Security and Safety

Smart-Home Apps That Could Keep Your Home Safer

By Kelsey J. Vanderschoot 11.11.19

Today’s homes are decorated with automated technologies that maintain the perfect temperature, light up at vocal commands, and show who’s arrived before the doorbell is rung.

With smarter appliances comes a lighter mental load — especially if you have a centralized way to manage your home, whether you’re on the couch or on the road. Having visibility into the workings of your home can reassure you everything is in working order and give you peace of mind. Did you turn down the heating before you left on your winter vacation? Is anyone approaching your house? Now you can control your home’s appliances, energy use, and security from your pocket.

Here are three types of smart-home apps that communicate with many of your smart appliances, essentially converting your phone into a universal remote that controls your home.

Voice-Control Apps

Amazon Alexa and Google Home give you control over your home with the sound of your voice. If you allow them access to your calendar, music, and smart-appliance apps, they’ll help keep you on schedule, pump up the jams, and keep the coffee and cool air coming. Simply speak commands to manage each of your connected appliances and programs.

Smart-Hub Apps

SmartThings, Yonomi, and other apps connect all of your smart appliances through a smart-home hub that acts as a translator between the appliances and your phone. Once paired to your home devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the smart-hub app can manage your smart appliances.

Habitual Apps

Olisto connects smart-thermostat, smart-lighting, and home voice-control apps to run your home based on a set of if/then statements that you create. For example, you may program the app to respond to the statement, “If I am at home, set the thermostat to 70 degrees.” Olisto will use your phone’s location to determine when you arrive home and trigger your smart-thermostat app to lower its temperature setting or turn the heat up to meet it. You can even remote-control your home while you’re away.

Guarding Your Gadgets

Whichever smart-home apps and options you choose, talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent each time you upgrade your in-home technology. They can tell you if you need to adjust your property insurance coverage.

“You need to call your Agent to make sure that the contents coverage on your property insurance policy  is adequate for the increased amount of those appliances,” says Kristin James, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent in Plano. “That way, if any of your new appliances are damaged from a covered peril, they will be properly covered.”

Learn more about keeping your home safe here.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2019 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance