iSmart Finance

iSmart Finance

July 10, 2012 13:00 ET

Leading Claims Manager Makes Smart Move Into Insurance Market

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 10, 2012) - A woeful lack of insurance cover under most normal household policies for expensive mobile devices including smart phones and tablets has led iSmart, one of the UK's largest claims management companies, to set up a new specialist insurance division to protect a nation's gadget lovers from potentially large financial losses.

iSmart, which has spent the past five years helping people who have been mis-sold insurances and bank services, has created a newly-formed subsidiary - iSmart Finance Ltd - aimed at tapping into the expanding tablet, smartphone and laptop markets.

Paul Fakley has been appointed as managing director of the new insurance venture, having previously held senior positions with rivals Churchill, Direct Line and Saga. The FSA has approved iSmart's appointment as an Appointed Representative, and the company is also working in partnership with two established insurance businesses in idRisk Advisory Ltd and CETA Ltd. The launch follows new research by iSmart which highlighted a major mismatch between the growing market for such devices and a lack of appropriate insurance cover.

The company is launching with a range of insurance products including new gadget and electronics insurance cover as well as life, home, travel and income protection offerings. iSmart has been a major success story, growing from a three-person start up to a multi-million turnover company employing c.400 staff at its headquarters in Northampton in just over five years. The company aims to triple turnover by 2015 and its new insurance business is part of an ambitious plan to expand and move into new business areas.

Demand for iSmart Finance's services is likely to be high, judging by a YouGov survey carried out on the company's behalf.

Findings show that a third of people erroneously assume they are covered for their laptops, tablets and smartphones outside the home under their standard household insurance. The survey, of 2,000 adults, also highlighted the lack of suitable insurance for downloaded films, music, apps and games. A third of respondents own download libraries worth more than £500, 98% of whom either have no insurance or have no idea whether they are covered by an existing home contents policy.

iSmart Finance's managing director, Paul Fakley, said: "We have launched our new division amid a climate of rapidly growing portable gadget sales.

"Our research shows that while carrying such products around is an everyday norm - and that many people have suffered loss theft or damage - the insurance sector has not kept pace with rising sales and changing practices.

"Our aim is to offer a new, fresh alternative to traditional insurance providers in the UK. We come from a different background with our experience of claims management, offer a fresh approach and we operate only through UK contact centres.

"We are acutely aware that many people who have been mis-sold insurances still have a need for cover, but may mistrust many traditional financial institutions. We want to ensure customers have access to a wide range of choice, supported by excellent service and at an affordable price. "The launch into insurance is the first of many new ventures and there will be further investment and diversification in the near future."

As if to underline the success iSmart Finance is likely to achieve, the launch follows revelations last week in another poll, commissioned by Virgin Media, that 72% of British people have no phone insurance, two thirds lose a phone every two years and around a quarter of those who do have cover are not adequately protected.

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