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Looking Inside Your Walls – Smart or Too Close For Comfort?

April 22, 2013
From Loan Officer Eddie Kirby

From Loan Officer Eddie Kirby

Insurance companies are in the business of protecting property, while also minimizing risk. One new technology may allow them to do both more effectively.

FLIR cameras, which are straight out of a 007 movie, have dropped in price and are becoming more common in the insurance industry. FLIR stands for forward-looking infared. A FLIR camera detects infared radiation, which is typically created by a heat source. In homes, they can be used to detect excess heat, which might indicate an electrical problem. Or lack of heat, which can be caused by moisture, mold or lack of insulation. In either case, the FLIR camera may alert homeowners – and their insurance company – of problems hidden behind walls so they can be addressed before they become serious or even life threatening.

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company already uses FLIR technology in the high-worth homes it insures. CNA has also offered it to qualifying customers since 2005. Home Depot has even gotten into the act, renting out FLIR cameras to its customers. However, gathering accurate readings is not easy for an inexperienced homeowner.

Technology continues to march along, but as it does, what will happen to an individual’s privacy within his own home?  Several insurance companies are seeking patent approval for other technologies that monitor property conditions. How far will it go?  How far should it go? Let us know your thoughts – post your comments on our Facebook page!

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