Smartphones have become the most ubiquitous gadgets. They undergo heavy use. Regardless of their Ingress Protection (IP) rating or Gorilla Glass generation, they suffer signs of wear-and-tear and damage from accidental causes.
It’s no surprise that Filipino smartphone owners are big fans of mobile protection accessories like tempered glass, phone cases, underwater phone pouches, and even phone sleeves. These products, though, do not guarantee failproof protection. As such, Singaporean insurtech firm Axinan inked a partnership with non-life insurer Mercantile Insurance Co. to introduce a mobile phone insurance service for the local market.
According to Axinan founder and CEO Wei Zhu, almost all warranties of smartphones brands only cover factory/hardware defects. When accidents happen, especially liquid damage, getting devices fixed becomes very expensive. This is where Axinan positions their insurance plan, a better support with sum assured of up to P20,000 and a quicker turnaround rate.
“The Philippines’ insurance industry has shown positive growth in recent years as the country’s economy grows. The overall net income of the non-life insurance sector grew by 9.76% from 2016-2017. While the segment is smaller than the life segment, there are considerable growth opportunities due to the low level of penetration and the potential of fintech to boost growth,” stated Zhu.
He added that their partnership with Mercantile will produce more similar solutions from their consumer brand “igloo” in the insurance space, since Mercantile understands the local non-life insurance segment in a deeper sense. Currently, their igloo: Mobile Insurance is already available at the Playstore for android and App Store for iOS.
More than 3000 devices are supported and the price will adjust depending on how much the phone costs. Although they will be actively investigating if the damage is of an accidental or deliberate nature, battery damage caused by wear and tear will not be covered. But for the screen, camera, accidental and liquid damage, consumers can enjoy a comprehensive mobile phone protection under the product Mobile 360 located in-app.
“With the rising popularity of digital solutions in the region, we are excited to collaborate with Axinan to leverage on their niche in digital insurance solutions, ensuring that we are able to give the best solutions to our consumers,” shared Mercantile executive VP Frank Ramos. He also noted that the inked partnership is in line with their goal of a more responsive customer-oriented service with a wide variety of solution offerings to the local market.
The Mobile 360 product is also guaranteed to hand out an activation approval within 24 hours for eligible phones. Phones with prior damage would not be supported by the service though, but both companies expressed plans to expand to a variety of gadgets as well moving forward.
As of now, Mobile 360 is only available in Metro Manila but will be available nationwide soon. Raunak Mehta, chief commercial officer of Axinan, mentioned that with more Filipinos having access to pricier phones with higher specs, the dependence of users to their personal devices with relation to their lifestyle and personality also increases.
He stated: “We are proud to announce that the Mobile 360 through igloo is an innovative solution of Axinan’s proprietary technology to innovate and create products for the digital economy in the Philippines.”