Can Smart Tech Save On Your Insurance Premiums?

smart-devices

Discounted Insurance Premiums For Installing Smart Technology?

In the current global setting, technology has taken over close to every aspect of our lives.  Yet the technological revolution is still in its infancy.
We, now more than ever, are connected to our smart devices, but can this connectedness help save us money?

Insurance companies are starting to understand that smart tech deployed in homes, cars and businesses can reduce the odds of a problem and are beginning to reward policyholders with discounted premiums.can-smart-tech-reduce-insurance-premiums

Insurance service providers are starting to take notice of smart technology in our cars and homes, and they are adding competitive discounts to those who prove that they are being proactive in reducing the risks to their investments. Let us, for example, consider homeowners and car insurance.

Smart Home Technology

The internet of things and smart home technology allows people to protect and monitor their houses remotely since their homes are usually connected to such devices as cell-phones, desktop computers, and tablets. It enables homeowners to interact with their houses seamlessly and remotely for safety, comfort, and convenient.

Smart home technology might include:

  • Lighting control
  • Door and window sensors
  • Water leak detection
  • Heating and Thermostat
  • Real-time data is the most significant aspect of our home technology, especially because some emergencies, such as water leaks, require prompt action. For instance, if your bathroom taps spray out water while you are at work, the water leak sensor will pick up the anomaly and notify you right away.

Such timely data will reduce the potential damage and ensure that you avoid having to pay a lot of money restoring the damaged area of your house. The difference between eight hours and half an hour, in as far as water damage is concerned, can be huge.

Various examples of smart technology in homes include:

Door and window sensors: This technology works towards ensuring that all your windows and doors are locked. It can be easy to forget whether or not you left one of your windows open, which can be a target for buglers looking to steal from your house. This technology can also inform you immediately your door or window remotely opened through your phone.

How Homeowners Can Receive Insurance Premium Discounts?

Even though some insurance providers have not fully acknowledged that smart home technologies are increasingly becoming a part of home security, change is going to become evident quite soon as more people will begin to integrate such installations into their houses.
Homeowners are likely to save money on their insurance premiums because the smart home technologies will significantly help in preventing major homed disasters, preventing burglaries, minimising the risk of death, and keep other properties housed in the home safe. Moreover, such installations can save money spent on energy bills.

If a disastrous occurrence happens in your house, such as water leaks that you are not able to fix within a short period, the water detection sensors will show that your home was compromised by your bathroom taps spilling water. Such data will, in turn, expedite the insurance claims thus allowing you to get the insurance claim settled quicker and sort out the damage. There are numerous cases of insurance fraud going around, and having smart home technology will assist you to speed up the process followed while settling home insurance claims.

All these reasons positively affect home insurance premium rates. Smart technology is quite cheap to install, and if you can save some money on your insurance costs, then why not? All you have to do is to inform your insurance company of the actions and precautions taken by installing smart technology in your home and get to negotiate with them to lower the applicable premium costs.

How Smart Technology can Reduce Car Insurance Costs

Vehicles fitted with the Advanced Driver Assistance System are equipped with features such as Active Park Distance, lane departure warning, and sensors that can stop or slow cars before colliding. This system can reduce motor vehicle accidents by up to 25 per cent and lessen insurance premiums considerably.

Sometimes your eyes might fail you, especially if you are sleepy or tired. Failing to see clearly ahead accounts for a good number of road accidents, and according to UK figures, more than 40 per cent of road collisions are as a result of the driver failing to look or see what lies ahead. While smart technology might not be able to fix lapses, it can reduce the chances of a collision.

More and more cars are being fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems that will inform the driver of potential collisions then apply the emergency brakes if the driver does not act promptly. This technology is one of a range of safety measures and driving aids that are collectively referred to as Advanced Driving Assistance Systems.

How Car Owners Can Receive Insurance Premium Discounts?

