Why Smart Home Technology is Indiana Farm Bureau’s New Competitive Advantage

Why Smart Home Technology is Indiana Farm Bureau’s New Competitive Advantage

Connected home insurance is playing a vital role in reducing the volume and severity of claims made by homeowners. Installing smart devices and, crucially, keeping them online helps people to keep their properties safe by preventing the threat and costly damage of fires and water leaks.

Smart devices are booming in popularity as consumers look to reduce their energy usage and tighten their purse strings. For example, GSMA Intelligence data finds that one-fifth of homeowners have installed smart bulbs, while 18% of homes have security cameras and 17% have connected thermostats. Statista research, meanwhile, finds that 57% of U.S. consumers will adopt smart home tech by 2025, compared to just 40% in 2021. 

With this race toward smart home technology adoption, savvy insurance carriers, like Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, are realizing the rich rewards of pairing IoT and insurance. Smart devices alert policyholders to common household risks, like water leaks or sounding alarms, and help them take a proactive role in homeownership. And connected home insurance policies can help insurers engage customers, offer more competitive pricing and launch incentives that increase customer loyalty.

Learn why Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance chose Notion over competitors, and how it is leveraging Notion to improve retention and losses.

How Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Deployed Notion’s Technology

At Notion, we work with our partners to help them reduce claims and losses while improving policyholder acquisition, engagement and retention. An excellent example of this is Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance's new Smart Home Protection Program. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance’s plans to roll out a state-wide program that will see even more kits sent to homes across Indiana in 2023.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, through its subsidiary Peril Protect, LLC, had been using a subscription-based leak-detection system that alerted homeowners of water leaks utilizing cellular technology. It was difficult for the company to get its clients excited about a program that only focused on water sensors, though, so it started researching new smart tech solutions.

Isaiah Blackburn, the program's manager, discovered a Notion whitepaper that introduced the company to the potential benefits of connected home insurance. This helped its team realize there were a wealth of opportunities to engage customers and deliver more value to homeowners.

Delivering Smart Home Insurance

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance assessed several smart home technology solutions in a bid to better engage customers. As Isaiah explains: 

“We chose Notion over its competitors, which typically require a monthly subscription fee off the bat. In our prior experience, clients don’t like that. Based on client feedback, we knew it was going to be a hurdle to get customers to sign up for a program which required a monthly subscription fee. Notion maximized the value we could provide.”

With Notion onboarded, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance has seen more than 50% of its clients install the technology, which it hopes to increase going forward. The technology is so easy to set up that one of its agent's 88-year-old mother-in-law had it up and running quickly. 

“Notion is a breeze to set up, and it’s a five-minute process to get the technology working," notes Isaiah. "Crucially, the technology has always  worked in my home and, in fact, the sounding alarms work so quickly that when a smoke alarm went off I received a notification on my phone before the second beep from the alarm!”

As insurers know, retaining policyholders is an important lever for growth -- the cost of acquiring a customer is typically 5X more than retaining one. Notion partners have increased retention by more than 11%. 

That said, Isaiah believes increasing retention by even 1% can reap a return on investment from the Notion smart home program. “Overall, we’ll see an increase in sign-ups and acquisition," he explained. "We’re the only company doing anything like this in Indiana, so this gives us a competitive advantage. I really do believe it’s a retention product and a value-add without asking anything of your customer. It's a powerful tool that we’re offering not only to our clients, but also to the agents who face an increasingly difficult and competitive sales environment.”

The company’s biggest challenge remains getting agents on board. “As with any new program, the tendency for the sales force seems to be taking a wait and see approach. Is the program as good as we tell them it is? Agents tend to be more skeptical than clients. We believe as they see more clients join the program and other agents using this amazing retention tool we’re providing them, that they will begin to reach out to all of their eligible clients and encourage them to sign-up,” Isaiah said. "We’re considering an internal pilot with agents to help drive adoption throughout our sales."

Counting the Cost-Saving of Professional Monitoring

The rising threat of fire and water damage led Notion to launch a new product upgrade, Notion PRO, earlier this year. The upgrade provides notifications for risks like open doors and windows, water leaks and sounding alarms to ensure rapid timeline escalation. 

Critically, Notion PRO also addresses the price barrier that often holds homeowners back from securing their properties with smart technology. It enables insurance carriers to offer cost-effective, easy-to-install smart systems without the significant cost of purchasing devices. 

Notion also works with inssurance carriers to enable discounts on insurance policies. For example, upgrading to Notion PRO with IFBI may make policyholders eligible for an additional 5% discount on policies. On upgrading to PRO, Isaiah said: “It works exactly how we expect and it’s cost-efficient. At $10 a month, PRO is the cheapest offer in the market that I'm aware of.”

What’s the Future of Smart Home Insurance?

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is a 93-year-old company, but it’s continually striving to be more innovative and modern-thinking. Partnering with Notion has been vital in helping the company remain ahead of the curve and gain an advantage over its competitors in a busy marketplace.

According to Isaiah:

“What we’re doing right now is the future, by merging insurance and smart home technologies. Policyholders increasingly expect more from their insurance companies, but they don’t want to pay more. And customers want to stay connected to their homes but don’t want to pay for it.
We realize that minutes matter when it comes to preventing risks in the home from spiraling into major headaches, and our goal with this program is to provide a tool to help our clients avoid those headaches. The future is for insurance carriers to encourage homeowners to install these devices and keep them online to prevent potentially damaging water leaks or other perils.
Installing smart devices and ensuring they stay online is a win-win for homeowners and insurance carriers. Homeowners gain peace of mind that their property is safe and secure, while insurance firms gain rich data that helps them reduce claims and losses. For example, insurers who use Notion can reduce claims by up to 78%.

Discover how connected home insurance programs can help you reduce claims and boost customer engagement by partnering with Notion.