What you need to know about smart lock technology

Smart door locks – also referred to as digital or electronic door locks – are rapidly replacing traditional locks in many Aussie homes.

If you’re a homeowner looking to improve your home security and ease of guest access, and minimise the risk of potential home insurance claims, then smart lock technology may be the ideal solution.

Types of smart locks

There are two main types of smart locks:

  • Deadbolt replacements, which replace the entire deadbolt in the door.
  • Deadbolt adapters – which require you to swap out part of the deadbolt inside your home.

Smart locks also use a variety and often a combination of different keyless access mechanisms, which you can select based on your budget and needs.

Keypad smart locks

These are the simplest smart locks on the market. There’s a keypad on the outside of the door, allowing you and others to unlock it with a code. Some keypads also have a traditional keyhole for backup in case the battery dies or the code is forgotten.

Smart deadbolts

Smart deadbolts are the most common type of smart locks, replacing the deadbolt on a standard door and using a motor to lock and unlock the deadbolt. These locks are usually operated with a smartphone app or other electronic device.

Smart lever locks

Lever handle smart locks are similar to smart deadbolts, but instead replace the lever handle on a door and not the deadbolt. They can also include features like temporary access codes for guests and automatic locking.

However, these locks are usually recommended to be used on interior doors as they can be less secure than smart deadbolts.

Biometric smart locks

Why go through the trouble of memorising a code when you can use your fingerprint instead? These are usually more expensive. But since they require a unique physical trait to open the door – such as your fingerprint or voice pattern – they can be more secure.

Smart padlocks

If you’re after extra security for your backyard shed or want a portable digital lock for your bicycle, then a smart padlock might be a good option. You won’t have to rely on a deadbolt lock with a key and these smart padlocks usually come with Bluetooth pairing and companion app controls.

Do smart locks affect home insurance?

Yes, they can. The reduced risk of theft means you may be less likely to make a claim. And if you ever do need to claim, smart lock features like activity feeds and tamper alarms can help provide supporting evidence.

The right insurance makes a big difference too. If you have a monitored home alarm and it’s activated by an illegal break in or attempted break in, our GIO Home and Contents Platinum Cover, will cover the security attendance fees charged by your security provider. You also won’t need to pay an excess under this additional cover and we’ll pay up to $2,500 per incident.

Be sure to read the PDS as exclusions and limitations apply. We also have a handy comparison of what’s included under our different levels of cover.

Get a GIO Home & Contents Insurance Quote

Top smart lock features and benefits

Remote access

Smart locks can provide convenient ease of remote access in the following ways:

  • Checking whether your door is locked or unlocked.
  • Remotely locking and unlocking your door from any location in the world.
  • Preventing package theft by allowing remote parcel delivery access into your home.
  • Setting temporary access codes for visitors – such as dog-sitters or house cleaners.

Automated locking and geofencing

Many smart locks automatically lock doors as you exit your home, or can be set to lock up at the same time each night.

Geofencing is another convenient feature that allows you to set a virtual perimeter around your home. So if your hands are full and you’re within five metres of your front door, your paired smartphone can disengage the smart door lock and open it for you. But don’t worry, no one else can access this feature besides you with your smartphone – so your door will be securely locked at all other times.

Alerts and notifications

Another advantage of smart locks is the ability to track real-time access and receive notifications about who enters and exits your home and when. So if your babysitter is running late or your short-term guests haven’t checked out yet, you’ll be the first to know.

Integration with smart home systems

By integrating your smart lock with your smart home ecosystem, you can add another layer of security and convenience to your home.

Some compatible home systems can include:

  • digital voice assistants – such as Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri
  • security cameras and pet cameras
  • smart thermostats and air purifiers, and
  • smart lighting systems.

Research your preferred smart door lock model as each will be compatible with specific smart home systems.

Choosing the right smart lock for your home

There are some additional things to consider when purchasing a smart door lock:


Upfront charges for a smart lock might be a lot more than for a traditional lock – but you’ll never again have to worry about spending on key duplication or lock replacement due to lost keys.


Smart locks can be more complicated to install than standard locks and might require a professional. However, smart locks are becoming more DIY-friendly and compatible with standard predrilled holes in doors. 

Backup power souce

Smart locks usually use your home’s electrical system, so you’ll want to check that the smart lock has a backup battery or a physical keyhole in case of a power outage. You may otherwise be left stranded outside your home.

Additional cybersecurity

As with any smart home system, there is a potential for someone to hack into your phone or wi-fi and access control of your smart door lock. Using two-factor authentication and choosing an AES encrypted smart lock are some ways to increase your protection against someone gaining access to your home security system.

If you hold a GIO Home & Contents policy and purchase and install smart door locks in your home, make sure to update the sum insured on your policy to reflect this. You’ll want to know that your smart home security system is covered for loss or damage from an insured event, such as storm*, fire, and theft.

Update your Policy

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*Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy. Please also note we do not insure you for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. For full details read the PDS.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.