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Covering our connected lives

Mon 11th Jan 21

As we become more connected to our devices, we need to be mindful of the ways they affect our day to day lives, including our insurance.

From the tech of the future – think robots – through to the tech that’s just around the corner for us – think about the devices we’re already using, such as Alexa, smart TVs, lights, heating, entertainment and more that are controlled with our mobile devices – the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we live. It’s been around for a long time, and researchers in labs around the country, including at Adastral Park, just a short way from Ryan’s HQ, were working on it back in the 1980s (possibly even longer ago!).

With research suggesting that the number of connected devices around the world will reach 50 billion by 2030, it’s worth working out how these devices might affect our lives and whether special cover is needed for them.

The connected home

A 2019 survey of 2,500 UK consumers found that 22% of UK households now own a voice-controlled digital home assistant device. That’s doubled since the 11% recorded in 2017. So, whether you’re already connected, or if you’re holding out for the next wave of change, IoT is becoming more prevalent all the time.

Of course, whether it’s an expensive piece of jewellery or a robot, or indeed a high end TV or other gadget, if you’re bringing a valuable item into your home, you’ll need to check you’ve got enough insurance in place to cover the risk of losing or damaging it.

Smart devices aren’t always going to mean additional costs for your insurance, though, and some of them may even save you money. Using a connected home security device, for example, could mean you could get a discount on your insurance. Not all insurers offer this, but it’s well worth checking with your broker. Likewise, smart devices that detect water leaks could also mean you’re eligible for a discount. And they will certainly all help you to manage your risks better.

IoT on your person

Your Fitbit or Garmin is not likely to require special insurance cover, but they may help you to save money. From wearable fitness trackers to smart watches and health condition specific devices – IoT is allowing insurers to offer discounts and rewards for their customers who share data from their devices.

Connected cars and vehicles

Telematics has been making a positive impact on motor insurance premiums – especially for young drivers – for a number of years. These devices allow insurers to provide a more personalised approach to your motor insurance, taking your driving behaviour into account.

IoT at work

From energy efficiency, through virtual assistants and improved data, the Internet of Things and the devices connecting to it can help to make businesses and the spaces in which they operate more productive, more profitable and much safer.

Again, this can include better control of your heating, lighting and water, security, and water leak and electrical fault detection that can minimise interruptions to your business and any potential costs for repair,

And, again, the data that is collected from your connected devices could help your insurance providers to create a more personalised approach to your business covers, helping you to mitigate loss and to lower your premiums.

You can find out more about how your connected devices may impact your home insurance from our Private Clients Division on 01473 343300.