Homeowners could save tens of thousands in damages by using smart devices

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Most homeowners are overlooking smart devices as a way to protect their homes from major damages and save more on home insurance, a recent Nationwide survey said. 

For example, 91% said they did not have smart sensors that monitor water leaks or flow and 79% did not have a smart sensor to monitor for smoke/carbon monoxide – these are the devices that can save homes from the most prominent and costly damages, the survey noted.

The average loss cost for water damage or freezing is $12,514; for fire or lightning damage, the average loss is $83,519, according to the Insurance Information Institute data. While homeowners insurance protects consumers from absorbing the brunt of these costs, they are still hit by the time and disturbances associated with fixing these repairs.

“The most avoidable claims can be non-weather related water losses, with most issues coming from leaky pipes, bad fixtures, or water heater leaks,” Nationwide’s Vice President of Personal Lines Product Development Sara Jacobs said. “Devices that detect these issues early can help avoid major problems.”

If you have a mortgage, you’re typically required to carry homeowners insurance, but you don’t have to stick with any particular insurance company. If you want to save on your home insurance costs, you could shop around for the best rate. Credible can help you compare home insurance rates from top insurance carriers all in one place.

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Most insurance agents recommend devices like smoke, CO2, or water sensors to offer enhanced peace of mind and protection for homeowners and also provide opportunities for savings, according to Nationwide. Protecting a property from potentially big damages means homeowners are less likely to need to file a claim, which may result in lower insurance premiums.

Home insurance rates have risen at a faster rate than inflation. Home insurance policy premiums increased by an average of 21% at renewal, according to the 2023 Policygenius home insurance pricing report.

The higher cost to cover climate-related damages has pushed several insurers to leave markets at higher risk of natural disasters, based on findings from an Insurify report. Last year, 18 climate disasters caused damage costing at least $1 billion each to $165.1 billion, according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). 

However, homeowners opted out of installing smart devices primarily because of costs. Roughly 45% said that they did not purchase smart home products and subscription services tied to them because they were “too expensive.”

“Homeowners should connect with their insurance agent to understand the benefits and level of protection that smart home products can provide,” Jacobs said.

If you want to ensure you have enough insurance and the right coverage for your needs, you can visit Credible to check out plans, providers and costs.

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Here’s who is paying the most for insurance

While home insurance rates increased by 21% on average, some saw their premiums surge by as much as 35%, according to the Policygenius report. These were the states that saw the highest increases at renewal:

  • Florida (+35%)
  • Idaho (+31%)
  • Colorado (+30%)
  • South Dakota (+28%)
  • Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma (+27%)

“Several of these states have dealt with an increase in natural disaster losses and dwindling insurance options over the last few years,” Policygenius said in its report. 

Climate-related disasters are pushing the costs of home insurance to rates homeowners are finding hard to afford and also risks devaluing properties, a recent analysis from the First Street Foundation said. 

Some 6.8 million properties have already been impacted by increasing insurance rates, canceled policies, and the realization of property value devaluation due to the increased cost of ownership. Another 39 million properties, representing 27.1% of all U.S. real estate, face rising insurance prices and reduced coverage due to high climate risks.  

If you live in a disaster-prone area, having the right home insurance coverage is essential. Visit Credible to get your personalized quote in minutes. 

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