Insurtech Innovations: AmTrust Offers Warranties, Tech Support for Fing-Discovered Devices

By: Jeff Hatch

June 25, 2018

The following is an article by Julie Jacobson, which appeared on June 18, 2018, at cepro.com. The full article can be found here: http://bit.ly/2tpSNiu

AmTrust's innovative TapSafe IoT initiative has Fing scan networks for connected devices, and then offers smart-home warranties and tech-support on-the-fly based on risk-assessment profiles.

The property and casualty firm 
AmTrust Financial Services is rolling out an innovative and ambitious IoT-based insurance program using the popular Fing network scanner to discover connected devices in the home. Once products are discovered, AmTrust offers instant quotes for warranties and technical support on each connected device.
 
The new service, called 
TapSafe, was developed by AmTrust Innovation, the innovation arm of AmTrust Financial. Calling it "the world’s most progressive warranty product," the group demonstrated the most polished version of the platform yet, at Parks Associates’ Connections Conference 2018 last month.
 
TapSafe participants simply load the app on their mobile devices, and whenever a new product is connected to the network, Fing and AmTrust get busy on the back end gleaning device data and crunching the numbers to get to a price. The warranty price is presented in real time, and users can opt in from the app.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of US households have over $2,500 in connected devices, according to the 
AmTrust Connected Households 2018 survey, and 50% have had a device damaged or malfunction in the past year.
 
AmTrust demonstrated TapSafe at Connections 2018, joining several insurance companies who were looking to exploit IoT and the smart home for the purposes of 1) risk assessment, 2) loss mitigation, 3) customer engagement and 4) new sources of revenue.

AmTrust doesn’t believe a simpler warranty service is compelling enough for consumers to use TapSafe, which is why the organization provides tech support in addition to warranties.

“We don’t believe the future is in warranties, but in service and support,” says Conor O’Sullivan, senior vice president, AmTrust Innovation Labs.

There are several tiers of tech support available through AmTrust’s third-party provider, including self-help options, online chat and phone support. The tech-support provider uses 
Support.com’s SeeSupport Remote Visual Support, which allows an agent to view the customer’s premises through the camera on the user’s own mobile phone or tablet.
 
The agent can then see the affected product(s) in context – what is connected to them, which lights are blinking, and whether there might be obstacles affecting performance.
The agents can take command of the screen, making annotations to indicate which buttons to press, which connector to unplug, etc., and even light up the space by activating the phone’s flashlight.

If phone support doesn’t do the trick, customers can use the app to schedule repairs and arrange replacements, and even schedule in-home consultations and installations. AmTrust will cover a portion of the cost of installation for the replacement device.

Fing + AmTrust: AI + Predictive Analytics

Fing is a leading network-scanning application, with over 25 million downloads and 9 billion connected devices discovered. The service grows smarter as more devices are connected, network properties are learned, and device characteristics are entered into the app by users.

AmTrust, meanwhile, is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in North America, with 20 years of data on its servers.

With TapSafe, AmTrust takes the devices discovered through Fing – often down to the model number – and melds the information with its own database, delivering a risk-assessment profile for each device in real-time, allowing customer to purchase warranties, or extended warranties, on the fly.

Administered by Warrantech in most U.S. locales, TapSafe is available as a white-label service to third-party providers.

Covered devices include smart TVs, thermostats, home automation hubs, smoke detectors, wearables, smart speakers, smartphones, laptops & tablets and most smart home devices.

Coverage is provided for extending the manufacturer’s warranty with mechanical and electrical breakdown, additional cover for power surge, a no-lemon guarantee and coverage for accidental damage. Furthermore, screen-only cover for Apple and Samsung smartphone is offered as an option.

Filed Under: AmTrust, connected, devices, home, innovation, IoT, smart, TapSafe, Warrantech

AmTrust Mobile Solutions – Covered. Connected. Confident.

By: Jeff Hatch

February 07, 2018

Did you know that you can offer your customers smartphone coverage through our company?

