Posted by Ed Faber on February 7, 2019
You’ve probably seen the commercials about home security systems that send video and audio to your smart phone if someone comes to your door. But what happens if your smoke alarm goes off at home and there’s no one there to hear it? If you had early notification you could call for help even if you’re out of town to prevent a much bigger catastrophe.
Discounts on homeowners insurance
Several companies are now making home protection devices that are connected to your home Wi-Fi to send a notification to your smartphone. As more data becomes available about the devices’ effectiveness in reducing or preventing claims, you will see more and more insurance companies offering discounts to homeowners with smart connected devices. One company, State Auto Insurance of Columbus, OH is already offering such discounts for their homeowners policies.
Smart batteries for smoke alarms
There are several types of devices that monitor everything from smoke alarms, water leaks and freezing temps in your home. Smart batteries can be placed in many smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. When a connected device goes off it sends you a notification to your smart phone. The data use is small so it will have only a minimal affect on your data use.
Wi-Fi enabled water leak and freeze detectors
Another smart connected device senses water leaks such as from a sump pump over-flow. Water and sewer backups can be a costly mess to clean up and repair. Insurance premiums for this coverage have been on the rise. Some companies now charge more than $260 for $10,000 worth of backup coverage while others are adding conditions for eligibility.
Additional units can be placed in other areas of the home where water leaks can appear such as:
- Under your dishwasher
- Near the washing machine drain
- Ice maker line on your refrigerator
- Near the bathtub or toilet
Some water leak units also sense for out of range humidity and temperatures. If you’re out of town on a winter vacation and your furnace fails, it could freeze your water pipes. When water freezes it expands and the pressure can burst your pipes, releasing a constant blast of water into your home which could go on for days if no one is around. Other smart devices can even turn off your water when a leak is detected.
Encompass Insurance offering customers free connected home program
Images from Roost Home Telematics
Encompass is partnering with Roost, the largest and fasting growing home telematics company in the US to offer smart home devices at no cost. The program includes a smart water leak and freeze detector and a smart 9-volt battery for smoke alarms. The insurance company is offering up to 7,000 packages for policyholders and will be tracking their effectiveness in reducing damage to homes and personal property.
If you have an Encompass homeowner policy in Iowa, contact your agent or Insurance Gurus in Cedar Rapids to register. Supplies are limited. For a free home and/or auto insurance quote from Encompass contact Ed Faber at Insurance Gurus, 319-200-4878.