Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
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Smart home devices and homeowners insurers

Many trends regarding homes can have impacts on homeowners insurance and the companies that provide it. This includes trends on what sorts of objects and devices are in a home. One class of device that has been increasingly showing up in homes lately are smart appliances and devices.

These sorts of devices can have all kinds of connectivity and data collection abilities. These abilities could pose both challenges and opportunities for homeowners insurance companies.

On the challenges side, the connectivity of such devices could potentially pose hacking risks. The hacking of such devices could create new vulnerabilities for a home and could also complicate all kinds of matters, including matters related to homeowners insurance.

On the opportunities side, the data collection abilities of such devices could potentially give insurers access to a range of different types of data regarding a home and what is happening in it. The quality of data an insurance company has access to can have big implications in many different parts of the insurance process. This includes claims matters. When it comes to claims issues, such data can provide insights into the degree of damage a home suffered and how the damage came about. These can be very significant issues when it comes to claims.

One wonders, as the trend of smart home devices and smart appliances continues, what steps homeowners insurance companies will take to try to increase the benefits and decrease the challenges stemming from the trend. One also wonders what this trend will ultimately mean when it comes to what kind of data homeowners insurance companies have access to when it comes to things like claims handling.

When issues arise with a homeowners insurance claim an insurer receives, what data the insurance company has access to is not the only thing that can have big impacts. Another thing that can is what information and guidance the company has regarding the legal issues related to the claim. So good and knowledgeable legal guidance can be a critical thing for an insurer to have when disputes or issues regarding such claims come up.

Source: Claims Journal, “How Smart Home Devices Will Impact Residential Property Claims,” Denise Johnson, Jan. 30, 2017

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