Hiro is a “smart insurer” – an insurance challenger brand that rewards customers with insurance discounts and other perks for protecting their homes with smart technology. We sat down with CEO Krystian Zajac and CTO Daniel Knight to discuss how the product is evolving and what their early access customers can expect.
So – how does Hiro differ from your average insurance product?
Krystian Zajac (KZ): Old-school insurers might give you a discount for having strong door or window locks, or even a traditional alarm system. But they’re way behind the times – customers nowadays are using smart cameras, video doorbells, smart leak detectors and smoke detectors. We’re the first (and probably the only!) home insurer founded by technology experts. We recognise the power of smart technology to protect your home, and we work with customers to avoid the most common causes of damage to their homes. That means they’re much safer, but they’re also much less likely to ever need an insurance payout – so their Hiro insurance is cheaper than traditional insurers too.
Is Hiro for everyone?
KZ: It’s definitely aimed at smart home enthusiasts! But even if you don’t have any smart technology yet, you can still sign up and get access to the smart marketplace. We work with lots of leading tech manufacturers to get great deals for our customers. Manufacturers get an introduction to our community of tech lovers, and the community get amazing, exclusive, “best on the internet” type deals on tech to protect their home. So, it’s kind of win-win.
Why would someone choose to buy their smart home technology through an insurer, rather than a connected home specialist?
DK: 84% of people in the UK already have at least one smart device. So this is as much about harnessing the power of those connected devices to protect people’s homes, as matchmaking customers with the best tech. But we do have an ever-developing curation algorithm that looks at the tech people have, the type of home and so on – and then recommends devices they might not have thought of otherwise. Almost like how Netflix or Spotify recommends content you might like! But between that, the exclusive deals in the marketplace, and the fact that setting up a new device usually makes your insurance cheaper, too – it’s potentially very rewarding. And our community seems to really love the idea of an insurance product that gives them value when things are going right as well as wrong.
What kind of intelligent devices are recommended by Hiro?
DK: The obvious ones are smart cameras, smart security systems, leak detectors, smoke detectors. In one recent study by the police, they found that installing a video doorbell like Ring reduced your odds of being burgled by almost 50%. But the biggest threats to your home aren’t always the most obvious – a lot of people don’t realise that water leaks cause more damage than all house fires and burglaries combined. We developed our own solution to that, called Sonic. It can detect a leak anywhere in a building and shut off the water supply to stop it dead. There are also creative things you can do with devices like smart lightbulbs and even some smart TVs – turn them on and off on a schedule to deter intruders. Because smart technology is so flexible, we’re discovering new ways to protect people and their homes all the time.
How much discount do people get for having smart tech?
DK: It depends what you have – but we’re as much as 25% cheaper than a traditional insurer, like-for-like, because we recognise (and harness) the power of all that smart technology.
With companies such as yourselves leveraging smart technology to offer a superior service, do you think this approach will start gaining traction among homeowners?
KZ: Absolutely. Smart home is now so readily available – so powerful, affordable and undeniably useful – that it really doesn’t have much to prove anymore. Like Dan said, 84% of homes already have one smart device; and even when you dig into individual categories – approximately 1 in 3 homes now has a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa or Google Home built in. It’s already come of age; traditional insurers have had years to catch up, and when they didn’t, we just thought – hey, somebody has to fill that gap. So here we are – smart insurance for smart homes. And smart people!
Thanks guys – we wish you all the best!
You can find out more about Hiro at GetHiro.com.