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March 15 2017 | Karen Furtado

During this past year, I built a home in the White Mountains of NH and determined early on that it would be a “Smart Home.” Now, I should tell you that my profession involves speaking about InsurTech trends often, so you would think that this would not be a difficult undertaking, and for me, maybe even a no-brainer. Some people would just take the approach of having a security system installed and paying a monthly fee, but then there would be no visibility into what is happening in the home when you’re not there. So, my approach was to take on the task of configuring and connecting my home myself. And I wanted as much remote detection and control as you could possibly get in a home, such as:

  • smarthomeTemperature control
  • Moisture/humidity detection
  • Motion detection
  • Smoke and CO detection
  • Lighting controls
  • Door locking controls
  • Remote answering doorbell

I was already familiar with a number of great technologies in the market that would meet my needs. That said, I did find that the market was still maturing in the interoperability of each technology. Some work with hub-type of connections, where multiple devices are all controlled through a single source; others are elegant at the service they perform, but are closed technologies that could not interoperate with other technologies leaving me to manage the home using multiple apps. There are many pros and cons that go with each experience. Add the fact that each technology is changing so rapidly that no matter which path you decide to take, you are guaranteed that there will be changes that continue to improve the experience, and you will have to stay on top of them. That is the challenging world of IoT. For me, it’s a work in progress. Experience is a great teacher.

Since I can relate almost anything to insurance, I tell this story, not to overwhelm, but to illustrate the fact that there is so much more the insurance industry can be doing to prevent and mitigate risks. At a minimum, there is a great opportunity to help in educating the policyholder. Very few insurer websites deal with Connected Homes. Policyholders are hearing and seeing more about these devices – and it is all about the technology and the concept of truly being connected to your home experience. Many people are really pursuing the capabilities that a Connected Home device can provide. They are installing remote locks to make it easier to get into the home while balancing two kids and groceries. They are coming home from work and want the lights on before their arrival. To be sure, this desire-to-be-connected revolution is more focused on the convenience aspects and what it can do for the policyholder than all of the safety aspects combined. But therein lies the benefit for insurers! The greater the adoption of these platforms and technologies, the greater the opportunity to truly prevent and mitigate risks in each connected home. Connecting with the “smart” technologies in homes may turn out to be one smart move for insurers. 


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To learn more, please contact:
Karen Furtado
Partner
Strategy Meets Action
978.239.2741