May 16, 2021

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Farmers kicks off IoT partnership for home insurance

3 min read

Farmers Insurance announced a collaborative effort with SimpliSafe, a maker of home security systems, that is designed to make preventative smart home protection available to homeowners in Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio.

The companies launched a pilot program to enable insured homeowners to protect their homes in those states against theft, fire, and water damage, while also providing them with potential savings on their homeowners insurance policies.

For a limited time, Farmers customers in the three participating states who bind a new Smart Plan Home policy between April 1, 2021 and May 31, 2021 will qualify to receive a seven-piece home security system from SimpliSafe. The system will be provided with residents’ homeowners policy at no extra charge, and includes the SimpliCam HD camera, water and motion sensors, and one month of SimpliSafe’s continuous home monitoring service.

SimpliSafe’s technology and monitoring is designed to help with early detection of theft and water damage issues before they become major insurance claims, saving homeowners unexpected costs.

“Our determination to adopt and offer the latest technology to benefit customers continues to grow,” said Carolyn Wald, head of innovation integration at Farmers Insurance. With the SimpliSafe technology, the firm saw an opportunity to offer home security and monitoring services to customers at a time when home safety and security are likely to be top of mind, she said.

If the pilot goes well and agents and customers are pleased with the enhanced protection, SimpliSafe and Farmers will explore making the offering available in additional markets, said Matt Wolf, director of partnerships at SimpliSafe.

The company anticipates that the strategic collaboration will not only help homeowners by minimizing home damages and generating potential savings on homeowners’ policies, “but also help agents stand out in customers’ minds,” Wolf says. “It enables enhanced engagement with customers. It is our hope that the pilot program proves to be effective and we have the opportunity to expand beyond our three test markets.”

To ensure security of the homeowners’ data, all communication between SimpliSafe’s devices, application, and backend—whether it happens via Wi-Fi network or via cellular signal—is encrypted.

“Our products encrypt data in transit and at rest, using industry standard encryption methods,” Wolf says. “Being responsible for the protection and privacy of our customers is an enormous responsibility, and one that we take very seriously.”

SimpliSafe introduced its smart home insurance platform in March 2020, and the company has been working with another insurer, Hippo Insurance, to provide the protection tools to Hippo’s customers across the United States.

“We believe that together with leading insurers, we can create an unrivaled policyholder experience,” Wolf says. “Together, we can help get homeowners engaged while minimizing damages and generating potential savings on homeowners’ policies in a meaningful way. Carriers have understood for some time that the homeowner’s product could be smarter and more engaging.”

SimpliSafe has seen “significant interest” from other insurance carriers in partnering with the company, Wolf says, and there will be a growing number of firms offering the smart home platform in the future.