Parks Points

Panasonic and Allianz Find Early Success in Smart Home Partnership

by Brad Russell | Aug. 29, 2016

Smart home adoption in Europe holds great promise but has languished behind North American adoption, which has been bolstered by a base of professional security subscribers. As an innovative approach to building on the security use case, Panasonic and Munich-based, global insurer Allianz have teamed up to introduce smart home starter kits supported by Allianz Assist, a low-cost 24/7 monitoring service.

Strategically, the Smart Home + Allianz Assist pilot program is designed as an entry-level loss leader promotion that will develop a base for future add-on sales of devices and services. Two starter device packages are offered:

  • The Smart Home + Alliance Assist Starter Kit includes the Smart Home Hub, a door/window sensor, a motion sensor, an internal siren, and 24 months of Allianz Assist monitoring for a cost of 19.90 € + 9.90 € monthly for a two-year contract.
  • The Smart Home + Alliance Assist Starter Kit Plus includes the Smart Home Hub, a door/window sensor, glass breakage sensor, a water sensor, an interior siren, and 24 months of Allianz Assist monitoring at a cost of 49.90 € + 9.90 € monthly with a two-year contract.

The Allianz Assist service builds on a roadside assistance program, Allianz Global Assistance, which the company has long had in place. When a security event notification comes into the monitoring center, an Allianz Assist representative first places notification calls to the owner and a trusted friend list. If the owner or friends cannot be contacted, a professional technician is dispatched to the home to assess security needs and take action, such as notifying law enforcement or fire department authorities, securing a broken window, or shutting off water to avoid further damage. Locksmith services are also included.

On the technology side, the development goal was to create a seamless customer experience through full IT integration between Panasonic and Allianz. A security event sounds a local alarm and sends an alert to the user’s mobile device. Ninety seconds after the local alarm is sounded,  event data is sent from the alarm device to Panasonic servers via an event API. The delay minimizes false alerts. Panasonic servers relay event data to the Allianz monitoring center via a dedicated API. All private data is stored in the hub and does not travel through the network. There is no cloud storage of data and tech events share only the address of the sender device. To activate the service, a user purchases the starter kit online, self-installs the devices, downloads the app, and inputs a contact number to activate the service.

Since the program began, the average device attachment rate is five additional pieces on top of starter kits, a strong indicator of consumer acceptance of the value proposition. The companies report that successful “hidden champion” devices include a remote panel for 59€, remote control for 39€, and battery backup for 49€. The emerging customer profile is consumers over 40 years of age who have had dissatisfying prior experience with monitored security because of false alarms, long contracts, or data privacy and security concerns.

Though the program was launched as an online B2C retail offering, the program is designed as a B2B2C offering. Prospective distribution partners are being actively recruited among hotels, energy companies, housing construction companies, operator businesses, and package delivery companies.

Panasonic and Allianz consider this program to be an incremental approach to integration of smart home alongside insurance, believing smart home services will become a mandatory part of home insurance in the future. Insurance companies in Europe and North America have expressed growing interest in the ability of smart home products and services to mitigate risk and offset property damage and loss. As documentation that validates this potential savings develops a baseline of confidence, insurance companies will be motivated to subsidize the cost of smart home solutions.

To learn more about the Panasonic + Allianz Assist program, visit the company’s website.

Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS™ Europe will examine the emerging use cases for smart home devices and services across Western Europe. Featuring keynotes from Amazon, Nest, and SmartThings, the two-day networking event provides perspective and growth strategies for executives involved and interested in the Internet of Things. Reserve your seat today!

Brad Russell

Brad Russell

Research Director, Connected Home

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Connected home technologies and services, IoT data privacy and security, home networking, insurtech, connected health, housing innovation, home energy management

Brad leads Parks Associates’ connected home team, exploring leading-edge issues converging in the connected home—smart home devices and services, residential security, home networking, IoT data privacy and security, data-driven applications, and platform services. Brad’s custom research work includes market sizing and forecasts, ecosystem and competitive landscapes, channel analyses, and go-to-market strategies.. Brad balances the art and science of market research to generate insights that lead to more astute business strategy and value-generating practices. He has a background in marketing communications, technology startups, and online media.

Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. He also earned a M.Div. and a D.Min. with concentrations in ethics and cross-cultural collaboration.

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