Smart homes are now more accessible and powerful than ever before. You can run anything from a doorbell to a slow cooker with your phone. Surprisingly, this can do more than just save you time; it can save you money on your home insurance. These days, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer discounts or premium reductions to homeowners who implement smart home devices. Some of the most common discounts go to those implementing technology that improves the safety, security, or energy management of your home.
Smart home devices can ensure your house and belongings are protected even when you’re not there. Systems and devices that monitor for burglary, flooding, carbon monoxide, or fire can limit the short and long-term risk to your house. Some insurance policies will take these smart monitoring systems into account and offer you a discount for the reduced risk.
Homes with security systems in place are three times less likely to be burglarized, and many home insurance companies will offer premium credits, some up to 15 percent off your insurance rate, to those who take active steps to protect their home.
Smart energy-management technology can save you money in a couple different ways. First, you can lower your energy bill by remotely controlling your thermostats and lights. Second, you can use energy-management technology to provide backup power for appliances and electronics during power outages.
Here are TechRadar’s recommendations for best smart home devices to get your existing house, apartment or other domicile up to speed:
- Best smart speaker: Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)
- Best smart home hub: Wink Hub 2
- Best smart light bulbs: Philips Hue
- Best smart thermostat: Nest Learning Thermostat
- Best smart security camera: NetGear Arlo Q
- Best smart switch: TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch
- Best smart plug: Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug
- Best smart lock: August Smart Lock
- Best smart smoke detector: Nest Protect