The Internet of Things (IoT)—increasingly intelligent devices, machines and physical objects that connect and share data over the Internet—has, quite literally, hit home.

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Accenture estimates that the IoT could help add $6.1 trillion to the US economy by 2030, driven in part by the connected home—where smart sensors, switches, webcams and thermostats automate, monitor and control the home ecosystem.The global connected home market is expected to reach $235 billion by 2016. Nearly 69 percent of consumers will own an in-home IoT device by 2019.

The connected home represents significant opportunity for P&C insurers in a number of areas, including:

  • Better risk management and risk mitigation, through claims avoidance and better claims handling;
  • Better underwriting, based on increased data flows and a keener understanding of risk factors and behavioral elements;
  • New product offerings, including value-added services outside insurance product and pricing innovation delivered in partnership with other providers;
  • Closer customer relationships, as a result of more frequent and personalized interactions; and
  • Stronger supply chain, with a better ability for insurers to offer discounts to customers (based in part on a better understanding and capture of home contents) and connections to a reliable replacement and repair network.

The key to success for insurers seeking to deliver value in the connected home market is in finding the right market entry point as well as the right value proposition for customers.

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