Taking Into Account “Distracted Living” in a Property Inspection

Taking Into Account
The risks that property and casualty insurance carriers face are constantly evolving, and a thorough underwriting process is critical to identifying these emerging risks and proposing solutions that address these needs.
In today’s digital age, something that is impossible to ignore is what has become known as “distracted living.” People have become absorbed by their mobile devices and are always swiping, typing, pinching, and making voice commands to interact with digital content. There seems to be a sense of urgency to send text messages when driving or share “in the moment” pictures on social media while traveling to exotic destinations.

Our society has fully embraced distracted living, which poses a number of new risks that property and casualty insurance carriers need to take into account.

Specifically in regards to a property, here are a few ways that distracted living increases risk for insurance carriers:

1. Homeowner posting whereabouts on social media.
In an effort to paint a picture perfect life, many people feel compelled to share their whereabouts on social media, especially if taking an envious trip out of town. The danger with this is that it alerts the public that the homeowner is not home, making a burglary more feasible.

2. The rise of a sharing economy.
When cleaning out clutter, a new trend is to sell items no longer needed online. While Craig’s List has been a go-to online forum to sell household items, Facebook Marketplace is also growing in popularity to sell possessions to Facebook “friends.” Alarmingly, many of these exchanges take place at the homeowner’s property, which significantly increases the risk of theft or other serious crimes.

3. Dependence on smart home devices.
Smart homes are on the rise, especially as the technology and devices are becoming more affordable. A property inspector should take note of smart devices in a property inspection as this technology can provide insurance carriers with valuable data to underwrite risk. However, the danger of smart devices is that some homeowners are becoming too dependent on smart home devices.

For example, some homeowners are able to lock their doors from their mobile devices after they’ve climbed into bed at night. However, we know that technology is not always perfect, and there is the risk that the doors did not lock. This opens up the risk that a malicious character could enter the property and steal possessions.

Insurance carriers typically have limited face-to-face interactions with insureds. However, making a property inspection part of the underwriting process creates an opportunity for insurance carriers to educate property owners about emerging risks and how to mitigate them. These face-to-face interactions add tremendous value and help to deepen the relationship and sense of loyalty with insureds.

Our team at Insurance Risk Services has been partnering with insurance carriers for more than 35 years to provide them with underwriting support to make informed decisions, and a property inspection is a key way that we provide assistance.

Please contact us to learn how we can help you use a property inspection to identify the emerging risks associated with today’s distracted living and educate property owners about how to mitigate risk.