AmTrust Mobile Solutions is a suite of mobile device protection and support services that provide your consumers with the protection that they need. Economic and hassle-free, this coverage allows for the repair or replacement of damaged or lost mobile devices quickly and efficiently with one of two options:

  1. If the damaged device is repairable, your consumers may have access to an authorized local service center for repairs while they wait.

  2. If an authorized local service center is not available, we will send a replacement unit, on an expedited basis, from our state-of the-art fulfillment center following claim submission.

Easy Claims Processing

AmTrust Mobile Solutions’ domestically located claims center is staffed with specialists who provide prompt and professional assistance. Available seven days a week, the claims center can also be accessed online. Our family of industry-leading customer support service centers has processed more than $1 billion in claims and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

Fully Supported

AmTrust Mobile Solutions appreciates that point-of-sale materials are critical in promoting and disclosing the various aspects of a program. That’s why we offer a marketing staff to design private label marketing materials or provide you with our own branded promotional items. Plus, we maintain strict adherence to each client’s branding requirements and possess an in-depth understanding of the legal and compliance issues associated with insurance product marketing.

A Dependable Business Partner

Working with AmTrust Mobile Solutions is easy. Whether your business is big or small, we can offer a carrier-grade program to suit your unique needs and exceed your customers’ expectations. From initial on-boarding to ongoing customer service, we can deliver customized mobile device protection solutions, provide complete administrative support and tailor the program to your financial requirements.

Get In Touch

For inquiries on how AmTrust Mobile Solutions can design a program for your business, contact us today at 1.888.328.4575.

Filed Under: devices, Mobile, protection, smartphones, Solutions

Warrantech Featured In The March Issue of Dealerscope Magazine

By: Jeff Hatch

March 28, 2016

Guy Koenig, Chief Strategic Officer for Warrantech, recently took part in Dealerscope magazine’s roundtable discussion regarding companies that sell extended service plan programs to consumers through retailers. Here is what he had to say in response to the following question:  

"What major initiatives/strategies has your company planned to help CE and appliance dealers make more money from warranty sales in 2016?"

Warrantech continues to develop unique products and solutions that meet the changing needs and demands of our retail partners and their customers. Most recently, significant focus has been placed on launching our Connected Life program to provide coverage and services for multiple devices under a single protection plan. This customizable program encapsulates everything from automotive, mobile devices, consumer electronics, and consumer appliances. The flexibility of our solutions gives CE and Appliance dealers an opportunity to expand their markets and reach new profit levels, while providing their customers with added value on their most important purchases.

Visit dealerscope.com to read the article in its entirety and for more industry insight. 

And be sure to follow Warrantech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so you can keep up to date on company initiatives as they happen. 

Filed Under: automotive, connected, Dealerscope, devices, life, mobile, products, solutions, Warrantech

The Changing Face Of Extended Service Warranties

By: Global Administrator

April 14, 2014

The following article by Shara Richter appears in the TWICE Guide to Extended Service Contracts, a supplement to the April 7 issue of TWICE magazine. For more information on the stories in that issue, be sure to visit www.twice.com.

The concept, image, definition and demographic of the extended service warranty have all changed substantially over the years.

Extended service warranties were meant to be insurance contracts that retailers sold to consumers to cover repairs on products that were either not covered by the manufacturer's warranty or that went into effect after the manufacturer's warranty expired. In theory this was and is still a great idea that should have protected consumers and increased profits for retailers. In the past however, the warranty business gained a mixed reputation for leaving some consumers holding the bag. Consumers were less likely to buy warranties on electronics and retailers were losing out on all the potential profits. But that is old news. Today, consumers and retailers alike are opting in on service warranties for a variety of reasons and benefits.

Today's extended warranty service plans are an upgrade from the past and offer better services for customers — whether it be in customer service, product repairs or product replacements. Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research says "The whole service environment has changed. It's no longer just about increasing margins, but also improving the customer experience. You want your customers to be happy and to come back," he recently told TWICE.

