Modern smart home technology offers a lot of benefits to furnished homeowners and renters. Smart thermostats enable you to save energy and change the temperature with your smartphone. Voice-activated assistants can turn on the lights and play your favorite music. Smart sensors can even connect to lights and adjust the moment you walk in a room.
But as convenient and fun as it is to live in a smart home, these new technologies also come with another big set of benefits: They can actually save you money on your insurance premiums. As prices keep coming down on the latest home gadgets, it makes financial sense to prioritize a few smart home upgrades due to increased efficiency and their ability to save on insurance rates and other monthly bills. Here are some of the best options to consider.
Get Discounts (and Protect Valuables) with a Security System
The first upgrade you’ll want to consider is a smart home system that can bring you peace of mind every day: a modern home security system. If you stayed away from security products in the past because of intrusive installs or clumsy keypad systems, you’ll be happy to know that today’s smart security products come in a variety of sizes and styles that install quickly and are effortless to use.
You can opt for a wireless version of a traditional security system with door sensors and motion detectors, purchase a few motion-activated security cameras, or even go for a hybrid approach that integrates a number of these devices. Where smart home technology has improved these systems is through the ability to keep tabs on your home from anywhere in the world with your smartphone. Not only can you receive instant alerts when a door is opened or motion is detected, but you can see a live video feed and even remotely trigger an alarm if you catch a bad guy up to no good. You can outfit even the largest home for only a couple hundred dollars, and the monthly service and monitoring fees typically offer competitive rates that are far more affordable than the old-fashioned systems you’re used to.
If you can demonstrate to your insurance provider that you have a solid security system in place, you might be eligible for a significant discount that can keep more money in your pocket every month. And if the worst does happen, your system can even help you with evidence when you submit your claim.
Set Up Early Alerts with Smart Sensors
Another smart upgrade to consider is to upgrade your smoke detectors to WiFi-connected models and set up a few air quality monitors around the house. Many smoke alarm brands now produce models that will notify you of the exact room where fire has been detected. If the smoke detector or air quality sensor is integrated with your smart home hub, you can also receive alerts minutes before enough smoke is produced to trigger an alarm.
This kind of early prevention will make your insurance provider happy as well. Any product that lowers your risk of accident can potentially lower your insurance premiums, too.
Keep Your Home High and Dry with Water Sensors
The final upgrade to consider is to install a few simple water sensors around accident prone areas of your home. As anyone who has experienced it will tell you, a water emergency from a leaky connection or a busted pipe can lead to tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Water leak sensors are inexpensive and easy to place in the laundry room, basement, near sinks facing outside walls, or anywhere else in your home where a leak could spring up.
Some systems also integrate with a smart water valve that controls water access to the whole residence. When a leak is detected, the sensor can immediately send a signal to your water valve, shutting a leak down at the source before it can result in much more than a puddle. This sort of protection may lower your premiums and save you from a months-long nightmare of removing moisture, replacing flooring, and everything else involved with a water catastrophe.
It doesn’t take much to disaster-proof your home and save a considerable amount on your premiums at the same time. Make a few strategic smart home upgrades as your next weekend project.
Eric Murrell is a software developer and technology contributor to Xfinity Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.