Insurers failing to reward customers for using smart-home gadgets

Even tech-savvy millennials say there is "no benefit" to investing in the technology

Insurers failing to reward customers for using smart-home gadgets


By Lucy Hook

To many, millennials are the tech-savvy generation obsessed with their iPhones – but even they can’t be swayed by smart-home devices without a reward from insurers.

Almost half of UK millennials say there is no benefit to investing in smart-home technology for increased security, new research from tech firm Auger has found.

Despite the range of devices available today – from smart cameras and motion detectors to leak prevention systems – many remain unconvinced and say they are not seeing a benefit in their home insurance premium price.

Just 15% of 2,000 people questioned said they would invest in the technology and wanted to do everything they could to make their homes safer, despite the lack of incentives from the insurance industry.

More than four million Brits have invested in smart devices for their homes, creating a market currently valued at £30 million, according to Auger – but there is more work to be done in convincing the future generation of consumers.

“There’s a lot of talk at the moment among insurers about things like escape of water claims and the rising cost of those, and yet people that are actually taking steps to mitigate risks aren’t really seeing a reward,” Neil Wilks, head of technology at Auger, told Insurance Business.

Other industries, such as car manufacturing, are already recognising the role technology can play, but the home insurance market is yet to embrace all the benefits, according to Wilks.

“I find it baffling that we’re not further along in the process… the technology is absolutely there,” he said. “It’s hard to justify spending £330 on a camera for your porch, when there’s no benefit.”

According to Wilks, the results of Auger’s survey demonstrate a clear disconnect between the homeowners of tomorrow and the insurance industry’s current offering.

“The challenge is for providers to listen to what this group of people want in terms of incentives, understand the reality of the efficiencies these technologies can bring in reducing risk and start to make it work for themselves and their customers,” he said.

“I think as an industry we should be taking a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach. We should be not just talking about it, but actually doing it… It’s not like we’re waiting for some big watershed moment, where suddenly it becomes available and everything clicks – the technology is there.”



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