This expanding definition may be raising the bar on consumer expectations of their warranty coverage. Some service contracts now include such perks as 24-hour/seven days a week technical support. Consumers can tap online resources that are at once intuitive and automated and give technicians remote access for real-time troubleshooting and fixes. Plus some contracts offer protection for previously uncovered circumstances such as accidental damage and typically exempt services such as installation, says the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

These consumer-friendly upgrades appeal to a key CE demographic, millennials. The young consumers are dependent on their mobile devices, and those products have a greater chance of sustaining drops, spills and other accidental damage precisely because of their portability. As a consequence, millennials are more inclined than preceding generations to insure their products with repair and replacement plans. CEA research shows that these consumers are not only open to buying protection plans but want to buy them to protect their most important possession — their mobile devices.

For more information about service contracts and extended warranties from Warrantech, be sure to visit http://www.warrantech.com/partners/consumer-products/extended-service-plans/.

Filed Under: Association, Consumer, devices, Electronics, extended, millennials, mobile, service, TWICE, warranties

Warrantech’s Fourth-Quarter Forecast

By: Global Administrator

September 26, 2013

Sean Stapleton, Warrantech President and CEO, recently took part in an executive forum with TWICE Magazine. Here’s what he had to say about the current state of service contracts and what consumers and retailers can look forward to in the closing months of 2013.

What is your fourth-quarter outlook for consumer electronics and appliance sales?

Despite recent reports regarding declines in consumer confidence, we are cautiously optimistic about product sales growth in the fourth quarter. We continue to see the mobile device category outperforming expectations. Further, recent improvements to the housing market have aided appliance sales for many of our partners.

Our belief is that consumers have prolonged many new product purchases due to uncertainty about the economy; with so much pent-up demand it is a matter of time before we see a flurry of consumer spending on new products.

Do you anticipate any change in historic Q4 attachment rates?

During the recession we witnessed increased attachment rates for extended service contracts due to a greater focus by retailers. The lesson learned by many retailers during those challenging times was that well-managed extended service contract programs increase customer satisfaction and retention, in addition to providing revenue. We believe the trend will continue on into the fourth quarter and beyond.

Which electronics/appliance categories show the most promise for service contract sales in the fourth quarter?

The mobile device market continues to lead the other categories with regard to growth. During the upcoming holiday season we expect to see further growth of the category due to continued demand by consumers for these devices. Additionally, we are seeing a very interesting growth trend for audio equipment including high-end headphones, soundbars and portable speakers. Consequently, we anticipate that service contract sales for the mobile electronics and audio equipment categories will be strong.

Will the new generation of Ultra HD and OLED TVs have an impact on TV sales and attachment rates this holiday season?

The new TV technologies are expected to provide some improvement to sales. However, unless strong marketing campaigns are unveiled by manufacturers and retailers detailing the overall improvements to the consumer’s viewing experience, growth will be limited. The trend toward higher sales of smart TVs does provide us with good reason to be excited about Ultra HDTV and OLED TV sales in the future.

We anticipate higher attachment rates for Ultra HDTVs and OLED TVs due to consumers’ concerns regarding product performance for these new technologies.

What are you doing to help retailers increase attachment rates for online purchases?

We continually share best practices with our partners regarding optimizing online extended service contract programs, including guidance on messaging, content placement and the importance of missed point of sale solutions.

Our collective experience is that online programs, while very different in many regards to traditional retail programs, share a common trait for success with their brick-and-mortar counterparts. The most successful retail programs are based on earning trust with customers during the product sale and establishing the importance of the extended service contract during and after the sales process.

How are you addressing mobile commerce?

We continue to provide a strong online service platform for our partner programs in addition to other online tools. Our goal is to allow customers to interact with us on their terms, whether it be through social media, web chat, our dynamic online claim adjudication tool or over the phone. Additionally, our solutions are designed for rapid integration with online programs.

What new products or services have you introduced for retailers or consumers?

We are excited to unveil our newest service innovation which is designed to give online shoppers white glove assistance services and information regarding their recent purchase and can be used as a platform to make extended service contracts available to the customer.

Visit our blog frequently to keep up with the latest industry news and company updates. And make sure to bookmark warrantech.com so you can learn more about our innovative products and services.

Filed Under: consumer, contracts, devices, electronics, HD, mobile, OLED, service, TV, TWICE, Ultra