Reducing Risk with “Smart” Tech

Reducing Risk with

“Smart” Tech

“Alexa, what’s today’s weather?” “Alexa, how is traffic on the highway?” “Alexa, do you detect a water leak inside the house?”

Alexa can do that! Perhaps, not yet…. but the concept is not a far-fetched as it might seem. There are smart sensors which do monitor for water leaks. And, according to a survey conducted by Nationwide Insurance, only 7% of survey respondents use such technology. Contrast that figure with the 66% rate of smart device penetration into households.

What is very interesting is most homeowners are unaware that smart technology can actually save money on insurance, by reducing the risk of costly home problems.

Smart Technology Price Barriers

Much of the smart tech inside homes of today is intended to increase security and make homes more energy efficient. The most common smart tech is video doorbells, home security cameras, and thermostats. The smart home product sector is expected to grow 25% over the next five years.

However, many homeowners are reluctant to install a device due to cost. Other reasons include a lack of knowledge on what sensors and tech is available as well as concerns about security. The fear of technology that is always “on” (listening for the keywords “Alexa” or “Hey Google” especially after seeing news stories of hackers able to reprogram home video cameras.

While cost is still an objection, over 60% of consumers have said they would be interested in installing smart devices as long as they helped lower premiums, according to the Nationwide survey.

Preventing Water Loss Incidents

Alexa may not be able to lower premiums, but smart sensors can detect water-loss incidents caused by pipe, fixture, or water heater leaks and have the most potential to reduce homeowners’ risks. Interestingly enough, 27% of survey respondents were aware of products that monitor for water flow and leaks. Less than 25% of respondents reported being aware of the availability of smart tech which can close water valves, in the event of a leak.

As average water damage or pipes freezing can cause more than $10,000 in damage, these sensors can provide a layer of protection, especially in winter months when many folks are vacationing away from home. Many homeowners take precautions to secure the home from theft and fire and typically don’t consider water damage risks until it has become a problem.

Insurers are aware of the cost impact of water losses and will offer discounts to homeowners to take appropriate precautions ahead of time.

Check with your insurance agent and see how increasing your home intelligence might save you money on premiums and increase your peace of mind.

Trust me: coming home from vacation to a waterfall on your inside staircase is not a pleasant end to a great vacation.

Aspen Insurance Agency is a family-run business in Denver, CO servicing clients nationwide. We work with multiple insurance carriers to offer our customers a wide variety of risk reduction coverage at the lowest possible cost. We offer a wide range of personal, auto insurance, commercial and professional insurance to residential and commercial insurance customers enabling the cheapest rates available. Call to speak to one of our insurance professionals and see how painless insurance shopping can be.

Aspen Insurance Agency Named As One of the Best Insurance Agencies in Denver

Best Insurance Agencies in Denver

Aspen Insurance Agency was recently awarded and named as one of the Best Insurance Agencies in Denver for 2020, by Expertise. We are thrilled to receive this recognition and continue to remain committed to delivering the best customer service experience for our clients.

Although we were founded in Denver, Aspen Insurance Agency continues to support clients nationwide. Check out all of the states that we do business in here.

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What Are Insurance Claims

Insurance Claims are requests on behalf of policyholders to insurance agencies in order to receive coverage and/or compensations for a loss that is covered by their policy. Once a claim is filed, the agency then confirms that the claim is either valid or invalid. If validated, the agency will then make the approved payment to either the policyholder or an interested third party that has been approved. 

These claims can offer a wide array of coverage, ranging from basic medical procedures to death benefits and almost everything in between, depending on the services offered by the agency. In certain scenarios, a third party can also file insurance claims on behalf of the policyholder. However, that is not always the case.

How do Insurance Claims Work?

The purpose of an insurance claim is to compensate policyholders against loss, often financial loss. In the legal world, this is called indemnification. The policyholder pays premiums to maintain their policy and ensure that they are covered for whatever their policy encompasses. The claims that are most frequently filed are for medical services or goods, loss of life, liability from owning/renting a home, and liability from the operation of vehicles. 

For policies regarding causality/property insurance, the main determinant of your coverage cost comes from the amount of claims you file, regardless of who was at fault or the size of the accident. As the amount of claims you file increases, so does the amount you pay to stay covered. 

That being said, if the claim you are filing is based on damage that is not your fault, your rates may not rise. If the claim is for damage that you caused, you should expect to see a rate increase. Common examples of damage that are not at the fault of the policyholder are weather damage or your car being hit while parked. 

Many other circumstances can increase your rate as well. Things such as your driving record, being in an area prone to natural disasters that can damage whatever you are trying to insure or even having a low credit score can also all lead to a rate hike. To read more about ways to keep the cost of your auto policy down, check out our blog post here.

Not every type of claim is viewed the same by a carrier. Claims that indicate liability in the future, such as having mold or water damage, if your dog bites someone, or if someone is injured on your property are all examples of claims that can act as a red flag for agencies. These types of claims often lead to rate increases. 

What are the Different Kinds of Insurance Claims?

Casualty / Property 

For many individuals a house is one of, if not the, largest asset purchased in their lifetime. When the policyholder files a claim to damage to their home (or other insured property), the claim is usually filed online and sent to a claims adjuster. The policyholder must report the damage of whatever they own directly to the agency. The claims adjuster will evaluate the claim and the damage, and then verify the claim. If the claim is approved, the adjuster then makes the payment to the policyholder. 

Life Insurance 

When someone files a life insurance claim, that person must show the original policy, a certificate of death and a claim form. After that, the agency will conduct an in-depth examination of the circumstances of the death to confirm that the death was not categorized under a contract exclusion, such as the result of a crime or a suicide. 

