Travelers Offers Discount for Smart Home Devices

16 Mar
Discounts available for smart home devices

The new discount is called Protective Device and smart smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and security systems that alert homeowners via their cell phones will qualify for this new discount.

The Travelers Companies Inc. (Travelers Insurance) are now going to provide a discount on homeowners insurance to eligible customers that have installed qualifying smart home devices, according to a recent press release.

The new discount is called Protective Device and smart smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and security systems that alert homeowners via their cell phones will qualify for this new discount, which is available nationwide.

“Creating a smart home with a variety of innovative connected devices can provide many benefits to consumers, including helping to keep their families and property safe,” said Elaine Montgomery-Baisden, chief underwriting officer of Personal Insurance at Travelers in a press release. “Our newly expanded Protective Device discount is one more way our customers who are using these products may benefit,” she continued.

Travelers is also studying other advancements in automated home technology. The company has installed all different types of connected devices at its Claims University facility. They are using the product testing to both evaluate current smart systems as well as educate claims professionals about these new technologies.

Currently, Travelers is the insurance sponsor of the CNET Smart Home in Louisville, KY, which tests smart home products in everyday situations.

Travelers Isn’t Alone

Insurance companies have been ramping up their efforts to get smart devices into homes. 

Travelers joins American Family Insurance, Liberty Mutual and State Farm in the race to use smart devices as part of their homeowners policies. Insurers are starting to give discounts to homeowners who use devices such as the Nest line of home automation products.

Insurers are interested in these devices because the real-time data that they produce allows insurance companies to better access risk and in some cases even prevent a loss. While certainly not considered mainstream products yet, home automation products are showing up in more and more homes each year.

Home automation products allow homeowners to control the climate, lighting and even entertainment devices from their smartphone, regardless of where they are in the world, making it easier to monitor and control their home, even while on vacation.

Security is another huge advantage. It is possible to control door locks from a distance and even monitor who is entering or leaving a house. Smart doorbells let homeowners see who is at the door using an app on their phone, regardless of where they are located.

Smart devices also notify homeowners when their batteries need to be replaced or if they are malfunctioning which can literally be a lifesaver in the case of smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

The Future of Smart Home Discount

While home insurance discounts are starting to become more mainstream, experts predict further discounts as devices become smarter and the more homeowners adopt the technology.

Discounts could be offered to homeowners who practice safe behaviors on a regular basis such as locking their doors and setting an alarm. It would also be possible to for smart devices to monitor moisture levels in the house, detect open doors or unlocked windows, which could be a security risk.

Insurers look at these devices as a way to eliminate one of the weakest links in the home security chain, the homeowner. Statistics show that homeowners forgetfulness is often the cause of major damage.

Forgetting to change out the batteries in a smoke detector, not changing out hoses on a washing machine (leads to water damage claims), or not setting an alarm system are all examples of claims that could possibly be prevented.

All of these devices would require sharing information with your insurance company, and while many homeowners would gladly allow their insurer into their home for a discount, others may worry about privacy issues. In the end, it would be up to the homeowner to determine if the discount was worth the intrusion.

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