N26’s expansion into the insurance space will see the fintech begin by offering smartphone insurance to customers through its mobile and desktop apps.
It’s next to near impossible to get around nowadays without relying wholly or at least partly on our smartphones. We rely on them for everything from communication to travel to banking.
So important are these pocket-sized, internet-connected devices in our lives that we pay out thousands for them each year, but when it comes to insuring them we’re not as quick to do so for whatever reason.
One business seeking to change this perhaps is digital bank N26, which is now expanding into the world of insurance, starting off with smartphone insurance, which is now available for customers to purchase via its mobile and desktop apps.
But before we get into the specifics...
Remind me, who is N26?
N26 is a German Bank, founded in 2013 by friends Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal, and it operates in over 20 countries across Europe. N26 has been operating in Ireland since 2015.
Now one of the most well known digital banks, N26 customers can sign up for an account online and manage all their day-to-day banking using the N26 mobile app or via its desktop app. However as a true online-only bank it doesn’t have any branches.
There are over six million N26 customers worldwide, with almost 200,000 of these in Ireland.
N26 is licensed by the German Central Bank and operates in Ireland and other EU countries on a European Passport.
The digital bank has expanded its offering by branching out into the world of insurance. The news means N26 banking customers will have the option to purchase insurance cover for a range of products straight from within the N26 app.
It has joined forces with German company Simplesurance which will see customers in Europe be able to easily purchase cover, manage their plans and start an insurance claim quickly and easily from within the N26 app.
In the coming months N26 will start selling private liability insurance, home insurance, life insurance, pet insurance and cover for bikes, electronics and other large purchases. But for now it’s starting simple with smartphone insurance.
Valentin Stalf, co-CEO at N26:
When it comes to insurance, customers today still have to contend with complex and outdated processes and paperwork. The space has long been ripe for disruption and we are now offering a one-stop digital solution for our customers' insurance needs.
What is smartphone cover?
If you're in the unfortunate position of having your phone stolen or damaged, smartphone insurance helps to protect you from having to pay to replace or repair your device.
And with many of the latest Samsung and Apple devices costing well north of €1,000 it can prove invaluable for some.
Damage cover usually protects against issues like cracked screens, water damage, and operational errors. Theft coverage often includes financial compensation or replacement of the missing device.
How it works with N26
If you take out smartphone cover with N26 your mobile will be protected against theft, burglary, and robbery.
You'll also be covered for issues like cracked screens and functional problems due to accidental damage and even damage caused by dropping your device.
There are however certain restrictions on cover that consumers should be aware of. For example, devices older than six months aren't eligible for cover nor are those bought outside Europe. If you simply lose or misplace your phone it won't be covered either. And you can't make more than two claims in any one year.
And while liquid damage is included, it's not included if caused by a weather-related event like rain or snow - go figure!
So it goes without saying that it's important to read up on all the Ts & Cs before taking out cover!
If you’re an N26 customer and think it might be worthwhile taking out insurance, you can do so by selecting a plan from within the app. It’s possible to purchase annual cover or monthly plans.
Now, on to one of the most important questions...
How much does it cost?
Right now N26 customers can purchase smartphone cover from as little as €6 per month. Customers can also manage their plan and initiate claims in the event of their smartphone being damaged or stolen from within the app.
However, if you're looking to insure a top of the range smartphone, an iPhone 12 for example, you'll likely be paying around €12 a month or maybe more for cover. So it's not exactly cheap. If you know you'll be insuring your phone for at least a year though you can avail of a discounted annual rate which is useful.
What’s more, plans have a flexible cancellation policy too so you won’t have to worry about being charged on months where you might not need the cover.
It's worthwhile noting that customers who have signed up to its monthly subscription service, N26 Metal, have smartphone insurance included in the price of their plan. Metal customers have up to €1,000 cover in the event of theft or damage to their mobile phone.
Prices for smartphone cover are based on the original price of your smartphone so if you’re curious about how much you might pay simply log in and get a quote.
Further expansion plans
The launch of smartphone insurance from N26 is the first of a series of planned product launches rolling out not only to Irish customers but to those countries N26 serves in Europe also.
Some of the planned insurance product launches will include laptop, tablet, and even smartwatch insurance, as well as the aforementioned home, life, private liability, bike, electronics as well as pet insurance products.
The existing app infrastructure from N26 makes it easy for new and existing customers to easily select, manage, and pay for insurance products in a seamless and streamlined way.
It will be interesting to observe how Irish consumers will respond to the new insurance products on offer from N26, as well as seeing the response from its rivals in the market in the coming weeks and months.
Let’s hear from you!
What do you think of the latest news from N26? Are you considering availing of its smartphone insurance product?