The future of DIY home security has arrived. With remote work on the rise and new products hitting the smart home technology market, smart devices for DIY home monitoring are seeing a striking new level of demand.

According to 2021 research from Parks Associates, self-installation of new DIY home security systems rose 40%, from 2018 to 2021.

What caused such an astronomical boost in adoption within a mere two years? Multiple trends have brought the future of DIY home security closer. Let’s look at the smart home trends fueling massive growth in DIY home security — and how insurance carriers should respond.

The Pandemic Has Expanded DIY Home Security Use Cases

Shifts in homeowner lifestyles and priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic have played a significant role in boosting DIY home security system adoption. Meanwhile, this technology is disrupting the insurance sector by giving rise to a new “insurtech” service that combines smart home self-monitoring technology with insurance.

Staying Home and Working Remotely

Staying home during the workday hasn’t gone away, despite the end of stay-at-home mandates. In a survey from PwC, 83% of employers said their shift to remote work has been successful and benefited their bottom line. Today, a hybrid work culture is taking hold where employees are free to work from home and come into the office for meetings and other events only as needed.

Even before the pandemic, a 2019 survey from Buffer showed that 99% of workers said they’d prefer to work remote for at least some of the time. Employers and employees both find it convenient, particularly due to cost savings on both sides. Working from home has piqued homeowners’ interest in self-monitoring their homes instead of paying for traditional home monitoring.

Consumers Prefer Self-Installation

The recent research from Parks Associates found that a third of security system owners said they’ve avoided professional installers due to COVID-19 concerns. Many DIY home security devices come with access to video tutorials online and live chat with technicians, so DIY system owners aren’t missing out on professional advice.

Facilitating Independence or Social Distance

Parks Associates also found that two-thirds of security system owners have an interactive security system that sends system notifications and allows them to access their smart home devices remotely. During the pandemic, DIY home security adoption has allowed people to keep an eye on elderly relatives without potentially exposing them to COVID-19. With smart security cameras and speakers, parents can check in on kids who come home from school early.

Smart Homes Are Getting Smarter

There are more smart devices on the market than ever — and with more integrations. Whereas previously reserved for more tech-savvy users, today’s smart home devices are simple for anyone to use. It may seem like the growing number of smart appliances complicates things, but it’s not the case with the IoT, which allows users to connect them all and effectively make their homes smarter. With many consumers interested in the latest smart home technology, having an IoT program is a great way for insurance carriers to attract customers with good deals.

The Best Smart Home Features

Smart home trends tend to evolve as quickly as new features in the technology come out. As smart technology disrupts the market, insurance carriers can offer the best smart home devices and smart home features buyers are looking out for.

Two-Way Talk

Remember when walkie-talkies were cool? Many smart DIY home security systems feature two-way talk speakers or smart cameras for communicating with loved ones no matter the distance. This is particularly convenient for those watching over pets or elderly loved ones, who can be heard in a smart home without touching a single screen.

Water Leak Sensors

Many consumers think of smoke detectors as the most critical sensors in the home, but water damage is much more common than fires. In fact, the average cost of water damage for homeowners was $11,000 between 2014 and 2018.

Unfortunately, only 20% of homeowners report taking steps to mitigate water damage risks, according to a Chubb Homeowner’s Risk Survey. A smart home water leak sensor like Notion’s, which integrates with HomeAdvisor, can save a home from damage by notifying the owner as soon as there is any sign of trouble.

Home Automation

Home automation features save time and reduce energy expenditure in the home. For example, users can turn off any appliance from a phone or smart home hub, or set up an automatic lighting schedule. Some smart lights can even automatically coordinate with natural light in the room from windows or skylights to improve energy management.

Emergency Response Features

Some smart home systems let consumers cut the water line to their homes remotely to stop a leak immediately and prevent costly damage and insurance claims. They can receive alerts and emergency response features that help them respond to the crisis directly within an app. If a smoke detector goes off, for example, users can be asked whether they’d like to call the fire department.

Insurers Now Embrace DIY Home Security Devices

Insurtech is the latest trend in the insurance sector that combines cutting-edge DIY home security technology with home insurance. By providing free or discounted devices to monitor for environmental disasters and property damage, insurers attract new policyholders, save money on claims and reduce fraud.

Insurtech expert Matteo Carbone recommends insurance carriers deploy IoT not just to mitigate risk but also to further cut losses by tracking the most prevalent and costly risks and providing solutions tailored to these needs. In fact, research from McKinsey has found that smart home automation helps insurance providers reduce the cost of claims by 30%.

IoT Home Security Trends: The Future Is Here

The rapid spur in IoT innovation, among other trends, is igniting the DIY home security space — and insurers would do well to take note. Touchless technology has taken over, and emergencies are more preventable than ever with smart sensors and remote access to consumers’ homes. As technology’s capabilities expand and continue becoming more affordable, it’s safe to predict the growing adoption of DIY home security in the near and short term. How are you adjusting your insurance model to reach a smart-home savvy consumer?

Want to learn how you can leverage IoT to grow your customer base, and mitigate risk? Check out Notion’s Partner page.