Mass adoption of intelligent driving technologies is good news for both car insurance premiums and road safety. Fewer accidents will translate into fewer claims, which will push down the cost of car insurance premiums to consumers.

Please note that insurers are working more closely with auto manufacturers to ensure that ADAS technologies achieve the required level of security; the insurers can, therefore, price auto insurance premiums more accurately. Additionally, since more vehicles are getting connected, both car manufacturers and insurers are collecting big data; this will help the insurers to develop policies customised to such technological improvements.

As more and more driving tasks are shared between the driver and intelligent systems, insurers cannot price the risk in accordance with the driver of the car, as it has been done traditionally. Insurers will, consequently, start considering what vehicle the client is driving.

Smart technology is definitely changing how insurance operates. While currently smart technology is often used to get to the bottom of things once they go wrong, technology could help avert problems altogether in the future. With this in mind, you can be sure that smart tech will likely reduce insurance premiums in the future.

A Guide to Basic Pool Hot Tub Automation

A Guide to Basic PoolHot Tub Automation

Pool and spa automation is not only convenient, but it can also help to maintain a clear and clean water environment for you, your family and guests to enjoy. Today, as more and more people are enjoying the convenience, affordability and health benefits of inflatable hot tubs, such as those you see at Alice’s Garden ensuring a healthy and clean environment is critical. However, while many may want to experience the health and relaxation benefits provided by hot tubs, some hesitate when they consider the time involved in care and maintenance. But wait, there’s good news to be had, as the advent of pool/hot tub smart system technology has made all of those concerns simply disappear.

Let’s Get Started 

If you don’t consider yourself tech savvy and find the idea of setting up an automated system for your hot tub or pool daunting, have no fear, as pool/spa automation technology is simple to set up and use. All you’ll need is around 2 hours or less of your time, an internet connection, and the pool/spa automation system of your choice. When it comes to setting up your automation system, you’ll need an internet connection with a download speed of 3Mbps or more. You may use either a Wi-Fi connection or Ethernet. Next, comes the control center of your automation system or the hub. A hub is a device that connects to your heater, pump, smart relays, and any other devices you may have, such as lighting. The hub gives you access to your controls, even if you lose your internet connection. If you have both a pool and spa, then look for a system with a valve actuator, so you can move from pool to spa by way of your app.

Handle Issues Remotely

These systems mean that you can check on the status of your pool or spa from afar. For instance, if you’d like to take a nice, relaxing dip in your hot tub when you get home, simply adjust the pool temperature remotely, so it’s just right when you walk in the door. You can also precisely monitor the chemical levels, which helps save you money in the long run, as you’ll only be using the number of chemicals and pH adjusters on an as needed basis. If you plan to be away for the weekend or a bit longer, by dealing with issues remotely, you’ll avoid coming home to a dirty pool filled with slimy algae. Finally, when winter comes, you can set your controls to turn the heater on in your spa or pool if the temperature drops below a certain degree.

Good for Your Health

While swimming and using a hot tub have many health benefits, those benefits don’t mean much if the water is unclean. Illnesses can include rashes, Legionella infection or even respiratory infections. That makes it even more crucial that you monitor the health of your water, and automation takes that worry right from you. Companies such as Sutro and Phin create pool and spa monitoring smart systems that ensure the water is ready when you are. Intermatic’s MultiWave is a Plug and Play system that comes with a remote, receiver unit, all of which help you monitor water temperatures and control 5 pool/spa functions from afar. The pHin is perfect for hot tub monitoring, allowing you to check on your outdoor spa at any time, measuring pH, bromine, chlorine, and temperature. The Floatron Solar Powered Pool Purifier is another example of a low maintenance water care system, ensuring that your water is healthy and free from bacteria. All of these smart devices function to monitor water quality and will alert you if you’re getting low on chemicals, so you can order online, right then and there.

