Homeowners have been linking their thermostat and lighting to their smartphone for some years, and now insurance company Neos is using this idea and applying it to home insurance.
Partnering with Hiscox, the company provides policyholders with a wireless camera, motion sensors, smoke alarms, door and window sensors and water leak detectors – all of which are hooked up to your home wi-fi and sent to your smartphone via the company’s custom-built app.
If one of these gadgets picks up unexplained motion and suspects an intruder, or finds smoke in the house, the policyholder will be alerted so they can take immediate action to protect their home.
This is just as well, as recent research shows that less than 2% of people would notify the policy if they heard a house alarm going off nearby. With a virtual house-sitter in the palm of your hand, you could be at the other side of the world and yet still be the first to know that all is not well at home.
Each of the devices are linked to a 24 hour emergency response centre, from which a dedicated team can alert homeowners or appointed key holders of any problems.
Neos’ “prevention is better than payout” ethos is expected to drum up plenty of support from consumers, which is little wonder when water causes £2.5 million worth of damage to UK homes every day, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Having an insurance policy which will pay out is all very well and good, but avoiding the heartache in the first place is even better.
“Statistics show that four British homeowners make a home insurance claim every minute,” says Matt Poll, Neos chief executive. “Each time that happens, someone has experienced a distressing situation that might have been prevented. Insurance payouts help customers in times of need, but all the money in the world can’t replace those personal items like photographs and family heirlooms.”
Krystian Zajac, Neos’ chief technology officer, says: “Neos is helping to remove some of the key barriers to entry for smart homes, namely price and ongoing customer value. We fundamentally believe that smart home should be about more than just turning on and off your heating or lights from your phone. It should be able to actively protect your home from harmful things taking place and assure you that the possessions and property you care about most are protected 24/7.
“We include the devices within the cost of your premium and fit them for you. And they are fully wireless so they can be fitted into properties of any size or period. Each device has a small form factor and minimalist design that allows them to blend seamlessly with your home.”
If you’d like to look into this type of policy, our friendly, local staff are happy to discuss your options with you. Just call on 0800 281 453, or send us an email at email@example.com.