A lot, if not all, smart technology claims it’s going to save you time and money, improve your life or make you safer. At Hiro, we’re big fans of all of those things, but particularly the latter one – safety. But does it actually work, or is it just a gimmick? Does smart technology actually make you safer?
Considering Hiro is all about using smart technology to help protect the things you care about, we imagine you’re not going to be particularly surprised if we claim it does, in fact, workTM. Smart technology has a measurable protective effect on your stuff.
But where’s the proof?
Researching smart home insurance
Proving that smart technology actually helps protect your home, and to what degree, is (unsurprisingly) a bit of an ongoing theme for us. But on this occasion we’d like to share an insight into a study we commissioned in 2020, looking at 3,000 UK households, their use of smart technology, and the “safety” of their homes.
How do you measure safety? You can’t, really, but you can use what data guys like to call a “proxy indicator”, i.e. something that you can measure that should track your intangible thing pretty closely. In our case, we assumed that insurance claims (all kinds, not just home) would be a decent enough “proxy” for safety.
So we asked people if they had any smart technology, and if so, what. And then separately whether they needed to claim on any insurance policy in the last five years, and if so, what were the details of that claim. From our responses, we looked specifically at incidents in the home, and here’s what we found out.
Does smart tech actually help to protect your home?
TL;DR: yes. Using smart home devices does help to protect your home.
Going on that long-dreamt-of holiday? You don’t have to “accidentally” leave your kid home alone to deter thieves – it’s not the nineties. Smart lighting and speaker systems create “mockupancy” to make it look like you’re still at home.
But what about fire and flooding? Smart leak and smoke detectors can be an early warning system, allowing you to act quickly to stop the worst-case scenario from ever becoming a reality – even when you’re not home.
And our data suggests smart home technology actually works. The 66% of our sample who used smart home technology were less likely to have experienced serious damage to their home in the last five years (using their insurance claim data as a frame of reference).
We aren’t the only ones saying this, either. In fact, looking at the success rate of Flo by Moen’s smart shut-off valve – which reduced leaks by 96% and reduced the severity of any leaks that did happen by 72% – we’d even say our stats are on the conservative side. Our data accounts for a range of devices with differing success rates, after all.
The safety benefits of using smart home devices are pretty clear, and homeowners – particularly in London and Glasgow – are cottoning on to this.
So if smarter homes really are safer homes, can I get a discount on my home insurance?
Never say never. But right now, your options are limited. (You can with Hiro, but we’ll cover that later.)
Despite our findings, traditional insurers have been slow to act on the adoption of smart technology and, right now, they don’t take it into account at all when they offer quotes.
But there is an appetite among homeowners for that to change and a feeling that the system needs to modernise to reflect current homes.
Krystian Zajac, our CEO and Co-founder at Hiro agrees. He advocates for more transparency in the insurance industry and for insurers to encourage homeowners to take proactive measures to reduce their risk.
“Insurers are in the business of modelling probability and risk. If homeowners have been responsible enough to protect their homes with technology, insurers absolutely should pass on the savings.
“For too long the home insurance industry has been shrouded in secrecy. It needs to be clear, fair and easy to understand how you as a homeowner can bring down your risk level.”
It’s no surprise that people who already own smart tech want a discount! But it is surprising that people who don't own a single smart home device agree.
And, more compellingly, 57% of all respondents – and 71% of smart home technology users – would actively choose an insurer that takes this use into account.
Coupled with impersonal claims procedures and antiquitated processes that feel like they belong in the nineties, the cracks in the insurance industry’s walls are more obvious than ever.
But, the good news is that you don’t have to live with that.
We founded Hiro to counter all of this.
What’s the alternative?
At Hiro, we’re proud to offer an alternative.
We work with you to actively prevent damage in the first place – by explaining how you can use your existing smart technology to make your home safer and more secure, and by giving you access to more relevant technology at amazing prices.
We’ll reward you with fairer home insurance pricing when you use certain smart home devices.
And, with our monthly subscription model, we make taking control of your home insurance as easy as managing a streaming subscription.
Fairer home insurance is here, if you want it.