Did you know that insurance companies may be willing to reduce your home insurance premiums if you have the right smart devices installed?
It’s taken a while, but a variety of insurance companies around the country now have enough data to start decreasing premiums based on the performance of smart devices that actually do lower risks.
Insurers still have many different views on this, so we highly suggest calling your current insurer or looking at available local home insurers to see what discounts they may be willing to offer for smart home devices (even a 3% to 5% discount is meaningful).
Others may be willing to offer deals on devices from partner companies, which is also useful. We’ve taken a look, and these are the types of smart devices most likely to get you savings.
Smart Security Systems with Cameras
Security systems with sensors, cams, sirens, video doorbells, and live video feeds are an excellent way to protect your home against theft. Since theft is one of the most common home insurance claims in the world, insurance companies may be particularly willing to give a discount to provide a discount if you have something like a SimpliSafe kit installed in your house.
However, insurance companies really like to see monitoring services that can contact the police or fire departments if it looks like there’s a problem. This pretty much negates any actual insurance savings because of the monthly fees required for monitoring, but if you were already interested in monitoring services then something like ADT’s LifeShield kit could be an excellent choice for you and your insurer.
Smoke, Fire and CO Alarms
There are a variety of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that come with smart features, including the Nest Protect. Insurance companies can offer discounts for these alarms if none were previously installed, but upgrading to smart versions also has its benefits. A smart smoke or CO detector can send alerts right to your phone if they detect a problem, allowing homeowners to take quick action – and they also make battery management a lot easier. Remember to check if your state requires wired smoke alarms or specific kinds of batteries before you pick a version out.
Smart thermostats will improve energy management, which isn’t a high priority for insurance companies but does contribute to the overall health of home systems. Many smart thermostats can also work in conjunction with security systems: For example, they may have built-in sirens or alerts when they detect something suspicious, or they may be able to automatically turn off the fans if rising temperatures indicate a potential fire. The Nest Learning Thermostat is a particularly popular choice here, but we also like Ecobee’s SmartThermostat.
Water Leak Detectors
Leak detectors are designed to sit in places that are prone to flooding, like bathrooms, underground basements, and similar locations. If they detect moisture, they can automatically send alerts to your phone so you can investigate and take action if it looks like there’s a leak or a flood. Insurance companies particularly like to see versions that can shut off water (in case of frozen pipes bursting, for example) coming into the house, or start sump pumps (more common in wet basements. Govee has a good kit to get started with, and we like this more advanced Leaksmart version too.
Gas Leak Detectors
A gas leak detector can sense leaks from propane, butane, methane, and natural gas. In areas where gas leaks are a potential threat, it’s a good idea to have one of these sensors installed, and insurance companies may like to see this as well since they can prevent very destructive gas explosions. This Techamor detector is a good example.