US-based home insurer Travelers has announced a new partnership with online retail behemoth Amazon, the first of its kind between Amazon and an insurer. Travelers will now sell discounted home security sensor devices to its home insurance policyholders via Amazon, as well as providing insurance and risk management information services via what the company describes as ‘the insurance industry’s first digital storefront’.
Customers will be able to purchase smart home kits that include security cameras, water sensors, motion detectors, a wireless ‘smart hub’ that connects to various smart devices, and an Amazon Echo Dot. Purchasing a kit will also give customers a discount on their home insurance policy.
Additionally, Travelers has developed a number of new ‘skills’ for Amazon Alexa, which can help customers with billing and offer tips on home maintenance and safety.
“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.”
There has been some consternation in the insurance industry about tech giants such as Amazon and Google encroaching on its territory, and the potential disruption this could bring. This tie-up seems on the face of it a fairly benign example of how relationships between such tech entities and insurers could work, though it remains to be seen whether more partnerships of this type will be entered into, and how many will flourish.