Industry Spotlight: InsurTech Startups Taking Big Strides in Smart Home Market

Smart Home Industry Spotlight by Hartford InsurTech Hub featuring InsurTech Startups Ubios SecureHome who are taking big strides in smart home market [ Tweet this ]

The rapid evolution of smart technologies is reshaping our lives in ways that only a decade ago seemed inconceivable. The sheer scale of smart products that have arrived on the market in the last few years has been alarming, and smart home startups are taking advantage of this by transforming the home into a safer, more efficient, and more connected place. People like neat and innovative ways to manage their lives, and smart home technology is helping to leverage this trend.

The global smart home market is expected to reach USD $53.45 billion by 2022, a rise of 14.5% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) since 2017 [1]. This significant growth can, for the most part, be attributed to the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT refers to the devices and gadgets that are interconnectable and identifiable through digital networks. The ability to automatically turn off lights, adjust the thermostat, activate an alarm, and multiple other everyday tasks are all possible thanks to IoT.

The vision of every person having a fully, seamlessly connected home is quite a futuristic one as the market still has a ways to go in order to reach its full potential. A number of factors, arguably, are hindering its growth, such as the many consumers who are still yet to grasp the true value of connected devices, and others who are concerned with the complexity and cost of installation. Nonetheless, the security, energy savings, and other tangible benefits of smart home offerings will continue to drive the market forward.

Smart homes are designed to make our lives safer and more convenient, but, ultimately, if we do not tread carefully, they could have the opposite effect. A great number of devices connected to the network means that personal data and important private information are online and potentially accessible to unwanted outside threats. Essentially, we are leaving our digital footprint online, and the consequences of that footprint falling into the wrong hands could be disastrous.

SecureHome, one of our 2018 Hartford InsurTech startups, protects consumers against cyber intrusions. Asim Riaz, Chief Customer Officer of SecureHome, discusses how homes have become more accessible: “The points of entry to your home have now significantly gone up. We at SecureHome provide a secure, connected experience to the homeowners, protecting them from the known and the unknown threats…Machine learning algorithms have been built to learn user behaviors. From an unknown perspective, we mean any abnormality in your use case. It’s about knowing what is bad and blocking it proactively and learning what is not normal for your use case and adapting to that.”

Talking about the home of the future, Asim points out that the number of IoT devices in the home will greatly increase. He adds “…We will be surrounded by ambient technology that is constantly watching and observing our actions. We will have to protect ourselves from 500 or more different points of access into our home.”

Smart home startups are not just focusing on software technology. Away from the web, the threat of water damage from leaky pipes is huge and is one of the top causes of home insurance claims. Technological development has finally given us the platform to address this problem.

Ubios, another InsurTech startup from our 2018 cohort, has developed a Smart Water Valve and a Smart Wall Unit for the home. The system can detect when nobody is home and automatically shut off the water valve, preventing 80% of water damage. It also detects when you move around your home to turn off/on lights and adjust the temperature, lowering energy consumption. Mathieu Lachaîne, CEO & Founder at Ubios, says that: “Water damage is the number one reason for insurance claims, both in terms of number of claims and in terms of payout.” Speaking about Ubios’ Smart Valve: “It only opens automatically when people need water. So when there is no water in the pipes, there is no possible water leak.” Mathieu indicates that homes of the future “will be able to answer the different actions that they feel. In this way, they will be able to provide much more comfort, energy efficiency, and a lower risk level for the occupants.”

Both SecureHome and Ubios offer different technology solutions to some of today’s modern household problems. It is crucial that technology for the home keeps up with the digital revolution given that it plays such an integral part of our everyday lives. As more creative smart home products hit the market, we’re starting to form a clearer picture of how the home of tomorrow will look. As technology advances, the home will be able to better learn and understand our habits and be able to set our lighting, heating, and other preferences automatically. When we might reach this level of automation is difficult to predict, but if technology advances at the rate we are currently experiencing, then it could be a lot sooner than we think.