Homeowners are getting ‘smart’ when it comes to keeping an eye on their residences. The latest trend is installing devices that monitor hazards in or around the home, then alert a homeowner when something goes wrong. For many, it’s about providing personalized protection and peace of mind in knowing what’s going on at home, even when they’re away.
What enticed Michelle Hancock, agency founder at PNW Insurance Group, to initially purchase her smart home devices was to keep her dogs safe while they were left home alone. She placed the small devices around her house to monitor for smoke but also placed one on the floor near the hot water tank.
A couple of months later, hours after heading out of town for a five-day vacation, she got a notification on her phone that her Notion device had detected water. Michelle called her daughter and asked her to go check on the house. When she arrived, she discovered the hot water tank had sprung a leak and water was beginning to fill the basement. Michelle’s daughter was able to shut off the water supply and gas to the hot water tank, preventing serious additional damage to the home.
“It would have kept running and no one would have been in our house for days, it is beyond fathomable to me how bad things could have been,” explained Michelle. “It wasn’t until we came back home and began the process of cleaning up the remainder of the problem that I realized a box of photos from my parents’ home was just a few feet away from the edge of the water—the pictures in there went back several generations worth.”
Michelle’s desire to protect her dogs supports a new Nationwide survey that found 21% of homeowners buy smart home devices to protect their pets. The devices Michelle installed were able to protect so much more than her beloved pets, they saved her home from thousands of dollars worth of water damage and the hassle of having to repair her basement.
What many consumers don’t realize is that the #1 cause of avoidable claims for homeowners is nonweather-related water loss, with most of those claims coming from pipe, fixture, or water heater leaks. The survey found only 27% of consumers stated knowing about sensors that monitor water flow and leaks, and less than a quarter (24%) are aware of sensors that can shut off the water in case of leaks.
“While I bought it to alert me of smoke for animals and humans that might be in my home, I have now seen the tremendous benefit of its other features as well. I’m now a huge advocate for my friends and family to look into buying one of these things for their home,” Michelle added.
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