The rise of wearable tech and the underinsured

22 November 2017

Interesting statistics on the growth of a new market

Woman in running gear wearing a smartwatch

Recent history has never seen a time when we are leaving our homes with such valuable possessions. You wouldn’t discount a gold pocket watch or a diamond necklace, so why do we forget the importance of accurately insuring equally valuable modern tech items?

The growth of a new market

Burgeoning British sporting success is likely to inspire plenty of people to get out running or on their bikes, and that can only further increase the demand for new kit and wearable technology – and the underinsurance risks that come with it.

Worldwide, Gartner expects there to be 275m wearable device sales in 2016, while Mintel is anticipating significant growth to the 3m wrist-worn devices sold to Britons in 2015, in addition to the expanding trend for luxury ‘athleisure’ wear in the UK.

As many people buy their sports equipment in a piecemeal fashion, they may not realise how much value they are accumulating, something that could be particularly true for many of your high net worth clients.

Breaking down the cost

For runners, equipping themselves for action can cost around £700, including clothing and trainers and a fitness band around their wrist. Add a smartphone and headphones for music and you’re somewhere north of £1,000.

For cyclists – especially the serious HNW bike enthusiast – the costs can be significantly more. It’s not difficult to spend £3,000-£4,000 on a well-specified lightweight road bike; the same again for an off-roader. Invest in a decent locker of sports kit – helmet, shoes, summer and winter clothing, lights – and the value racks up even more.

On the tech side there has been a huge increase in wearable and bike-mounted tech. Your HNW clients would probably gravitate to brands such as GoPro helmet-mounted cameras, Garmin cycle-mounted GPS, and a Stages Power Meter with Bluetooth to measure crank power.

Cycling families tend to buy at the upper end of the range for the kids too, so there could be £20,000-£30,000 worth of bikes and related kit either parked in the garage or out on the roads at any one time.

How we can help

This potential underinsurance situation is a great opportunity to talk to your clients about their evolving insurance needs, rather than waiting for renewal.

Whether you’re making a stay-in-touch call or even if you see clients during leisure time – perhaps at a park run, mass bike ride or local family event – it gives you a very good reason to bring up the subject of the cost of their gear and equipment.

It also gives you the chance to offer practical tips to prevent loss, such as bike locks and secure garages, or signing up to schemes such as Bike Register. You could also discuss minimising the impact of loss by mentioning the benefits of SmartWater, and ensuring photos and data from devices are uploaded to the cloud.

Keeping track of kit can prove useful if your clients need to make a claim, as can keeping a library of photos of equipment to simplify the claims process. Remind them to include items kept at school too, as these can still be part of their home cover.

The boom in wearables and performance fitness gear – as well as the ever growing cycling revolution – isn’t likely to slow down, but by helping clients keep track of the cost of their equipment, you can help prevent the costly consequences of underinsurance.

Discover the real value of working with us, by discussing a case today.