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These Technologies Can Keep a Small Insurance Claim From Becoming Major


Yuval Harry

Head of Partnerships, Hippo Insurance

Smart home and IoT connected technologies can detect potentially damaging events occurring in your home before they get out of hand. Yuval Harry, head of partnerships at Hippo Insurance, talks about how we can make these solutions more accessible.

What is the benefit of homeowners investing in smart home technology?

These days, we are at peak connectivity — the majority of the U.S. population has a broadband connection in their home and owns a smartphone or tablet. Smart home technology leverages this connectivity to empower homeowners with the information they need to keep their home safe from common risks.

Smart home devices can help identify and prevent some of the top unseen triggers at the source, like water leaks, which we’ve seen result in some of the most costly damages in the home. Traditional home insurance is typically an antiquated and reactive business that pays out claims when they occur, but damage to the home still occurs. At Hippo, we provide smart home technology to help our customers proactively protect their homes, reduce claims, and improve the customer experience. 

How does smart home technology help decrease risk within the home?

The more aware homeowners are of common risks in their home, the more compelled they are to make changes that will reduce the potential for accidents from these risks. From garage doors left open overnight to leaky pipes behind the washing machine, smart home technology is as much about homeowner awareness as it is about convenience and safety. 

At Hippo, we provide a smart technology discount for all homeowners who activate the complementary smart home kit we provide at the start of their policy. By placing sensors in areas of the home where some of the most common claims happen, we can effectively reduce your risk as a policy holder and reward you for that. It’s important to know that as the insurer, we don’t have access to any of this data directly.  

The future of risk assessment, and therefore loss reduction, in home insurance will come from technological innovation, and  IoT and smart home integration within the home. 

What is the one smart home technology in which homeowners should invest?

Water damage is by far the most common claim that IoT and smart home technology can help proactively impact. Water damage accounts for over 30 percent of all incurred losses and the average claim severity is just over $9,600. 

There are water damage prevention devices today that are relatively simple to install and have significant impact on letting a homeowner know of a leak before it becomes a major cause of damage. IoT sensors in bathrooms, basements, and around specific appliances, like refrigerators, washers, and water heaters, can proactively help prevent a small claim from becoming a big one. 

What is the main difference between smart home coverage and traditional home coverage?

Home insurance needs to be a more protective product, with modern coverage and smart home integration, in order to provide the customer experience most people expect from their financial providers today. 

Up until this point, figuring out who will subsidize smart home and IoT devices for homeowners has been a struggle. While traditional home insurance companies have said they support customers using smart home technology, they have not been willing to help deliver early adoption. Hippo is changing that, and sends smart home and IoT sensor kits from companies like Comcast and Notion to our customers. 

Installation rates are north of 60 percent and we collect insights from our partners to provide customers with enhanced services year after year.  

If you could create any smart home technology that doesn’t already exist, what would it be?

Automated water shut-off valves could have a very high potential in eliminating a large portion of water-related damage and therefore claims, but their overall cost to the consumer has to be reduced so they can make a jump in adoption. If these devices could be installed by the user (DIY), instead of professional installation, it would be a huge step forward in making the product available to more consumers at a reasonable cost. Today’s professional installation of these devices is expensive and prohibitive for the target audience. 

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