Only 7% of Homeowners Use This Technology That Could Save Them Thousands

A woman sitting on her couch and holding up a pot to catch a leak falling from the ceiling.

Image source: Getty Images

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Simple technology could reduce insurance premiums and prevent devastating damage, so why aren't more people using it?

Smart technologies can be found in more homes across America. In fact, around two-thirds of households have some type of smart home product such as a virtual assistant or a digital doorbell.

Despite the widespread popularity of these life-changing technological tools, homeowners are missing out on some of the most important smart home tools of all, according to a new survey conducted by Nationwide.

Here's the technology that American homeowners are missing -- which could save them thousands if they'd embrace it.

Despite the potential to save, most homes are lacking in crucial technology

While smart home technology is incredibly popular, only 7% of homeowners who have these types of products have devices in their homes that are designed to predict and prevent water leaks, according to Nationwide's research. This technology includes smart sensors that are able to monitor the flow of water and detect leaks.

Not using this type of technology is a major missed opportunity because water leaks are both a common source of damage and a leading cause of expensive repairs due to the destruction that can result from a leak.

Because homeowners don't have these devices installed, they are at greater risk of being forced to make a home insurance claim, which would likely raise their future premiums. Not to mention they may also be left dealing with the hassle of repairs as well as out-of-pocket costs such as their insurance deductible.

"The No. 1 cause of avoidable claims for Nationwide homeowners insurance policyholders is non-weather related water loss, with most of those claims coming from pipe, fixture, or water heater leaks," said Beth Riczko, president of personal lines at Nationwide. "With the Insurance Information Institute reporting the average water damage and freezing event causes more than $11,000 in damage, homeowners should consider these types of sensors to provide an extra layer of protection."

Many homeowners don't have these devices installed because they are unaware of them. Just 27% of survey respondents said they were familiar with this type of new smart sensor. Cost and privacy concerns are also possible explanations for not having these sensors installed, but the upfront cost may be well worth paying, as installing this kind of smart technology could potentially help homeowners save significantly on their insurance premiums over time.

Homeowners could save money and stress with smart home technology

"Participating in Nationwide’s smart home program saves policyholders about 4% on their homeowners insurance premiums, but the savings are even greater when you consider the additional benefits of having a smart home device," said Riczko. "Alleviating the stress of having to get major damage fixed, reducing repair times, easing the anxiety you feel every time you leave the house -- that kind of peace of mind is priceless."

The good news is, Nationwide's survey found most homeowners would be willing to install the devices if they were aware of this opportunity to save, with 64% indicating they'd use insurance-based smart home technology if doing so reduced their insurance costs. Homeowners may also be able to qualify for both rebates and discounts on this type of smart home device, which could eliminate cost as a concern, too.

Anyone who owns a home should have a conversation with their insurance agent about whether a smart home device could save them money -- and if there are opportunities to qualify for a rebate to buy one. Installing this technology is simple, and the benefits could be well worth the cost and effort.

Our picks for best homeowners insurance companies

There are many homeowners insurance companies to choose from. We’ve researched dozens of options and short-listed our favorites here. Looking for a green build discount or easy bundle policies? Want an easy-to-use interface? Read our free expert review and get a quote today.

Our Research Expert