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Maplin CEO: Insurance is about to super-charge the smart home revolution

By Oliver Smith 13 November 2017
Image: Getty/HstrongART.

Smart tech to save you money?!

Would you buy smart home tech if it slashed the price of your home insurance?

As the CEO of Maplin, Oliver Meakin has already seen the smart home revolution transform his business over the past two years.

From Philips Hue smart lights to Amazon’s Alexa, Meakin has watched sales of smart home kit jump over 135% year-on-year, with nearly a quarter of Brits now living in internet-connected homes.

Speaking to The Memo last week, Meakin predicted that the next wave of the smart home revolution wouldn’t come from artificial intelligence or virtual reality, but from our home insurers.

Read more: A 24% of Brits now live in ‘smart homes’

‘Smart’ insurance

“The US is normally quite a good indicator of what’s coming to Europe and the UK,” Meakin told The Memo.

“Over there insurance companies are getting into the market for water detection, leak detection, home security, and having that all linked up with smart home tech.”

State Farm, America’s biggest home insurer, offers discounts on smart home gear and knocks money of its customer’s premiums for having the gear installed.

“I think insurance companies in the UK will soon start doing the same to drive adoption of smart home technologies, and as a way of reducing premiums.”

It’s not dissimilar from what we’ve seen car insurers already doing, offering to shave money off if you have a black box installed to monitor your speed or a dashcam to avoid nefarious claims.

In fact, his prediction was scarily prescient.

Britain’s first ‘smart home’ insurer

Last week, on the same day as our interview with Meakin, Neos launched across the UK, offering smart home tech, 24/7 monitoring and comprehensive contents and buildings insurance policies.

For now it’s only focused on using tech to prevent the worst happening, but founder Matt Poll told The Memo that this is just the start.

“We are pioneering this new way to protect your home and expect many insurers to follow our lead to focus on prevention instead of payout.”

“With this approach, we want our customers to never make a claim again and, with fewer claims being made, pay less to protect their homes.”

And who wouldn’t want that?