Smart homes aren’t just a dream for the distant future; you can start improving your home through automation and remote control right now.  While smart home technology is still in the early stages, it’s already not unusual for a homeowner to have a remote security and lighting system.  You can shop online for supplies to add even more improvements to your home, like thermostat controls, energy-saving devices, and more.  Making your home a smart home could pay off big by saving you money on home insurance.

The most obvious smart home feature that could save you money on your premiums is a security system.  Installing sensors, automated lights, cameras and other devices which can protect your home may help you get a break on your rates.  Protecting your home from intrusion or damages can ultimately save your insurance company money, which is why those savings can be passed back to you.  There are now other related devices you can install in your home as well which can provide you with convenience while you’re at home.  Remote-control windows drapes are becoming popular.  Imagine being able to not only operate lights from a distance, but your window blinds as well.  A device like this could be used for security, which might someday reduce your premiums when this becomes a more common household feature.

What’s less well known is that numerous home insurance companies have begun offering discounts and credits for their services to customers who install solar power panels and other devices which reduce energy consumption and are friendlier to the environment.  For example, installing an energy-efficient water heater in your house which relies on solar power could reduce your insurance premiums.

For the time being, it’s devices that have obvious utilitarian purposes that are going to be more likely to get you a break on your home insurance.  While something like a smart fridge that orders food for you as it runs out might sound useful to you, it won’t protect your home.  Other kitchen-related utilities could very well help you cut costs, however.  Imagine a device which would automatically turn off your stove or your oven once your meals are done cooking.  This safety feature could reduce your premiums and be convenient for the cook.

Also think in terms of distance when you’re shopping for your first smart home utilities.  Something you can control from miles away is going to be more useful than something you can only control if you’re in the home.  Look for devices that can interface with a home computer, and which you can access from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.  You could control these devices from anywhere, even while you’re on vacation in another state or country.

For a long time smart homes seemed like the homes of the future, but they’re already becoming a reality today.  Many of the smart home improvements you can make right now may not seem that dramatic, but they’re among the most useful in terms of protecting your home and saving energy.  Call up your insurance company or check out this site: homeinsurance.com/rates-in-your-state and ask if you could potentially save money on your rates by improving your home—you may well find your upgrades pay for themselves sooner than you’d expect!