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Survey reveals homeowners’ trends in embracing smart home technology

March 29, 2024


  • 34% of homeowners surveyed own smart video doorbells, and 32% invest in smart home security cameras.
  • 60% of current smart home device owners in the U.S. say they feel safer.
  • The most frequently suggested devices to homeowners by insurance agents are sensors to monitor for smoke/carbon monoxide (56%), smart locks (54%) and water leak-prevention sensors (54%).

In a time where technology has the potential to shape just about every facet of our lives, it’s no surprise that there are more smart devices than ever for the home. The Nationwide Homeowners Survey on Smart Home Insights illustrates this, revealing that homeowners across the U.S. are embracing these innovations at an impressive rate. With 34% owning smart video doorbells and 32% investing in smart home security cameras, the desire for enhanced security and convenience is clear.

Smart home devices aren’t just gadgets; they represent a fundamental change in how we safeguard our homes and simplify our lives. They can reduce maintenance costs, enhance safety and even lower insurance premiums.

Safety and protection are the primary pillars of these innovations, but their use provides many more advantages. They offer tranquility, the assurance of energy efficiency and the convenience of managing one’s home preferences through a tap on a mobile app. According to the survey, 60% of current smart home device owners in the U.S. attest to feeling safer, recognizing the paramount importance of safeguarding their homes.

Insurance agents speaking with clients about smart home technologies should understand that these devices aren’t just about technology; they’re about peace of mind, efficiency and a newfound control over one’s home, empowering them to embrace a safer, smarter way of living.

The role of agents and carriers in encouraging smart home tech

Insurance agents and carriers play a pivotal role in steering homeowners toward embracing smart home technology as a proactive measure against risks. According to the survey, 78% of agents recommend their clients adopt smart home products.  This aligns seamlessly with the core benefits homeowners recognize — peace of mind, safety and protection — underscoring the fundamental role these devices play in mitigating risks.

Recommendations from insurance agents often highlight specific smart home products designed to proactively manage and prevent potential hazards. The most frequently suggested devices are:

These recommendations aren’t arbitrary; they directly target common vulnerabilities within a home, providing a layered defense against various risks.

One particularly crucial area where smart home technology proves invaluable is leak detection. Leveraging Internet-of-Things sensors strategically positioned in key areas, these devices can alert homeowners through smartphone apps to potential water leaks. This real-time monitoring empowers homeowners with immediate awareness and the ability to take swift action, preventing extensive damage that water leaks can cause.

The homeowners’ perspective on smart home devices

Homeowners are increasingly drawn to smart home technology for three key reasons according to the survey. The allure of reducing anxiety resonates strongly, with 44% of homeowners in the survey acknowledging that smart home products ease their worries. In addition, 34% of respondents prioritize energy efficiency, recognizing the potential for these devices to create more sustainable and cost-effective households.  Furthermore, 35% perceive the undeniable value proposition: the benefits outweigh the costs, cementing smart home tech as a worthwhile investment in their eyes.

However, despite the evident advantages, a notable portion of homeowners remain on the sidelines. Their reasons for not using smart home technology often revolve around concerns about cost, perceived necessity and a knowledge gap. According to the survey, 45% find the price tag of these products or subscription services prohibitive, marking expense as a primary deterrent. Another 44% feel they simply don’t need smart home products, considering them unnecessary for their lifestyle or home setup. Additionally, 34% grapple with a lack of understanding about the intricacies of smart home technology, leading to hesitancy in adoption.

Getting homeowners who have hesitated or dismissed the idea of smart home technology to reconsider is pivotal to reducing risk. The landscape of smart home devices is continuously evolving, with a broader array of affordable options catering to various needs. The initial barriers of cost are gradually eroding as the market diversifies, making these innovations more accessible. Furthermore, understanding the fundamental benefits — be it reducing anxiety, enhancing energy efficiency, or justifying costs through tangible advantages — can reshape perspectives on the necessity and value of these devices.

Educating homeowners about the expanding landscape of smart home technology can bridge the knowledge gap, addressing concerns that stem from unfamiliarity. Highlighting not just the features but the practical benefits — how these devices can help reduce claims, streamline daily routines, fortify security and deliver substantial savings — can instigate a paradigm shift.

Survey methodology

Nationwide commissioned Edelman Intelligence to conduct a 15-minute online survey among a sample of 1,000 U.S. homeowners and 400 independent insurance agents between May 15 and June 2, 2023. As a member in good standing of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, Edelman Intelligence conducts all research in accordance with the Code of Marketing Research Standards.

Learn more about emerging trends in the insurance space..