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Bots, AI and smart home sensors – the future of insuring the things you own

Smarter insurance tailored for you

This week, a new initiative called ‘open banking’ launches – which puts customers in control of their financial data and makes it easier for them to share it with other services to get better deals.

This could be the future of banking, but what do the coming years hold for the other financial product we all own – insurance.

Despite being a notoriously dense market area to get your head around, an insurance revolution is already underway and it’s shaking things up.

Prompted by the development of smart technology, insurance as we know it today is becoming more intuitive, making it easier to understand and tailor to our daily needs.

We take a look at the future of insurance and how the way we protect ourselves and the things we care about is changing.


What is Insurtech?

Insurtech is a new development in the world of financial technology.

Companies in this space are finding news ways to make our experience with insurance as simple and efficient as possible.

This could be through the use of smart devices or putting all of your policies and documents in one place.

Personalised insurance advice

Getting the right level of cover from your insurance providers is crucial.

Sometimes the price you pay doesn’t always reflect the level of cover you get which makes it easy to over or under-insure yourself.

This is where Brolly steps in. Brolly is a free-to-use mobile app that helps you understand your insurance needs.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), it serves as a personal insurance concierge and allows you manage and buy the insurance that you need easily.

Brolly advises you on whether or not you are over or under-insured, have duplicate cover and highlights any personal insurance areas you might be missing.

It also allows you to store all of your insurance documents in an online locker and organises the policy numbers, renewal dates, premiums and contact numbers for easy access.

Automated insurance management

Managing insurance policies can be a bit of a nightmare.

With policy numbers, renewal dates and premiums spread across numerous emails and letters, it can be time consuming and often confusing to get things organised.

There are a couple of services at hand to help.

Pouch

Pouch, by Worry + Peace, is a cloud-based website that allows you to create an inventory of all your insurance products.

As well as being able to upload your pre-existing policy PDFs, Pouch will soon offer a smart email address that you can use with insurance providers so that your polices are sent straight to your inventory.

Meet Mia

Meet Mia is digital assistant that helps you solve all of your insurance needs in one place.

Mia works as a chatbot through Facebook Messenger. By simply sending a message, you can view all of your insurance policies on one dashboard.

It also offers assistance when checking what you’re covered for and making a claim or amendments to your policy.

Smarter home insurance

Most households in the UK have purchased some form of home insurance protection.

Of the 27.2m households in the UK, 19.7m have home contents insurance and 16.6m have buildings insurance.

Costs are rising for home insurance, and loyalty doesn’t pay – you could be paying 70% more for sticking with the same provider.

New innovations in this space are at hand.

Neos

Neos is the first UK home insurance provider to combine smart home technology with insurance to actively protect your home from damage.

They also fix your insurance premium for three years so that customers get a fair price.

Using smart home sensors, including a wireless indoor camera, Neos allows you to monitor your home through its app.

If the devices detect a problem such as a leak, fire or intruder, the app will send you real-time alerts and will put you in contact with their home assistance team to get it resolved as quickly as possible.

Even if you are away on holiday, Neos can arrange for someone to come out to your home and fix any issues before they escalate further.

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle is a home insurance provider designed for renters using technology.

The insurer incorporates features such as social media plugins and eligibility based questions to help save you time and find the best cover.

With a tactile interface that’s made for mobile, Urban Jungle makes it quick and simple to tailor flexible policies that can be amended or cancelled at any time.

They also reward loyalty by offering discounts and bonuses for referring your friends.

Smarter protection for your belongings

Finding the right protection for your belongings can be tricky, especially if you only need it for a short period of time.

While personal possessions cover can be added to a home contents insurance policy, making frequent changes to your level of cover can be time consuming.

A number of companies are making this process more mobile and flexible.

Trov

Trov is an on-demand insurance platform that allows you to get cover for items from your mobile phone.

Instead of offering a blanket policy for everything, Trov allows you to decide what items you want to protect at a particular time.

All you have to do is scroll through different item categories and swipe right on the items that you want to protect.

Claims are handled swiftly through Trov’s app.

Your premium is based on the number of items you have insured which is constantly reviewed and updated to make sure you have the right level of protection.

Back me up

Back me up allows you to insure your three most valuable items for £15 a month.

All you have to do when signing up is send pictures of your belonging to get the covered.

The insurer also allows you to ‘bolt on’ things like landlord cover, breakdown cover and extra items.

InMyBag

InMyBag, offers high-speed insurance so that you’re items are back in your hands as soon as possible.

The insurer provides cover for devices such as laptops, phones and cameras.

InMyBag works with the likes of Apple and Amazon Prime to guarantee that you get same or next day replacements for your devices wherever you are in the world.

Pay as you go car insurance

Infrequent drivers can sometimes overpay for their car insurance policies. As a solution, Cuvva, designed a pay as you go car insurance product based on the hours that you are actually driving your car.

Through the app you can select how long you would like to be insured for – be it 2 hours or 28 days.

Cuvva also allows you to take out short term insurance if you borrow a friend or family members car.

Through the app, you can select the period of time you would like to be insured for. Cuvva’s policy is completely separate from the car owner’s so their no claims bonus is protected should you run into any problems.

Smarter travel insurance

Travel insurance can give you peace of mind when you’re abroad but dealing with flight cancellations and rebooking can frustrating.

Using technology, Blink, provides real time information about your flight and will notify you if it gets cancelled.

They also offer a range of alternatives to your flight and makes it easy to rebooked and off to your destination quickly.

Personal cyber insurance

When you think cyber protection insurance – the image large corporations and endless rows of servers can often come to mind.

But what about your personal data?

Our devices hold so much information about us, from our holiday snaps and workout habits to personal and banking details.

As digital technology becomes more integral to our everyday lives, exposure to threats that could cause this information to be lost or stolen increases.

Products such as Hiscox Personal Cyber Insurance, are already on the market fro people who want protection against just that.

While this type of insurance policy can offer peace of mind, it comes at a price.

Precautions such as making sure the software on your devices is updated frequently, using strong password and backing up your data regularly can help prevent cyber threats.

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