What’s the first thing you do upon waking up each morning, even before you get out of the warm cosy cocoon of your blanket during the chilly winters? Think about it. That’s right! You sleepily curse the shrill alarm that brought you out of your sleep-induced reverie and swat away in vain at the source of the annoying sound – your precious smartphone. Let’s face it. For most of us, the day begins with our smartphone and, it’s safe to say, ends right back with it. Before you turn away pegging this article down as another anti-technological preaching about the harmful effects of being at our phones and laptops and away from Mother Nature, slow down. I’m in your corner! I understand how important the smartphone is in our life today and how practically our entire life is stored in this tiny little handset which had cost us way more than our budget had truly allowed.
Can you imagine then, the thought of losing this prized possession in a jiffy? Or worse, imagine having it stolen from you, giving the despicable thief a window into your entire personal, social and occupational life. It’s unthinkable, right? Yet, we’ve all done it – we’ve all lost or spoilt that one phone. But what if we could protect this precious belonging of ours from theft, loss and the like? Fortunately for us, especially those of us who are exceptionally careless, the smartphone insurance industry is picking up rapidly in our country. With the nation being on the cusp of a new technological breakthrough practically every day, people are beginning to realise the importance and the need for this technology. Along with this realisation, comes the added household investment in better smartphones, which leads to a greater need for protection of these expensive parts and parcels of our lives.
Why Smartphone Insurance?
The reason for the need for insurance of smartphones is simple: they are expensive, yet indispensable. A smartphone is no longer a luxurious item characterising the lifestyles of the elite, rather a necessity in the daily lives of all economic classes alike. Hence, they need to be insured against the risk of loss, damage or theft just as any other possession of value like our house or our automobiles. It’s like the age-old adage that goes, “Better safe than sorry.” It makes sense to protect ourselves from even potential financial losses, rather than be unrealistically optimistic and conveniently oblivious to the consequential presence of risk of loss.
The Industry Trend
With many foreign brands pouring into the country, there is no dearth of technological demand. People are willing to spend up to the amount of an entire month’s pay for one coveted phone. Also, the market in India for second hand phones is at an astounding high at about Rs. 400 crore, as per news reports. This goes to show that theft of these smartphones is just as rampant today due to the high profits that can be earned by resale of second hand stolen/found smartphones. Due to all the above reasons, it’s becoming all the more important to protect your smartphone and the Indian scenario is rapidly changing itself to adapt to the new hype for safety of smartphones.
The smartphone insurance industry is growing with more and more well-known insurance firms like New India Assurance Company and Bajaj Allianz are coming up with comprehensive insurance plans for smartphones. These plans usually cover loss of phones, loss/damage due to accident, theft of phones as well as loss/damage due to fire or malicious intent or even riots. However, they do not cover damages for loss of phone in case the phone was stolen from an unattended vehicle (except when securely locked) or due to the negligence of the owner of the phone. In fact, it also does not cover loss of phone due to the owner forgetting it accidentally in any public transport vehicle.
The Indian Scenario – A Critical Analysis
While in foreign countries like the United Kingdom, most banking companies like Barclays and Lloyds provide smartphone insurance cover as part of their operations, in India, there are particular non-life general insurance companies which provide insurance policies and plans for smartphone insurance. The premium payable is generally at a rate of about Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 for every Rs. 1000 of the cost of the phone.
While people are gradually becoming more aware of the need and the facilities of insurance of smartphones in the country, the scenario is still comparatively bleak. There is a lack of awareness, as well as a lack of faith in general in insurance companies in the country which has led to most people owning but not insuring a reasonably expensive smartphone today. Also, with a host of exclusions from insurance policies of smartphones, people tend to find it pointless to get their smartphones insured. Add to this the fact that there aren’t all that many companies providing insurance plans for smartphones. All in all, the insurance sector in the field of smartphones has grown, but not with as much prominence as it has in other countries such as the UK.
At the end of the day, the fact remains that insurance of smartphones is an area of insurance sector that has a lot of scope due to the ever increasing boom of information technology in the nation, as well as in the world. It will take lots of effort for creating awareness amongst people as well as efforts on the part of general insurance companies to improve the scope and coverage of their policies. After all, the smartphone has almost become our best friend today. Protecting it under the comforting umbrella of insurance is clearly the smartest thing to do.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).