American insurer Travelers has announced a partnership with Amazon that will see smart home kits, as well as insurance and risk management information, offered to its customers via a digital storefront on the Amazon site.
The smart home kits, designed to protect homeowners from some of the most common causes of loss, will be offered at a discounted price for Travelers customers in participating states.
“Smart home technology is making it easier for all of us to monitor our homes and help protect us from some of the most common causes of damage,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President and President of Personal Insurance at Travelers.
“Our Amazon digital storefront conveniently brings together smart home devices, installation services, discounts and insurance knowledge in one central location to help our customers and agents manage risk and take a more proactive approach to home safety.”
Discounted installation through Amazon Smart Home Services is also offered where available, while eligible Travelers home insurance customers will receive a discount on their policy with the purchase of a smart home kit.
“This is an exciting example of Travelers executing on our innovation agenda to be the undeniable choice for the customer and an indispensable partner for our agents and brokers,” said Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Travelers.
“It advances our priorities of extending our lead in risk expertise and providing great experiences for our customers, agents and brokers.”
The smart home kits includes devices such as security cameras, water sensors and motion detectors with multi-sensor capabilities.
Alexa skills, a feature that allows for complex requests to be processed by the cloud-based voice service, are also due to be introduced by Travelers; enabling customers ask questions regarding billing and payments, as well as access property maintenance and home safety tips.
It’s understood that an Amazon Echo Dot – a hands-free, voice-controlled device that connects to an Alexa device – will be provided to eligible home insurance customers, even without the purchase of a kit.
Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods have noted that this partnership could accelerate Travelers’ homeowners’ Policies-In-Force and premium growth.
“Under the agreement, TRV insureds can buy discounted smart home kits that could in-turn qualify for homeowners’ policy discounts,” KBW stated.
“Customers can also get both TRV-specific policy information and general home maintenance and protection advice.”
KBW expects this arrangement to expand the Travelers brand and support increasingly-customised pricing capabilities that should drive both PIF growth and underwriting profitability over time.
This announcement sees Amazon take another step closer to the insurance market, albeit indirectly. The online retail and e-commerce giant had already been rumoured to be weighing up a move that would see it launch a UK price comparison website, while plans are well underway for the founding of a non-profit, U.S. employee healthcare partnership.