Insurance companies seem to have their eye on smart homes as an avenue for new customers.
Homeowner's insurance carriers also see the Internet of Things influencing their future products and services, according to a new study by NTT Data.
The study, comprising a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. homeowner insurance carriers, found that the majority (87%) of insurers said they believe the Internet of Things will improve customer relationships.
Almost as many (83%) said they see smart home products and services as an opportunity to gain new customers.
However, insurance companies see barriers to implementing policy programs around smart homes, according to Normand Lepine, senior lead of insurance data and analytics at NTT Data.
“While enthusiasm for and investment in the Smart Home ecosystem is high among carriers, major challenges still exist in its evolution,” Lepine said in a statement.
“If carriers are to realize the anticipated benefits of smart home technology, they must first lock down the necessary business capabilities for adoption, including data analytics and data security, and find partners with proven IoT capabilities to help them prepare to deliver innovative services and products to their homeowner policyholders,” Lepine stated.
More than half (68%) of insurance companies said the primary barrier to widespread creation of smart home insurance programs is lack of access to smart home device data.
Other barriers include integrating analytics into the process (62%) and the overall cost of the devices themselves (55%).
However, homeowners may be willing to share their smart home device data.
Another recent study by Parks Associates found that more than half (51%) of U.S. homeowners would share data from their smart thermostat for energy discounts, as the IoT Daily reported at the time (51% Would Trade Smart Home Device Data For Cost Savings).
That study found that the willingness to share data with a device manufacturer or service provider changes based on the return benefit for the homeowner.
Almost three quarters (74%) of insurance companies said they believe their future products and services will be strongly influenced by the Internet of Things, according to the NTT Data study.