Final Words

Back in the day, pool owners would take their tiny little chlorine/pH control kit and test the water to ensure that it was clean enough to swim in. Perhaps you’d take your pool vacuum out, or skim some leaves from the top. Gone are the days when you’d have to drive to your local garden or pool store and lug home gallons of chlorine and other chemicals. Today, owners of pools and hot tubs everywhere are realizing the benefits of creating a smart environment with regards to their care and maintenance, while saving money and trips to the dreaded pool store. By using smart technology to monitor your hot tub or pool, you limit the risk of illness, disease and algae formation, not to mention the peace of mind they instill.

References

https://www.smarthome.com/intermatic-pe653rc-multiwave-z-wave-wireless-pool-spa-control-system.html 

https://www.phin.co/

https://www.smarthome.com/floatron-solar-powered-pool-purifier-low-maintenance-pool-purification-system.html

 

Making Your Home a Smart Home

smart home

Smart Home Technology – Make Your More Intelligent

Over 60% of the people in the generation dubbed baby boomer shy away from selling their homes as they meet the needs of their families. Down the line, their situation tends to become tricky as it becomes harder to navigate through the house when they age.

Items that previously brought comfort become hazards, like the throw rugs and door handles may tend to make hands ache and trip their feet. Many other homeowners relate to this problems and take action to curb them. More than half of the senior Houzz users make home renovations so that they don’t have to move but can age gracefully in their own home.

Here is a list suggesting projects to help you create a safer and more convenient home for everyone irrespective of their age so that you can age in place.

Smart Home – The Exterior

Many homes have arty door handles, an intricate porch and a doorstep which may be very appealing but can be hard for a person with arthritis to use. These problems can be solved using these two designs.

  1. Replace door handles with levers, levers are generally easier to use as all you need is to pull down for the door to open
  2. Set up a security system. A good security system will respond to medical alert devices in addition to criminal activities. The homeowners’ wellbeing and their security from criminals are taken care of.

Smart Home – The Garage

Adjustment to the garage is important especially if the homeowner is using a wheelchair. Make sure that the garage is easily accessible and also safe. Here are projects to help you improve the accessibility and safety of your garage.

  1. Build a slope. Stairs are difficult to use, replacing them with a ramp will ensure more access and safety.
  2. Organize the garage. Falls and trips can result from having items lying everywhere on the floor, organize the garage by throwing out items you no longer need, storing the other items in the appropriate places or donating them to create a garage that is easy to operate in.
  3. Set up a smart garage door opener, a smart garage door opener automatically closes the door after a set amount of time this increases security and safety.

Smart Home – The Hallways

Standard hallways often have dim lights and odd corners which are not favourable for wheelchairs and walkers to get around this problem the following renovations are important.

  1. Widen the hallways and doors this is to provide enough space for a wheelchair to pass through efficiently.
  2. Install smart lighting, this is deemed easier to operate than the flip switches thus will increase convenience safety and comfort.
  3. Using smart motion sensors this can be combined with the smart lighting such that they respond to movements accordingly.

Smart Home – The Living Area

The living area is most likely where you spend most of your time, the following renovations will ensure that the place offers all the comfort and safety you need.

  1. Get rids of rugs. Reorganize the living room paying more attention to floor rugs and any other loose items that can be a trip hazard.
  2. Install a smart thermostat.  Being either too cold or too hot can be a real cause of discomfort, a smart thermostat adapts to your preferences, you will be able to maintain the just right temperatures ensuring your comfort.
  3. Use a voice-activated assistant, this smart home device will respond to your voice helping you control all other products in your smart home at your convenience. You may buy a Google Home, Apple Home Pod or the Amazon Echo depending on your preferences.

Smart Home – The Kitchen Area

The kitchen could be the place you once had fun creating all sorts of culinary delights but this can change once your mobility becomes a challenge, you can curb this problem by using the home technologies and upgrades below.

  1. Make the space functional, install shallow sinks, deep drawers and pullout pantries make sure the spices and the other kitchen appliances are placed where they can be reached.
  2. Put in place a smart smoke detector, this is really useful as it will contact the emergency services in case of an alarm ensuring home safety.
  3. A smart refrigerator, this will help you keep a grocery list also order groceries from the store for you, this will ensure that you have all the grocery you need.