Without any extenuating circumstances, the process often takes one to two months. This allows the beneficiaries of the claim to replace the income of the deceased.


Costs of most medical procedures and health care can be prohibitively expensive. Health insurance policies, whether for an individual or group can protect patients from these costs, which often amount to burdens because of the expensive nature of health care. Most claims are filed by health care providers and are on behalf of the policyholders, unlike property claims. After the provider files the claim, the process is handled electronically and generally requires minimal effort from the policyholder. 

The only time a policyholder must actually file a paper claim themselves is when the medical provider does not take part in electronic transmittals, but the services provided are still covered by the insurance policy. 

Special Considerations

There is no specific, black and white way to determine what constitutes a rate hike. Some agencies can be more lenient in some areas and stricter in others and each agency can be different. It is important to understand regardless of your insurer, filing any claim can put your rates at risk. Learning as much as you can about your agency is the best way to understand what filing a claim can do to your rates. 

No matter what, filing as few claims as possible is crucial in protecting your rates and keeping them constant. Only filing claims in the case of devastating loss is the best way to keep your rates what they are. 

As an Independent Agency, you should always consult us before you file a claim so we can consider your unique circumstances.

Written by Max Chaitin.

Disclaimer: This post is to be used for informational purposes only. Each person should consult their insurance or business advisor with respect to matters referenced.

What is Renters Insurance & Do You Need It?

Written by Rose Hart

Have you been wondering about renters insurance? How much does it cost?Is it necessary? What does it cover?

The question regarding the need for renters insurance is common among tenants. Every time you take on insurance, it’s also another financial responsibility. As a tenant, you may be wary of a growing number of monthly or annual expenses.

But renters insurance is definitely something that you need to get as a tenant, advises McGuire Management, a property management company in Denver, CO. Without proper renters insurance, there is no financial coverage for your personal items inside the property.

While your rental’s owner holds a landlords insurance policy, this particular insurance policy won’t be useful to you. It’s just there to cover the losses connected to the actual building itself and some potential add-ons.

Let’s see how renters insurance works and list the top reasons you should obtain a renters policy as a tenant. As a result, you can enjoy peace of mind with fully knowing that your personal belongings are financially protected from any loss or damage.

What Is Renters Insurance?
As a tenant, the only way to protect your personal belongings is to obtain renters insurance. A renters insurance plan covers your items from damage like fires or floods.

Some landlords actually set renters insurance as a strict requirement. They add a clause to the lease agreement that states this requirement. Landlords do this to lower the chance of costly disputes. Still want to know more about what renters insurance is this is a great article to help explain it.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Useful Provisions
Regular renters insurance plans have some essential provisions. For instance, you’ll receive financial benefits in the event that a burglar has taken your personal items. However, you would need to prove that you had taken adequate security measures in your rental home.

Additionally, there are many renters insurance policies that allow you to book temporary stays due to unexpected circumstances. But for this to work in your favor, you need to check the limits that your insurance company has set.

Personal Property Coverage
The protection of your personal belongings is a significant benefit of renters insurance. Most standard policies include financial coverage for stolen, burned, or otherwise damaged personal items. But you do need to keep an eye out for this: regular policies fail to cover damages due to natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. This means that if you live in an area that experiences frequent floods, you need to obtain a supplemental policy.

Always read the terms and conditions of your insurance carefully. Before signing an agreement, make sure that you understand the scope and depth of the coverage provided.

Here are some of the typical instances of protection under a standard renters insurance policy:
• Indoor water damage
• Theft or vandalism
• Fires and explosions
• Damage caused by vehicles
• Falling objects

Personal Liability Coverage
Most standard renters insurance policies also carry liability coverage. When any injuries happen in your rented house or apartment, you’ll receive financial protection from liability. Below are some of the ways you can benefit from liability coverage:
• Your neighbor asks to use your bathroom, slips on wet floor, and gets a concussion.
• Your dog bites your guest’s leg, resulting in the need for medical intervention.
• The yard lighting situation is sub-standard and leads to a guest’s injury.

Many of the situations tied to liability issues are impossible to predict. The best precaution is to have valid renters insurance on hand. For instance, typical policies protect you against liability charges for a minimum of $100,000.

At the same time, it’s possible to increase the liability coverage limits. This does lead to paying a higher premium on your renters insurance. If you feel that you live in a high-risk rental, the additional expense may very well be worth it.

Any unique circumstances may raise renters insurance prices as well. As an example, being the owner of a specific dog breed can raise your monthly insurance expense, and some breeds may be outright denied coverage by your insurer.

How much does Renters Insurance Cost?
Renters Insurance is inexpensive. Standard renters insurance policies are generally quite affordable. There are significant differences in the annual expenses between states, but the average renters insurance policy lows are around $130, and the average highs hover around $230.

Obtaining additional riders, extra lines of coverage to your policy, may still make a lot of sense because the premium won’t be that much extra. But the benefits are likely to far outweigh the costs when you consider the associated financial losses. Here are 10 great ways to help keep the cost of renters insurance down.

In a Nutshell: Why You Need Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is an essential policy for all tenants. The personal belongings in your rental home will receive necessary financial protection. Additionally, you can live stress-free knowing that you are covered for injuries or other incidents at your rental, thanks to the personal liability coverage in your policy.

Have questions about renters insurance or your current renters insurance policy? A knowledgeable agent is always a phone call away at Aspen. 303-777-2991.

Author: Rose Hart. Co-Author Marc Goldenberg and Morgan Hatfield, Aspen Insurance Agency.

Disclaimer: This post is to be used for informational purposes only. Each person should consult their insurance or business advisor with respect to matters referenced.