Safe at Home, Safe Online: Smart Homes, Sensors, and IoT

Jun 15, 2020 / by Linda Jancik

Advancements in technology have brought great strength to home security systems, transforming what we once considered an average house into a modern smart home.


The Smarter, Safer Modern Home
The implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors in home security devices has allowed homeowners to keep a closer eye on their homes, monitoring both external threats like intruders and internal perils like malfunctioning appliances, pipes, and furnaces.

IoT technology connects enabled devices to the Internet where they can rapidly transmit data and interact with other devices, usually accessible to homeowners via an app. Interactions are more hands-on than ever before. Users can not only check their doorbell and nanny cams, but they can also automate devices, set alarms, and even close garage doors.

The hi-tech features of these ‘smart’ devices provides more than real-time protection. They can act as a preventative stopgap to home security perils. The wide visibility and fast data response of IoT-enabled sensors assists in identifying small issues, such as newly formed water leaks, and quickly alerting homeowners before they worsen. By rapidly calling attention to potential problems, ‘smart’ security helps to mitigate damage and potentially hefty claims.


IoT and Homeowners Insurance
‘Smart’ security not only benefits homeowners, but insurers as well. By partnering with IoT device makers to share data and mitigate risk together, insurers can help their customers avoid potentially pricey losses and deliver a better, more proactive customer experience.

As soon as a ‘smart’ security device detects an abnormality, it can alert both the homeowner and the insurer. This speedy notification allows for quick response time, so the homeowner can take immediate action to mitigate a problem, and an insurer can quickly process a claim as necessary. Should a customer experience an issue, the insured can quickly be connected with a trusted solution provider, whether it be a plumber or other maintenance repair service. The quick fix of a soon-to-be leaky pipe can prevent a damaging flood; homeowners are left paying the price of a small repair rather than making a pricey insurance claim and causing lasting damage to their homes.

The benefits of IoT extend beyond financial savings. A key feature of IoT devices is their ability to securely produce and send data. When insurers embed ‘smart’ security into their business models, they are often given access to the company’s database, including valuable and immutable historical data. With this information, insurers can identify trends, gain insight into home risks and address clients’ needs...before incidents occur.

IoT sensors also makes fraud hard to fake. Entering the security realm provides proof (data, footage) in cases of suspected fraud.


Cyber Security
Smart security holds excellent potential for the insurance industry, bringing speed and efficiency to home security, with rapid transmission of data to prevent extensive damage. Like all technology, however, smart security is susceptible to breaches.

IoT-enabled devices have their own IP addresses and capture data, including recorded security footage. Hackers have been known to target security devices to steal data, scare homeowners, and more. For insurers looking to work with smart security, technologists recommend using secure and current programs, regular updates, and penetrative testing as a means to combat hackers.

Tags: Personal Lines, Community, Technology, Issues & Trends, Data & Technology, IoT, Homeowners, Telematics, Cyber, P&C Insurers, Security, Data Management, 2020 VME, AAIS Views, NatCats, CFM Insurance, Roost, Neos

Linda Jancik

Written by Linda Jancik

Linda is AAIS’s Personal Lines Product Manager, responsible for product development, deployment and management for AAIS’s Personal Lines suite, including Dwelling Properties, Cyber, Flood, Florida Homeowners By-Peril and Homeowners coverages. Linda has more than 30 years of Personal Lines experience in Underwriting, Product Management, Sales and Business Operations, as well as Communications. Linda has a Bachelors degree from Utah State University.

AAIS’s Cyber Family Protection Program

AAIS’s Family Cyber Protection Plan offers an effective approach to common cyber risks. In partnership with Berkley Re Solutions, the Family Cyber Protection Solution provides a combined package of coverage, resources, and AAIS’s Personal Lines Suite. This new plan offers Member carriers solutions for covering prime cyber issues, including extortion threats, ransomware, social engineering, cyberbullying, identity theft, system compromise, breach monitoring, and internet cleanup.

The Family Cyber Protection Plan equips carriers with the tools essential to offering this unique program. With training, educational materials, and consultations from both AAIS and Berkeley Re, insurers can equip their customers to anticipate and prevent losses involved with living in the digital age.

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