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Traditional Insurance Plans Gaining Traction At Retail


While extendedservice
contract providers continue
to enhance their consumer offering,
more traditional insurance products
are also being offered to end users.

Last month Best Buy began offering
customers “buy-back protection,”
which allows them to sell back select
purchases at a later date.

Five categories are covered under
the program, including laptops,
netbooks, tablets, post-paid mobile
phones and TVs. Pricing varies by
category, with coverage for laptops,
netbooks and tablets selling for $70,
for example.

The amount that consumers will receive
for their used products is based
on a sliding time scale, so that items
returned within two months will fetch
up to 50 percent of their original purchase
price, while those returned by
the maximum redemption point — two years for tablets and mobile PCs, four
years for TVs — will get back 20 percent
and 10 percent, respectively.

Payment is in the form of a Best Buy
gift card, and the redeemed products
are reprocessed through the chain’s
aftermarket, trade-in and recycling
channels. The program, described by
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn as “future
proofing,” is underwritten by Chartis
U.S. Warranty, formerly AIG.

Elsewhere, Stillwater, Okla.-based
Worth Ave. Group, a full-service CE insurance
provider, is doing a business
in straight replacement cost coverage
for the accidental damage or theft of
TVs, iPhones, iPads, laptop and desktop
computers, digital cameras, PDAs
and other portable devices.

A key selling point is the affordability
of its plans, with annual premiums for
iPhones, for example, starting at $55
plus a $50 deductible. The 40-yearold
company is also licensed in all 50
states, is underwritten by A.M. Best
“A”-rated Hanover Insurance, and has
provided coverage to more than 2,000
schools across the country.

Most recently, the company added
an app to iTunes that streamlines the insurance
application process. Once installed,
the app quickly walks consumers
through all the steps to enter device
details, set up the policy and have policy
information delivered via email.

“This new app is perfect for anyone
who received a new device as a gift
this holiday season, or even if you’ve
had yours since it first hit the market,”
said Worth Ave. Group marketing director
Aaron Cooper.