We have insurance for everything: home, car, travel and even ourselves. The cost of our insurance premiums is based not only on demographic but largely on the risk of you having to make a claim and the insurer to pay out. So any way you can reduce the risk of making a claim will be welcomed by your insurer and they will usually reduce your premium as a result.
The most common ways to lower your premium include adding security features to your home or vehicle. Adding alarms or gates can reduce the risk of vandals and theft, hence the insurer decreases their premium. But with the increase in smart technology, new products are emerging that are learning how our home or vehicle react and this is changing how premiums are being calculated.
The telematics box or ‘little black box’ as it is known has now been around for a few years but has become a popular device that you add to your vehicle’s dashboard. The size of a smart phone, it uses GPS to record the quality of your driving including braking, turning, acceleration and speed. The idea of literally having your insurer in your car with you has encouraged people to drive safer and also provide more accurate readings. The live results are tracked and sent to your smart phone and the insurer. If you have been driving more safely, you can see savings on your premium almost immediately and several drivers have saved up to 20% on their annual premium (Source: This is Money).
Recently acquired by Centrica for £13 million (British Gas) this is an easy-to-install device that you can add to your boiler and will tell you by smart phone whether or not you have a leak. The device is the size of a lemon or hand grenade and anyone can install it. So insurers will be sending them to their customers and encouraging them to be added to their boilers. By the insurance companies knowing about any boiler troubles, they can stay on top of it so there will be minimal damage and no need to pay out for replacements or damages caused by flooding.
Cujo protects your household from any external cyber attached. The small round device acts as a smart firewall which you connect to your mobile phone, TVs, tablets, computers and more. So by protecting everything electronic in your house, you are preventing any attacks from hackers, scams and more. This of course, can help lower your contents insurance and lowers the risk of having to pay for any replacements devices in your house.
AEB – Autonomous Emergency Braking
AEB is a safety technology which automatically brakes the car in an emergency situation if the driver fails to respond. By monitoring the road conditions, they are able to prevent accidents happening in the first place rather than relying on the seatbelt or airbag to limit the damage. Read more about it here.
Some systems can actually park the car for the driver at the press of a button. This is something that is being developed and prototypes can be seen online. When nearly a quarter of all insurance claims costs in the UK are related to parking or low-speed manoeuvring, this can be a very simple and huge money-saving addition.
Neos (neos.co.uk)is the ultimate way to guard your home and it has been designed with insurance in mind. Starting at £649.99, it includes alarms, cameras and contacts fitted on your door. Connected to your smart phone, it can alert you quickly about a potential break-in, flood or fire. But best of all, any alert is sent to their own customer centre so if you are away or busy, they can act on it – sending over an emergency services or notifying family members or key holders. Neos is almost considered as an alternative to home insurance, so rather than buying the insurance first and the smart add-ons second, Neos recommends that you purchase them first and then it includes free home insurance from Hiscox.
The use of smart technology is certainly helping UK households and motorists become safer and ultimately save money on their insurance. Initially, it requires a bit of an investment and means that standard vehicles and alarms can become more expensive in the short-term. However, long-term, there are indeed savings to be made and the prospect of having less break-ins and road accidents is truly welcomed.