While here at Telematics.com our main focus is always in-car telematics, with its myriad of benefits, but have you ever considered telematics in the home? While most homes aren’t quite smart enough to let insurers know that you’ve locked all the doors and windows at night and therefore deserve a discount on your contents insurance, the future could see an industry evolve around that sort of practice. Industry experts believe however, that telematics in the home will see new companies appear on the scene, with many of them looking to partner with existing firms so they don’t have to develop their own hardware and software packages.
Some of the companies expected to weigh in on the connected home market, are giant tech-firms like Google and Apple, which with their strong involvement in pushing inter-connected technology forward, could open up great opportunities for home insurers to team up with.
This is the future that RSA UK telematics director Bob Skerrett thinks we’re heading towards. “It is quite early days for home telematics. I would expect development to follow behind those technology companies [which] are getting houses connected,” he said (via PostOnline).
“What we are seeing, is insurers have looked into case studies of having a smart home and issuing insurance policies on the back of that. They found that they can’t be the leaders in this ecosystem.”
While some motor-insurance companies have provided their own hardware of developed their own software systems, the home insurance market isn’t quite lucrative enough for that sort of investment to be worth it, especially if they then have to hand out the devices to customers as well. Partnering with a firm that’s already invested in getting smart devices into the home, saves a lot of money and still lets the insurers offer discounts to customers based on the results, thereby giving everyone a chance to save.
“Then you can use the same data from the connected devices for multiple purposes. If you can reuse the connectivity multiple times the [costs] will work. What you don’t want is hundreds of devices you only want one if you are a customer,” Skerrett said.
While everyone is convinced that this inter-connected home future is coming though, no one is quite sure when. Certainly some new builds may come with slightly more connected features and the increased function of smartphones could provide some metrics to go on, but until houses are built with appliances, sockets, doors and windows all on the same digital network, these sorts of home telematics will be a dream more than a reality.
In the mean time, Skerrett and others like him are expecting the industry to latch on to certain other products like smart energy metres, energy saving devices or even entertainment boxes that can provide metrics on customers. Premiums could theoretically be adjusted based on information gathered from these devices.
KPMG insurance partner Murray Raisbeck said: “While we are still a fair few years before the connected home hits the tipping point to become conventional technology, it should not prevent insurers exploring how they can interact with technology to create new and unique offerings for their customers.”
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