Last week, around 500 users of smart locks produced by the US company LockState found that their locks did not work properly after a faulty update was released, leaving users unable to lock and unlock homes. Lockstate apologised but wasn’t able to provide customers with an immediate solution to the issue – it took 5-18 days for locks to be replaced or repaired. With locks not functioning, homes were either left more vulnerable to burglary due to doors not being able to lock, or others were locked out of their homes. This meant that many rental home owners were not able to accommodate guests, leading to a loss in revenue.
What is LockState?
LockState is a Colorado-based company providing “connected access control systems for commercial and residential markets”. They produce smart locks that enable consumers to control the locks on their doors remotely, eliminating the need for keys. Their locks retail for around £400.These smart locks let you to monitor the activity of the locks as well as alerting you when being used. With this feature, parents, for example, can keep track of when the children come home, or give access to housecleaners, babysitters, as well as family and friends for times when they are not around.
LockState is a worldwide partner of Airbnb, a popular mobile app where people can look for, rent and/or list properties for accommodation. The smart lock can be very useful especially for rental-property and holiday home owners who have to deal with frequent key exchanges and managing check-ins and check-outs as you can create time sensitive codes or generate codes automatically via the Lockstate/Airbnb integration. This limits expenses involved in travelling to make a key exchange and replacing lost keys, it also allows hosts to be more flexible with accommodating early check-ins and late check-outs and allows travellers the ability to self-check in whenever they need.
What would it mean for your home insurance if a smart lock stopped working?
- Most likely your insurer would honour a claim, but it would be a good idea to tell your insurer what has happened – it’s likely that they will require a standard deadbolt to be used alongside the smart lock (though this defeats the purpose of a smart lock as you would still require keys)
- If you are unlucky enough to be a victim of burglary, read the PolicyCastle blog article on what to do
Most insurers don’t yet recognise smart locks as acceptable security, so it is likely that you may have to pay a higher premium for your home insurance if you have a smart lock. PolicyCastle is working with insurers to develop home insurance products that recognise the benefits from having smart locks and other smart home devices.
HOSTCOVER from GUARDHOG sells insurance for AirBnB hosts – it can be bought only for the nights you need it.