Amazon reportedly weighs entrance into home insurance biz

Insurance stocks take a hit after news story hints at Amazon's plans

Amazon could be getting into the home insurance business, according to a news story published today in subscription technology publication The Information.

The Seattle-based tech and e-commerce giant has been creeping further into the home services sector recently. In May, Amazon and home construction company Lenner announced a partnership to build new smart homes with, “built-in Wi-Fi, smart locks, doorbells, thermostats and lights — all controlled by Alexa.”

There have also been some signs, and lots of speculation, that Amazon may be considering entering the mortgage market either on its own or by partnering with existing lenders, though no concrete plans have been announced or leaked in that department yet. 

Amazon is also reportedly engaged in a no-longer top-secret plan to development robots for homes — not exactly like the maid Rosie from the futuristic cartoon The Jetsons — that could act as a mobile Alexa device and monitor home security.

Theoretically, the home insurance program could work as an offshoot of these home security devices, as the robot could look out for things like smoke, detect a loud crash or monitor entrances and exits. 

It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to partner with companies that make smart home devices. In 2016, Liberty Mutual partnered with August Home, a maker of smart locks, to offer insurance customers that purchased a smart lock through the company, a discount on insurance, according to The Information.

There’s been some technology gains in the home insurance sector in recent years. Lemonade, a New York-based fintech company is among the contenders that have attempted to disrupt the traditional market model and offer lower-cost home and renters insurance.

In the wake of Amazon’s supposed foray into the insurance sector, insurance company stocks are trading down, according to CNBC. A similar drop occurred when Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan announced plans to disrupt the health insurance marketplace in January 2018.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

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