Today’s tech doesn’t just make our lives easier, it protects our homes and makes them more energy efficient. Who doesn’t love that?
Your insurance company loves it, too. Having an extra layer of protection against theft, damage, and other forms of risk means less claims to pay out on. So it should come as no surprise that many insurance carriers are beginning to offer smart home insurance discounts if these devices are installed in your home.
In this article, we’ll examine the most popular smart home devices and insurance discounts to help you decide if upgrading your home’s tech is right for you.
Smart Home Insurance Discounts
Here are the most popular smart home devices that can save money on your premiums. As always, check with your insurance carrier or independent agent if you have questions on their smart home insurance discount policy.
Traditional alarm systems use your home’s existing telephone wiring, while the newer wireless systems work over your WiFi connection. Both versions can include cameras and off-site monitoring.
There are pros and cons to each, so do your research before you commit to a specific brand. While some people prefer the ease of installing a wireless alarm system, those with a spotty WiFi connection may prefer a traditional model.
Video doorbells allow you to see, hear, and speak to whoever is at your door, even if you’re not at home. While companies such as Ring make video doorbells that work on their own, other alarm system companies sometimes include them as part of your home security system.
Video doorbells are a great way to deter burglary, as they allow you to see anyone who comes up to your door, even if you’re not at home.
Do you forget to lock the door when you leave the house? Do you have a steady steam of people coming and going while you’re a work but hate the thought of having multiple copies of house keys floating around? Then a smart lock is for you!
Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your door remotely, no matter where you are. Many models also allow visitors to unlock the door with a code, so you don’t have to be on-call.
With traditional smoke detectors, you would need to be home to hear them go off. But with a smart smoke detector, you can be notified from anywhere in the world. Some models also come with carbon monoxide detection and/or a self-testing feature for truly “hands-off” operation.
There are also smart listeners, which don’t detect smoke directly. Rather, they listen for the sound of your traditional smoke alarm and send you a notification if it goes off. The downside to listeners is that you can’t shut off the fire alarm through an app (in the event of a false alarm). However, they can act as a good stand-in if you don’t have the money to replace all of your smoke detectors with smart versions.
Water damage is one of the most common (and expensive) homeowner claims. If any of those pipes under the sink, behind the walls, or in rarely used bathrooms spring a leak, you might not know about it until you have thousands of dollars in damage.
Enter the smart leak monitor.
These devices monitor either a specific water source or your entire house and notify you (or shut off the water main) if they sense any anomalies.
If you’re having a home built (or have the money to re-pipe), a Manifold plumbing system is a great option. If there’s a leak in one fixture—the shower, for instance—you can shut off the plumbing just to that fixture and still have water throughout the rest of your home.
Is It Worth It?
Upgrading your home with all the latest gadgets might be convenient, but it’s not always cheap. So, is it worth it to splurge purely in hopes of getting a smart home insurance discount?
As with most things: it depends.
For starters, not every insurance carrier has jumped on the bandwagon yet. If your home insurance carrier doesn’t have a smart home insurance discount program it’s still a good investment towards the upkeep of your home, but the only insurance costs it might bring down are the size of a claim.
In most cases, you can expect to save anywhere from 3-5% on your home insurance premiums. However, rates vary between companies and type of tech, so double check to see what smart home insurance discounts they offer. Spending $300 to save $30 a year might not be worth it, but if you’re going to buy that smart door lock anyway, it’s definitely worth notifying your insurance carrier so they can apply any relevant discounts.
Another thing to keep in mind is that discounts don’t “stack.” If you’re already getting an insurance discount from your alarm system, adding a video doorbell won’t make your insurance premiums get any lower.
Even those companies that don’t offer smart home insurance discounts may have programs in place to save money on your smart home purchases. For instance, Liberty Mutual has a rebate program for those who purchase a Vivint home security system.
The takeaway here is: do your research.
You don’t want to spend the time and money installing a traditional alarm system and then find out that only a specific brand of wireless alarm system gets you a discount.
If you’re only interested in buying that smart device because of the discount on your insurance premiums, talk to your insurance agent before purchasing it. They’ll be able to tell you whether it will make a difference to your bottom line.
Smart home technology is the latest fad and it appears that home insurance carriers are starting to catch on. And as it turns out, some of those fancy devices you’ve had your eye on may even save you a few bucks elsewhere.
Before you invest in any new tech for your home, contact your insurance carrier or agent to see how you can qualify for any smart home insurance discounts. Being able to lower your premiums might be just the thing that helps you decide which video doorbell to spring for.
And if you have any other insurance questions, contact the friendly agents at Harry Levine Insurance. We’ve been one of Orlando’s premiere insurance agencies for more than 30 years and have experience protecting millions of homes and businesses. Contact us today for a free quote.