Three quarters of car buyers would use their smartphone as a digital key, according to new Assurant research

News Release

  • The majority of all age groups surveyed said they would embrace the new technology, with younger generations finding it most appealing
  • Biggest barriers are fear of losing, damaging or someone stealing smartphones

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, has revealed that 75% of those intending to buy a car in the next three years would consider using their smartphone as a digital key. While there is a strong preference across all age groups, it is especially of interest to younger buyers: 88% of those in the 18-34 bracket would consider using a smartphone as 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 about one of these reasons.

Using smartphones as digital car keys is one example of how technologies are converging. As 96% of new vehicles will have built-in connectivity by 2030[1], mobile phones will play a key role in driving the connectivity revolution in the automotive industry. It will therefore be crucial for mobile phones to be protected and rapidly replaced to provide digital key users peace of mind when adopting this technology. This is reflected in Assurant’s research. Some 90% of respondents interested in using their smartphone as a smart key would seriously consider buying mobile phone insurance, and of those surveyed, 47% are not currently covered by any form of mobile phone insurance.

Christian Formby, president, Assurant Europe, said: “Mobile phones are the centrepiece of connected living. With three out of four prospective car buyers willing to use their phone as a digital car key, it is more important than ever that phones have an adequate level of protection so that broken or lost mobiles are rapidly replaced, minimising disruption to the consumer’s connected world.”

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