From an early age I've been fascinated with technology. From the Commodore 64 computer to the big calculator watches and everything in between...I could not wait to test the newest cool gadget. I watched shows that predicted the newest trends to shape the future. I remember when they predicted compact discs "CD" would displace the cassette and thought it was so cool. Fast forward 30 years and we are seeing a mass acceleration of connectivity between all of our technology. If you have a "smartphone" then you already know this!
And when it comes to our homes, it's a prediction that Bill Gates made many years ago...the "connected" home, coming to true.
Why should this matter to you? Because it can save you money, time & frustration to invest in some "smart" upgrades to your home.
Insurance companies are transitioning and embracing all of this technology as a way to predict and prevent insurance claims. And why not, if they pay less in claims, then we pay less in home insurance premiums! The #1 most frequent claim that insurance companies pay is water damage related to leaking or burst pipes or water supply of some sort. 40% of all non weather related claims are for this. That's a lot and they would LOVE to prevent as many as possible. That's where one new gadget comes in: a whole home water shut off system.
The whole home water shut off system senses a leak and triggers a valve to close on your main water supply, limiting the amount of water spilled in to your home. Huge plus because now you do not have to worry about all of the cleanup and replacement of damaged flooring, walls, cabinets, etc...and most importantly you save a claim from going on your insurance record which can raise your rates significantly or may even result in being cancelled by your insurance company. In Arkansas, insurance companoes can never use weather related claims against you, but they can use non weather related. So just like you want to protect your home from burglars, you want to protect it from water too.
There is a discount with most insurance companies for having this system installed on your home, it ranges from 5-15%. Not massive, but when you consider the money and headache saved, it may be worth it. A few of the companies I've found that offer these are:
pipeburstpro.com ***appears to be most user friendly
As the smart home evolves and becomes more prevalent, the home insurance companies will continue to look for ways to incentivize us to protect our homes through discounts that lower our overall cost of home insurance.
Some other cool things I've seen are door bells with a camera that streams through your phone, allowing you to appear at home regardless of where you are. Light bulbs with speakers that connect to your smartphone and allow you to stream music and adjust the light level and color. Smart thermostats that can be controlled from anywhere and "learn" your preferences allowing you (in theory) to never touch it again. The horizon is unlimited and exciting.
If you install anything "smart" in your home, contact your insurance agent and find out if it qualifies for a discount on your home insurance.
Know of some cool tech toy for the home? Please tell me about it below in the comments.
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About the Author:
DJ Noland is a licensed insurance professional in the state of Arkansas and managing Principal of McGhee Insurance Agency of North Little Rock, AR. Our offices specialize in placing insurance protection for individuals and families & businesses in Arkansas and would love to visit with you on your auto insurance, home insurance, personal umbrella insurance, business insurance, boat insurance, RV insurance, life insurance or health insurance protection to help structure a plan to protect what you've worked so hard for and will work hard for in the future.
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