• Digital key is most appealing to younger generations, but the majority of all age groups surveyed said they would embrace the new technology
  • Biggest barrier remains fears of losing or damaging smartphones, with Assurant’s survey showing that 90% of those interested in using their phone as a smart key would seriously think about buying mobile phone insurance from their automotive dealer.

London, May 10, 2021 Research released today by Assurant (NYSE: AIZ), a global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, including vehicle protection products and services, has revealed that 75% of those intending to buy a car in the next three years are considering using their smartphone as a digital key. While there is a strong preference across all age groups, it is especially of interest among younger car buyers: 88% of those in the 18-34 bracket would consider using a digital key for their new car, with the same applying to 80% of the 35-54 bracket and 61% for those over 55.

Barriers to adoption remain however, with more than half (53%) of respondents having either damaged, lost, or had their mobile phone stolen, while one in eight respondents don’t know where to get their phone fixed or replaced. The top three concerns for people interested in using their smartphone as a key are the mobile phone being damaged, lost, or stolen, with around 40% of people feeling most concerned for one of these reasons.

Using smartphones as digital car keys highlights the importance of mobile phone insurance, which could herald interesting new prospects for automotive dealers. Some 90% of respondents interested in using their smartphone as a smart key would seriously consider buying mobile phone insurance, with 41% of those aged 18-34 saying they would buy mobile phone insurance through a car dealer.  Of those surveyed, 47% are not currently covered by any form of mobile phone insurance, representing a significant number of potential new customers.

Sean Kent, UK Automotive Director for Assurant, said: “As a provider of mobile phone insurance, as well as automotive protection products, Assurant is well positioned to support the convergence of these connected technologies. Mobile phones have become ever more important to our everyday lives over the past few years, and now three out of four prospective car buyers say they would use their smartphone as a digital car key.

“As future drivers rely on their smartphones to unlock their cars, it will be more important than ever that damaged or lost mobiles are rapidly replaced. This opens up new and interesting opportunities either directly at source with OEMs or for automotive dealers who could offer mobile phone insurance as an add-on for their customers.”

Assurant’s research surveyed more than 1,300 UK consumers.