London, November 8, 2021 – Assurant (NYSE: AIZ) has announced the findings from its latest Connected Decade survey. Assurant’s annual study examines consumer attitudes around the convergence of connected devices and their impact on consumers, business and industry. The pandemic has changed the way we interact with technology and how we use it in our everyday lives. Assurant has found as people commit to connected devices they have a much more positive outlook on smart technology as a whole. This means the changes people have made out of necessity in the pandemic will lead to people voluntarily embracing a more connected living life.

According to the consumers surveyed at the beginning of the year, 56% of Brits feel that life has been made better by internet connected technologies and 80% expect life to become more connected than it is today. However, 84% of respondents range from concerned to terrified (13%) about identify theft by criminal hackers, for example.

Despite a reluctance to move to 5G, and a low number of respondents thinking 5G will have a big impact on their lives, internet and speed issues are the main areas of concern experienced by owners of connected devices. Perhaps this is a symptom of the rapid uptake of connected devices and as 5G becomes more available and more devices come to market with 5G capabilities this should ease these concerns and improve users’ experiences, adding to the interest in Connected Living.

This is not without challenges. Assurant’s study shows:

  • More respondents think 5G will have a bigger benefit to society overall, 39%, rather than on their personal lives, 24%.
  • Consumers aren’t jumping to upgrade to new 5G smartphones purchases. UK consumers predominately said they won’t be upgrading their phone solely for 5G capabilities.
  • Millennials and Generation Z are most interested in an upgrade programme that helps switch to the latest smartphone. Millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to want a newer version of their smartphone as soon as they become available, with 68% and 67% respectively saying they would join an upgrade programme if it helps them switch to the newest model sooner, compared to Generation X, 47%, Baby Boomers, 23%, and the Silent Generation, 8%.

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • Data Security is the top priority for consumers from their mobile networks. Data security, protection and tech support were listed as the top three services consumers want from their mobile networks. Nearly three quarters answered that data security is the most important service, with 73% of UK users citing this as a priority.
  • Overwhelmingly, 79% of respondents say condition and price are the most important factors when deciding to buy a second-hand phone. The credibility of the vendor was only a notable factor for Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation, 5%, 6% and 14% respectively.
  • For all of the benefits and interest around connectivity amid the global pandemic, many consumers also expressed frustrations with their connected devices. 75% of UK consumers said they had tech challenges in the last 12 months from their smartphone, totalling a 47% increase from 2019. The most common frustrations consumers faced were internet connectivity and software bugs, glitches, or crashes.

“This year’s results clearly demonstrate the pivotal role connected technology is playing in consumers’ lives, as is the ability to get support and keep their products connected and protected,” said Christian Formby, President, Assurant Europe. “It is important that connected service and product providers work to match consumers’ evolving needs, especially as consumers place more value on connectivity.

“The pandemic has highlighted the full value of device support and protection,” Formby continued. “As consumers grow more dependent on connected living, they increasingly are placing a premium on these benefits.”Assurant’s research surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in the UK.  

About Assurant

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. Anticipating the evolving needs of consumers, Assurant partners with the world’s leading brands to develop innovative products and services and to deliver an enhanced customer experience. A Fortune 500 company with a presence in 21 countries, Assurant offers mobile device solutions; extended service contracts; vehicle protection services; renters insurance; lender-placed insurance products; and other specialty products. The Assurant Foundation strengthens communities by supporting charitable partners that help protect where people live and can thrive, connect with local resources, inspire inclusion and prepare leaders of the future.

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