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Tuesday 25 October 2011
Author: Russell Group

Specialist insurance and reinsurance underwriting group, Kiln has launched the first insurance product to protect mobile phone users against losses arising from ID theft and unauthorised payments, following a significant rise in the use of ‘wave and pay’ technologies.

As risk managers at the recent FERMA conference in Stockholm put CyberCrime as their biggest concern, the increase in smartphone sales combined with the evolution of contactless payment technology has given rise to increasing concern over ID theft as more people store sensitive personal details on their mobile phones.

The launch follows Google’s announcement last month that it has launched a new smartphone application which allows people to pay for products in stores using their mobile phones on the Sprint Nexus S 4G network in the US. The ‘Google Wallet’ will enable consumers to store the details of a multitude of plastic cards and keep track of their spending on their mobile phones.

Kiln said its new insurance product will enable retailers, airtime providers, financial institutions and manufacturers to offer added financial protection to their consumers. In addition to standard mobile phone theft and damage insurances, the policy will cover unauthorised contactless payments and financial losses arising from identity theft as a result of a stolen mobile phone. The insurance product can also be applied to other ‘wave and pay’ technologies, including credit card and debit cards.

Martin Headdey, Underwriter in the Affinity Programmes team at Kiln, which forms part of its Enterprise Risk division, said: “We constantly strive to develop new insurance products which are ‘ahead of the curve’, particularly in the world of high technology. Increasingly, the boundaries between conventional products are blurring, as in this case with mobile telephones and payment cards. We are geared up to meet the insurance challenges presented by these latest innovations. Our new insurance product will also prove a very valuable customer retention aid in this highly competitive and lucrative business.

“At Kiln we also have the advantage of global distribution both through Lloyd’s licensing and uniquely through local offices in many major overseas territories either as Kiln, or our parent company, Tokio Marine. Our products are therefore designed with global applications in mind and we are able to manage these with a local presence, unlike many of our competitors.”