Smart devices can save on homeowners insurance
Smart devices can save on homeowners insurance. Check with your provider to see if a discount is offered and how much you could save
The smart home devices that homeowners are installing in their homes for security or to keep an eye on their pets may do more than provide peace of mind: They can cut your insurance rates.
Smart home devices may be able to cut premiums by 10% to 15%, said Pat Howard, senior editor at Policygenius, who also is an insurance agent. That could mean a savings of $100 or more a year for many homeowners, partially offsetting the cost of the devices.
“Protected devices make your home safer,” he said. “Insurance companies will offer credits and discounts.”
There is no hard-and-fast rule on how much a homeowner can save.
It depends on an assortment of factors such as the insurance company, the types of devices the homeowner is using, current credits and discounts the homeowner is current getting, and the state where the policyholder lives. Not all companies offer discounts and not all devices are eligible for discounts.
“They’re not widespread, but they are becoming more and more common,” he said of the smart home discounts.
Columbus-based Nationwide, for example, has a policy that can offer up to a 10% discount that is applied to home, water and theft perils in most states. Policyholders also can get a 50% discount off of some kits from Notion, which makes smart home monitoring systems that homeowners can install.
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Insurers recognize there is value in teaming up with companies that make these devices that can prevent losses, said Sarah Jacobs, Nationwide’s vice president of personal lines product development.
“If we can save money on claims, we can pass that along to consumers,” she said.
Nearly two-third of homeowners own at least one smart home device, but many don’t realize that the devices can cut their insurance premiums, according to a Nationwide survey of 1,500 homeowners last August.
A 2020 survey by Policygenius, an online insurance marketplace, found that 40.4% of homeowners didn’t realize that installing a security system in their home could cut their premiums.
Video doorbells, home security cameras and smart thermostats are the most popular items, the Nationwide survey showed. Other devices monitor water leaks, smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, and doors and windows.
Nationwide partnered with Notion in 2020 to offer technology that homeowners can use to do such things as watch the home for open doors and windows, smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, and water leaks with a cell phone.
State Farm, the state’s largest homeowner insurer, says it provides for fire, smoke or burglar alarms or any other home monitoring system. It does not offer discounts for water leak detection system