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New iPhone launches an opportunity for gadget insurers

With the new iPhone 8 now released, and the perhaps more anticipated launch of the “premium” iPhone X later in 2017, it is a good time for innovative, often millennial-focused contents insurance providers to market their services.

The iPhone 8 is now available from £699, with the iPhone X rumored to be released with a £999 price tag. With a great number of Apple fans expected to hold out for the more advanced X model, the value of smartphone tech being carried by users is set to rise.

Insurance providers should be using these launch-day spikes in new phone ownership to maximize exposure through marketing. While smartphone ownership in the UK has hit a plateau at around 81%, take-up of insurance for these devices remains low at less than one in three as per our Consumer Insurance Survey.

This need to step up as front of mind also comes as the gadget insurance field has seen a lot more competition arrive in the last couple of years, including players at the leading edge of the industry in terms of policy flexibility, use of smartphone technology, and utilization of elements such as chatbots.

New players include:

Trov – Using Trov’s app users essentially create an inventory of their belongings, which is made simple by the app’s tools. From there the user is in control, and can immediately evaluate insurance policies available for items based on their current market value. With a swipe motion users can switch insurance on and off in real-time for any individual item.

Back Me Up – The Ageas-owned brand’s offer is to cover any three items (excluding pets or vehicles) for £15 per month, with “core” items thrown in: phone screen cover, travel insurance, and house key protection. Policies are provided on a monthly subscription basis.

So-Sure – The peer-to-peer gadget insurance proposition is built on a model of “reward pots” you can build up through forming communities of other insured individuals, with the collective pots of the group paying for next-day replacement in the case of a claim or up to 80% cashback for everyone if no claims are made.

In My Bag – Using a straightforward process to identify “what’s in your bag,” In My Bag offers broad coverage including worldwide cover, cover for cases of unauthorized calls, and – its primary USP – a combination of a premium data recovery service and same-day replacement so the customer is remedied in high speed.

From an industry perspective, eyes will also be on how these businesses fare with a potential spike in claims levels. In past interviews with industry experts within the gadget insurance space, we have been told of the not-so-mysterious epidemic of broken and lost handsets in the lead-up to the year’s new model. Approaches to this market based on like-for-like replacement and repair services – and the clear communication of what policy coverage provides for – are clearly the way forward.

By Stewart Mcewan, Head of Content, UK General Insurance 

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