Smart Home – The Bathroom

The bathroom poses many dangers, slippery floors being on top of the list, the following renovation strategies will help you alleviate these dangers.

  1. Change the taps.  Normal taps can be hard to use and even can lead to accidents such as burns, to take care of this problem install a lever tap which is easy to use.
  2. Remodel facilities in the bathroom like the bathtub and shower which can pose danger to people of any age but especially those with mobility problems. Walk-in tubs and showers can help curb these dangers.
  3. Set up slip resistant flooring, these kinds of floors will ensure that slips that would result in falls do not happen to ensure safety and comfort.

Smart Home – The Bedroom

Renovations explained in other areas of the home will also apply to the bedroom such as the use of motion sensors and smart lighting, here are more ideas to improve the bedrooms comfort and safety.

  1. Buy an appropriate bed, normal beds may prove hard for older people to get in out of, buy a bed that is not too low to the ground which will alleviate the inconvenience and danger a typical bed may pose.
  2. Set up the bedroom on the ground floor if the house is two story, this will reduce the struggle of climbing up and down the stairs.
  3. Set up a stair lift, a stair lift will ensure convenience, accessibility, and safety in your home.

Make your home comfy, secure, safe and appropriate to age in using the listed checklist.

Top 5 Ways Technology Can Ease Your Gardening Tasks

What Are The Best Ways To Use Technology To Make Gardening Easier?

Today, technology can be married with any field. For instance, businesses today can sell and ship products to customers’ worldwide right from their headquarters while investors and traders can trade or invest in any financial instrument right from the comfort of their homes using smartphones or PCs.

With that in mind, why can’t we marry technology with gardening? Do you have to continue suffering from lower back pain just because you love tending to your garden?

Did you know technology can make your work easier when it comes to gardening?

Imagine having a bunch of automated systems performing different gardening tasks for you. Not only will you have additional time to complete your hobbies but more time to spend with your family and even relax.

So, how can you marry technology with gardening?

Here are top 5 technologies that you can incorporate into your garden and make your life easier.

#1. Automated sprinkler system

When you plant your herbs and veggies, watering them becomes a daily chore. There are times you will be required to water them once while on other occasions, twice a day. During this time, you will be forced to make several trips between the source of water and your garden. As a result, you will be carrying a watering can full of water.
Making several trips in a day is not easy. When you factor in other chores that you are supposed to complete, then by the end of the day, you will be so tired. To make your work easier, invest in an automated sprinkler system.

For an easy to use automated sprinkler system, you can opt for Rainbird or you can opt for a DIY version which allows you to customize the system to your needs.

#2. Distinguishing healthy plants from sickly ones

As said earlier, gardening is a fun hobby. Not only do you get to plant beautiful flowers but herbs and veggies too. To ensure that you have a bumper harvest, a lot of care must be provided to the plants. Not only are you required to water the plants but to weed and ensure they grow to be healthy.

So, how do gardeners check how healthy their plants are? A vast majority of people will check for discolouration or wilt. Others will check for abnormal tissue and cracks while other will check for stunted growth and brown spots on the leaves.  Before you call in the tree surgeon you want to be sure there is a problem.

Thanks to technology, you can now determine the health of your plant using a photosynthesis camera. All you need is to replace the infrared filter on your camera with a blue filter. Once you capture the images, upload them to infragram.org for processing. If the plants are soaking less light, then they are not healthy and so, they need more care.

#3. Shoo birds and pests with drone technology

Are birds feeding on your plants? Are foxes damaging your hard work? Don’t have the time to shoo them yourself or hire someone to do so? Why not invest in a bird control drone.

Designed to chase away birds and foxes, the drone comes with fully autonomous flight and remote controlled features available with or without a camera. With this technology, you can combine sight, sound and threaten physical presence to prevent birds and other pests from causing harm to your garden.

