Home insurance, Specialist
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Smart locks for flexibility and security
Control the comings and goings to your home with your smartphone
Smart homes are the latest thing, and their popularity looks set to grow thanks to products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Smart bulbs, smart plugs, smart heating, smart alarms... You can automate pretty much every aspect of your house now, and smart locks are the most recent addition.
You could argue that a smart lock is the pièce de résistance of any smart home. Not only can you come and go as you please – often hands-free with the lock enabled by your smartphone’s Bluetooth – but you can also monitor who else is visiting the house. Family, repairmen, your landlord or paying guests can all be recorded entering and exiting the property.
Smart lock features
The features of each smart lock will undoubtedly vary, so you’ll need to research them and consider which one suits your needs best, but most offer a mobile app that will allow you to lock and unlock your door with a quick tap. The majority of smart locks allow you to create and share temporary codes, granting access to trusted visitors. This is particularly useful if you have paying guests staying at the house, as an Airbnb host for instance, since this removes the cumbersome key handover.
The most advanced smart locks include features such as voice activation and auto-locking. A very valuable feature if you’re one of those people who regularly worries about whether they locked the front door. Some smart lock systems can also be integrated with other smart home devices too, allowing you to control your heating, lighting, alarms or even fridge from one app.
Smart lock installation
You might think that it would take a lot to install a smart home system like this. Not the case. Most smart locks are actually very easy to install and can be done just with a screwdriver – no engineer required.
Some need you to replace the whole deadbolt, by removing it from the interior and exterior of the door. This is often the case if your chosen lock includes a touchpad or keyed cylinder for the outside. If, however, you go for an interior-only design then you will be able to use the existing deadbolt hardware. This is quicker to install and means that the appearance of your door lock remains the same on the exterior. This could be useful if you are renting.
Smart lock price and insurance
As with most tech solutions, the deciding factor can often be price. A smart lock can cost from £150 to £600, depending on the make, model and features you choose. When it comes to changing your locks, bear in mind that this could also have financial implications on your home insurance. The concept of smart homes is still relatively new to the UK, so while they may afford you more flexibility, insurance companies will still need to assess the security risks when providing a quote.