak or alert you to a break-in in real-time, you’re going to get a good discount on top of great coverage.
Join the 21st century; live in a smart house!
Featured image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net