Mobile insurance now essential

As we transition into our post-pandemic office and school setups, the importance of smartphones and gadgets has never been more amplified and relevant than right now.

The the country’s smartphone market grew by 22.6% in 2021. About 80% of working Filipinos prefer the new hybrid and heavy Internet configuration in the traditional office.

Beyond academic institutions and offices, smartphone use is shaping the way we go about our daily lives and perform routine tasks, such as accessing job postings, financial services, online shopping and social networks.

Six out of ten Filipinos shop and book trips through mobile apps.

According a pre-pandemic surveyabout 55% of Filipino children own a smartphone and 80% of them prefer surfing the Internet to watching TV.

damaged phone

Essential to life

Unsurprisingly, this reliance on smartphones and gadgets has made their operability and security a priority for many people.

Damage to a smart device can mean the difference in earning or losing income for breadwinners, improving student grades, or having a needed online chat with a family member in another country. .

“A phone that suddenly went off or turned off permanently can be a nightmare, especially when it comes on a payday weekend,” recalls Kate Paulyne Tayco, 23, social media manager for an online wedding business. Tayco dropped his device on hard ground while vacationing in a remote town. “During that time, I couldn’t do my usual thing of paying my bills or doing bank transfers through my smartphones. And because the ATMs in this town were running out of money and the banks and the bayad centers were closed, I had no money in reserve to get my phone repaired.

These unfortunate events are compounded by high mobile repair costs.

Replacement by purchasing a new one can be even more expensive. Currently, a budget-grade smartphone costs around P5,000 while a high-end smartphone can cost upwards of P50,000.

With smartphones becoming an essential device as well as an expensive investment, its insurance protection has become a necessity, not an option.

Cell phone insurance gives gadget owners the coverage they need to fix a phone when it breaks. It can help quickly restore full functionality to a phone in the event of a drop or accidental damage. With this technical restoration comes opportunity and economic recovery.

Mobile phone insurance is becoming more urgent as damage to the device can occur anytime, anywhere. Research shows that the most common accidents that happen with a smartphone involve it falling out of a pocket or falling into the toilet bowl.

Mobile phone protection

Etiqa Philippines President and CEO Rico Bautista asserted that smart gadgets, like health, property and other aspects essential to our lives, need consistent and reliable protection through of assurance: “Mobile devices are no longer considered a status symbol or used only for work but have become a necessity, helping us to advance our careers, our businesses and our daily activities. By securing them, mobile insurance plans will ensure that the lives and activities of their users will continue with minimal disruption, even if these devices are damaged. This is in line with our commitment to offer products and services that will make life easier for our customers.

Mobile phone insurance falls under the Insurtech category, which applies technology to the insurance industry.

Technology makes online policy registration, plan verification or purchase, and top-up efficient, secure, and real-time through digital platforms like GCash or Shopee.

Other examples of Insurtech include social insurance, data analytics as a method to understand consumer behavior and improve customer service, and customizing policies for specific groups and organizations.

The Southeast Asian technical insurance company Igloo has developed mobile insurance plans with Etiqa Philippines to provide coverage for the phone screen and its features (Phone Screen Protection plan) or all of the device (Full Phone Protection plan).

However, these plans exclude cases where devices have suffered gradual deterioration, have been stolen or lost; malware damage, repairs and maintenance are also not included.

Insurance powered by technology

Customers must also report any damage within 48 hours of the incident before making a claim.

Mobile insurance plans are designed to make them cost effective while giving premium value to the broad demographic of smartphone users, especially those who depend on them for a living.

A plan, for example, is equivalent to paying for a small snack per month while its coverage amount is enough to buy a budget smartphone.

Technology makes insurance coverage that protects important aspects of our lives both affordable and accessible. It has extended this service to our versatile tool and digital companion, the ubiquitous smartphone.

Etiqa Philippines President and CEO Rico T. Bautista says smart gadgets, like health, property, and other aspects essential to our lives, require consistent and reliable protection through an insurance.

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