While some models are available in the traditional drone design, newer models are shaped to look like popular birds of prey, for instance, the Bald Eagle or Falcon. The reason for this design is to leverage the fear of other birds to predatory birds.

#4. Checking your plant vitals

Now that you have learned how to use a blue filter with your digital camera to determine the health of your plants, it’s time to learn how to check your garden vitals using technology. The product is called the Growerbot kit.

It is composed of a network of probes designed to measure soil moisture level, humidity, sunlight and air temperature. Basically, the sensors work by detecting the decline of certain conditions needed for the optimum growth of the plants.

For instance, if the sensors detect that the garden bed is dry since they are connected to your automatic sprinkler system, they will activate it and your plants will be watered while you are away.

#5. Growing your herbs and veggies without dirt

Today, you can grow your garden using hydroponics system which eliminates the need for dirt and expansive gardening space. As a result, the hydroponic system has been found to be suitable for use in areas where homeowners, who love gardening, lack space.

One of the best products that will surely work for you is the Fizzy Farm Indoor Hydroponic system. It is easy to use and designed for non-vining fruits and vegetables. As a state of the art hydroponic system, you can use it to grow lettuce, kales, basil, strawberries, thyme and chives among others.

In addition, it can be used indoors thus turning the area into a stunning garden.

Final Thoughts On Gardening Automation

There you have it. Top 5 ways where technology is married to gardening thus making it easier for the homeowner to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs. Not only will these modern solutions provide you with stats about the health of your plants and garden but they will ensure your plants get to grow by keeping pests away. In the end, you will have a bumper harvest.

Transform Your Garden With These 5 Low Budget Garden Projects

5 Low Budget – High impact Garden Projects

For all the projects, results can be achieved without breaking the bank.

  1. Shape Up Your Outdoor Garden SpaceGarden lawn

This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of garden transformation. It requires you to cut the lawn into a shape that is clearly defined, like a square, circle or oblong. Use a string to mark it and use a spade to clear away the excess grass. This is an easy task that should only take your afternoon. Best of all, it costs absolutely nothing.

 

  1. Plant Up Your Garden – Without Spending A Fortune

Buying perennials that can be divided are the most effective way to fill flowerbeds with beautiful plants. It is not as advanced as it sounds; it works with clump-forming perennials like astrantia, hardy geraniums and geums. Just tip the pot’s plant out and pull it apart in two or three bits, each with some stalks and roots. Dig a hole then plant each part of your flowerbed. In a year, after they have grown and spread, you can dig them up and pull them apart to increase your plants. The display will become evidently beautiful in a few years. The cost is very little since six geranium plants can get an average sized garden going well.

 

  1. Look Up – Create A Natural Garden Canopy

You can improve the look of a garden with trees of a relatively considerate size and longevity for a low price. Most ideal are small sized trees like Amelanchier lamarckii, crab apple, June berry or an ornamental cherry like Punus × incam ‘Okame’. Three are enough for an average sized garden.

  1. Smarten Up – Use Natural Hardscaping to Create Ordergarden paths

To smarten paths and patios, gravel is much more affordable than paving. Laying it in place requires one to:

  • Mark out the area
  • Clear the path of loose soil and grass
  • Use a permeable membrane on the ground to stop weeds from coming through
  • Spread gravel over the membrane layer

Go for a 2.5 depth. Pale gravel, e.g., Honey Stone is a better choice because it will go well with your lawn and planting. A large bag of gravel covers about 20 sq. Meters.

  1. Light up – Use Outdoor Lighting To Enchant Your Gardengarden lighting

Outdoor fairy lights are simple, cheap and quick to bring a fantastic glow to the patio and beyond. They can be purchased online all year round. You can use shrub or tree branches to arrange them, attach them to furniture and fences, use ground stuck canes to suspend them. You can ran them using a plug from inside the house. An electrician is not necessary.