Chances and Risks through Smart Home

Digitalization & innovation, 28.09.2017

Whether heating, window contacts or refrigerators – household appliances are becoming increasingly more interconnected and controlled via smart phones while we're on the move. According to Statista, there will be 2,4 million smart households in Germany by 2020. Where householders’ and home-owners’ insurers once swooped in after damage had already been incurred, today they help you avoid it or minimise it.

Light that tricks potential bypassers into thinking someone's home keeps burglars away. Water detectors warn against water leakage from a broken pipe. Consumers hope for the many advantages these bring: In the first place, safety is a big plus, followed by the savings in energy and water as well as a higher degree of comfort.

Smart Home offers several interesting starting points for insurance. The warning “water leakage in the bathroom” doesn't do much good on a mobile phone if there's no one at home to call for help. In the future, insurance companies could receive such warnings. A claim adjuster alerts the security service, calls the serviceman and ensures that he/she receives access to the home. In cases of fire, break-in or water, the insurer ultimately assumes the costs for these services as well as for the damage repair.

Smart Home systems can supplement classic burglar alarms. The new technology does however bring with it risks – especially when it comes to data protection and IT security. Cyber attacks also occur frequently in the private sphere. Here, hackers could for example manipulate the controls from outside and gain unhindered access through electronic door locks. The aspect of security will be playing an increasingly decisive role when it comes to selecting the Smart Home provider.

You can find information about our cooperation with Telekom and our SmartHome accident cover here.

Von Markus Hofmann, Vorstandsvorsitzender der ERGO Versicherung AG

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