How IOT is changing your insurance and your life

Heraclitus once said that change is the only constant. But insurance has been relatively slow to adapt to recent disruptive changes like the Internet of Things (IOT).

Insurance — the attentive guardian watching over the most important things in your life — must adapt as your needs evolve. So what are some of the current and future changes coming our way that will forever change the way you look at insurance?

Well, recall the first time you installed computers in your home or office. Granted, some of us do not remember a time before computers, but ask those who do and they’ll describe just how massive that change was.

Got the memory? Okay, hold on to it, because that’s at least how big the changes will be in the next few years. IOT devices are set to have at least as big an impact on our lives as the advent of computers once did. Certainly, we’re spending a lot more on IOT with every year. According to IT research and advisory company Gartner, Inc., 8.4 billion “connected” devices will be in use worldwide in 2017. This number is up 31% from last year and it expected to reach 20.4 billion by 2020.

These developments present both challenges and opportunities that you will certainly wish to leverage to get the best value from your policies and coverages. For example, investing in IOT may yield cost savings.

One way IOT helps you save is by monitoring your home and detecting potential issues and damages before they would be detected through more “traditional” means. These devices can track carbon monoxide levels, monitor your computer networks and notify you via app in case of an intrusion and even move sunshades in accordance with sunlight on your patio. This exotic sun shade also functions as a speaker system and security camera.

As they collect the data, IOT feeds it to your insurer who can more accurately calculate your premiums. Accordingly, underwriters are expanding coverage to include perks for people with IOT and other “smart” devices, as well as smart homes. And at least one insurance expert has said he would consider giving clients a discount for implementing the aforementioned computer network monitoring device and app.

Exciting as these developments may be, they also present challenges for your insurance. Connecting more devices to the internet and its information networks also means hackers have more access points into your life.

To address this, some insurers are rolling out cyber insurance and you’ll definitely want to check if your policies cover the high-tech devices permeating your life. Because many insurers are just starting to grapple with the ongoing and ever accelerating IOT disruption, not all will have the necessary coverage to meet your needs.

Be sure to speak with your broker to find out how disruptions will affect your life and your insurance to keep ahead of the curve in a world bent on changing beyond recognition.

How is IOT changing your home and office? Tweet us @shepherd_group