Consumers Ignoring the Value of the Phone in Their Pocket
A mobile phone insurer has called on the mobile industry to do more to educate customers as to the real value of their mobile phone.
According to research commissioned by Assurant Solutions, damage to and/or failure of the device rather than theft/loss/data breach are the main triggers for claims. Damage and failure accounted for 52 percent of claims lodged by consumers who took part in the survey. Theft accounted for 20 percent of claims, loss 16 percent and unauthorised use or loss of data account for 12 percent.
While this data broadly matches Assurant Solutions' own claims experience, it is not in line with the reasons consumers gave as a key consideration to purchase mobile phone insurance. More than a third (34 percent) cited theft or fraud as the reason to buy insurance.
Nino Treusch, Head of Mobile Business Development for Assurant Solutions in Europe, comments: "With the trend for purchasing smartphones ever increasing and the amount of sensitive/personal data we all store on our phones it's not surprising that consumers say they are motivated by concerns about identity and data theft to purchase mobile phone insurance.
"Many, however, have lost sight of one of the most beneficial reasons for protection, and that is accidental damage. We take our mobiles pretty much everywhere and so they can easily get damaged. Smartphones are one of the most expensive devices we own and yet as many are included free or subsidised by mobile network operators as part of a contract, it would seem that many consumers fail to recognise their physical value."
Treusch points out that some consumers may assume that their household insurance will cover accidental damage, but as this cover isn't always standard in household policies, they could be disappointed. Equally, some may have chosen a larger voluntary excess to bring their premium down which could mean that it would not be worth their while to make a claim for a mobile phone.
He concludes: "In an age where many of us rely on these devices, the benefits of a standalone mobile phone policy must be highlighted at the point of purchase to ensure consumers have the right protection in place."
The research was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Assurant Solutions in February 2012. 7417 mobile device users both with and without insurance protection were interviewed across Europe. A total of 730 people were interviewed in the UK.