Smart home technologies are playing an increasingly important role in home security, evidenced by several alliances formed last week between IoT companies and security as well as insurance providers.
Amazon and ADT announced on Sept. 20 an integration between their audio technology and security services, so that when an Amazon Echo detects specific sounds, push notifications will be sent to homeowners’ smartphones.
End users can activate Alexa Guard on their Echo devices by saying, “Alexa, I’m leaving.” And when the speaker detects the sounds of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or breaking glass, Alexa Alert notifications will be delivered to the users.
The notification will inform users which sound was detected along with an audio clip. ADT Plus customers can also choose to forward the notification to ADT monitoring professionals to determine if additional action, like dispatching security personnel, should be taken.
In fact, the majority of security service subscribers already own a smart product. A study by Parks Associates found that 66% of households that subscribe to professionally monitored security own smart products such as connected smoke detectors.
Insurance Firms Adopt Smart Products
Smart sensor company Notion also announced partnership on Sept. 20 with Hippo Insurance. The idea is that IoT sensors can better detect incidents like water leak and unlawful intrusion, and prevent even worse damages from occurring. Under this partnership, Hippo customers will get insurance discounts if they sign up for Norton’s smart home start kits.
Notion’s multi-purpose sensor can detect a number of incidents at home, from motion and temperature changes, to water leaks and sounding alarms. Homeowners will be notified when these events are detected by the sensor.
Smart home devices are driving a new wave of change in the insurance industry, which aligns with Hippo’s focus on “proactive home insurance,” said the company’s CEO and co-founder Assaf Wand.
“More than sixty-five percent of all homeowner insurance claims are a result of a catastrophic event that insurance companies then need to handle after the damage is already done,” said Brett Jurgens, CEO of Notion. “Using a fully-integrated connected home offering through Notion, Hippo customers will prevent disastrous events from destroying their home, saving them money, headaches and allowing for a better relationship with their insurance provider.”
Hippo and Notion are the latest in a lineup of insurance and IoT companies that have collaborated: Erie Insurance and Roost, American Family and Frontpoint Security, State Farm and Canary, Liberty Mutual and Nest.
Consumers Value Smart Products
Not only insurance firms, but also consumers, are starting to see the value of smart devices. About 40% of consumers would switch insurance providers in order to obtain smart home products. Furthermore, those who have experienced water damage, fire damage or theft are even more likely to get smart products with detection features, according to Parks Associates.
In addition to smoke, fire or carbon monoxide alerts, the ability to send medical alerts automatically to have an ambulance respond and the ability to turn on/off home lights, are also some of the smart features most valued by insurance customers, says Parks Associates.
Some people have taken the matters into their own hands by installing DIY detectors. Top brand choices are Nest and First Alert. Furthermore, Parks Associates found many people – up to 70% of the surveyed – are interested in connecting their smart smoke detectors to professional monitoring services, implying there is business potential for security service providers.