Insurance cover – a safe choice for mobile, tablet users

Monday, October 13th, 2014 2:01:13 by

LAHORE: Personal communication and information technology devices, with each passing day, are becoming extremely sophisticated as a result of which the consumers are facing increasing challenges of protecting their device against damages.

In addition to accidental damage being the biggest threat for the consumers, smartphone owners have an increased risk of robberies due to the poor law and order situation in Pakistan.

Such incidents, when they occur, make the consumers wish for some sort of insurance or protective remedy provided by companies in order to compensate for such losses at a time when smartphone prices are rising.

Although there are after-sale service centres in Pakistan, none of them are giving free insurance to the consumers in case of theft or damage.

To address the situation, Samsung Electronics Pakistan has introduced insurance cover for its smartphone and tablet users – in the name of Accidental Insurance and Tab Secure – which has come into effect from August this year.

The initiative is aimed at giving a message to the users that affiliation with some global brand names brings with it some perks, it claims.

“We want to tell people that the major benefit in this technological world is to buy products and receive services of global brands,” said Saadul Hassan, Corporate Marketing Head of Samsung Electronics.

“It is not a gimmick; we have to involve our consumers with the company so they feel the difference.”

The company – following the mechanism of its parent company – has signed an agreement with AON Pakistan to provide free accidental coverage for Samsung handsets and tablets against damages and repairs with no extra premium within the warranty time.

But challenges still persist as the services are far from matching global standards. Customers who use the insurance cover are not satisfied with the quality of services at the initial stage.

“There is a lack of follow-up for the claimed handsets,” said Rauf Riaz, a customer who got the service. “It takes a lot more time than is promised.”

However, he praised the initiative, saying that there is room for improvement if the necessary feedback was provided.

Prone to fraud

For a company to implement this strategy in its true spirit, it has to overcome the challenges of misuse of services like wrong claims of accidental and theft insurance.

“We are providing this service for all smartphones and tablets and we understand how to deal with fraudulent claims,” said Hassan. According to the marketing head, the use of software can distinguish between claims – something the company owns. In cases of theft insurance, a First Information Report (FIR) is a must.

He added the device would be repaired with a ‘no question policy’ from the company. With this introduction of insurance cover for the smartphone and tablet market – a much-needed facility in Pakistan – it might be the beginning of competition between companies who will rush to provide more protective covers for gaining a higher market share.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2014.

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