Written by: The Friday Five

Every week The Friday Five will bring you interesting news and information from around the insurance industry. This week: the dark side of IoT, smart home discounts, life insurance and charitable giving.

The dark side of IoT

Organizations in every industry are pursuing opportunities presented by the Internet of Things (IoT). At the same time, cyber criminals are similarly exploiting IoT as a new avenue for advancing their own illicit activities that can have of potential implications that range from mere inconvenience to catastrophe. Designers, owners and operators of IoT-connected structures must be aware of the threats and risks they face and sensibly prepare for risk identification, management and mitigation. Likewise, property and casualty insurers that underwrite them should take time to understand this new frontier of threat and risk. Read more in the PropertyCasualty360 article, What insurers need to know about the downside of ‘IoT’ by Henrik Kiertzner and Norman Black.

Will smart device discounts attract homeowners?

Smart home devices are becoming an integral part of homeowners’ lives. But these devices aren’t just a way for turning lights on and off. In combination with a home insurance policy, they can also save homeowners some cash while increasing home safety. Homeowners are being advised to research how safety discounts with their insurer can save them on their policy, particularly if a partnership with a smart device company yields particularly large savings. But if discounts aren’t significant, homeowners may shop around for coverage. Read Mark Fitzpatrick’s ValuePenguin article, Are Smart Device Home Insurance Discounts Worth It?

Drones: the view from the claims department

Excerpted from Viewing Drones from and Insurance Claim Perspective by Heather McMahon for Claims Journal: New technologies like drones bring costly exposures and hazardous conditions that didn’t exist before. Insurance agents need to understand risks so they can educate customers and ensure protection with adequate liability limits. One misconception is losses that arise from drone activity are excluded due to aircraft exclusions.

California bans use of gender for rate calculation

Recently, California acted to ban auto insurers from using gender as a factor for calculating the rates customers pay, joining six other states that have told insurers they must focus more on driving behavior than criteria that appear less obviously related to assessing risk. In addition to banning gender, other states have moved to ban the use of educational status, marital status or credit scores. Read Fredrick Kunkle’s article for The Washington Post, Gender can no longer be used to calculate auto insurance rates in California and other states.

Combining life insurance and charitable giving

Financial planning is not a product-centric process, but people often use financial products like mutual funds, annuities and/or life insurance to achieve goals in the most efficient manner. One of the core products for protecting wealth in a household is life insurance. As people age, their life insurance needs could change as well. If you have a policyholder with a life insurance policy he or she no longer needs, one option might be to gift the policy to a charity. Read more in Jamie Hopkins’ Forbes article, 2 Ways To Combine Charitable Giving And Life Insurance.

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