smart home security iot

Summer vacation’s coming, is your home prepared to be left alone?

Nearly four out of ten people would switch insurance companies for smart home products

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Smart home products are growing in appeal, particularly to those people who have insurance — and are already interested in protecting their assets.

The majority of U.S. households with broadband connections believe a device that would notify them about smoke and fire alarms is "highly appealing," according to research firm Parks Associates, which is running its Connections conference this week in San Francisco, Calif. The event focuses on the connected, internet of things space.

Consumers are expected to buy more than 485 million connected devices by 2021 from entertainment products to those that can smarten up their home. People are very keen to buy products that can simplify their home life — but they also want these items to pull double duty by securing their living space as well, as long as the price seems fair. For example, between 20 to 30 percent of insurance holders would purchase a fire safety package — if the costs upfront ran between $200 and $400, says Parks Associates.

That price range, while not wild, is certainly on the higher end when a four-pack of smart light bulbs —and a smart speaker than can run those bulb — can be each picked up for as little as $50. In fact, the smart home space is flooded with individual devices from connected locks to video doorbells all meant to bring some security to a living space — but linking these items together can be tricky.

Knowing if one gadget works with another product is not always easy to figure out. Even understanding if you can open your blinds with Alexa or turn off the lights with Google Home can be a mystery.

People are looking for some hand-holding, and in many cases security companies, broadband providers, and insurers are looking to fill that void. Parks Associates found that almost 40 percent of people who have insurance would even switch their insurance provider if they could get smart home products in return.

What's apparent is that consumers are interested in smart home products — what they can do, how they work, and if they can make their home life easier and also safer, as Parks Associates senior vice president Elizabeth Parks noted in a statement: "The consumer IoT and smart home industries are approaching the goal of wider consumer adoption, thanks to interest in safety and security use cases and enthusiasm for voice-based control and interfaces."

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