Control & Automation

Insurtech Innovations: Amtrust Offers Warranties, Tech Support for Fing-Discovered Devices

AmTrust's innovative TapSafe IoT initiative has Fing scan networks for connected devices, and then offers smart-home warranties and tech-support on-the-fly based on risk-assessment profiles.

Insurtech Innovations: Amtrust Offers Warranties, Tech Support for Fing-Discovered Devices
TapSafe uses Fing technology for network scanning, then provides on-the-fly protection for connected devices, including remote tech support using Support.com's SeeSupport remote-viewing platform.

Julie Jacobson · June 18, 2018

The property and casualty firm AmTrust Financial Services is rolling out an innovative and ambitious IoT-based insurance program using the popular Fing network scanner to discover connected devices in the home. Once products are discovered, AmTrust offers instant quotes for warranties and technical support on each connected device.

The new service, called TapSafe, was developed by AmTrust Innovation, the innovation arm of AmTrust Financial. Calling it "the world’s most progressive warranty product," the group demonstrated the most polished version of the platform yet, at Parks Associates’ Connections Conference 2018 last month.

TapSafe participants simply load the app on their mobile devices, and whenever a new product is connected to the network, Fing and AmTrust get busy on the back end gleaning device data and crunching the numbers to get to a price. The warranty price is presented in real time, and users can opt in from the app.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of US households have over $2,500 in connected devices, according to the AmTrust Connected Households 2018 survey, and 50% have had a device damaged or malfunction in the past year.

Amtrust demonstrated TapSafe at Connections 2018, joining several insurance companies who were looking to exploit IoT and the smart home for the purposes of 1) risk assessment, 2) loss mitigation, 3) customer engagement and 4) new sources of revenue.

Amtrust doesn’t believe a simpler warranty service is compelling enough for consumers to use TapSafe, which is why the organization provides tech support in addition to warranties.

NEXT: Insurance and the Connected Home

“We don’t believe the future is in warranties, but in service and support,” says Conor O’Sullivan, senior vice president, AmTrust Innovation Labs.

There are several tiers of tech support available through Amtrust’s third-party provider, including self-help options, online chat and phone support. The tech-support provider uses Support.com’s SeeSupport Remote Visual Support (video below), which allows an agent to view the customer’s premises through the camera on the user’s own mobile phone or tablet.

TapSafe melds platforms for device discovery (Fing), risk assessment and insurance coverage (AmTrust), tech support (Support.com SeeSupport) and warranty service (Warrantech) in a single user-friendly app.

The agent can then see the affected product(s) in context – what is connected to them, which lights are blinking, and whether there might be obstacles affecting performance.

The agents can take command of the screen, making annotations to indicate which buttons to press, which connector to unplug, etc., and even light up the space by activating the phone’s flashlight.

If phone support doesn’t do the trick, customers can use the app to schedule repairs and arrange replacements, and even schedule in-home consultations and installations. AmTrust will cover a portion of the cost of installation for the replacement device.

Fing + Amtrust: AI + Predictive Analytics

Fing is a leading network-scanning application, with over 25 million downloads and 9 billion connected devices discovered. The service grows smarter as more devices are connected, network properties are learned, and device characteristics are entered into the app by users.

Amtrust, meanwhile, is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in North America, with 20 years of data on its servers.

With TapSafe, Amtrust takes the devices discovered through Fing – often down to the model number – and melds the information with its own database, delivering a risk-assessment profile for each device in real-time, allowing customer to purchase warranties, or extended warranties, on the fly.

Administered by Warrantech in most U.S. locales, TapSafe is available as a white-label service to third-party providers.

Covered devices include  smart TVs, thermostats, home automation hubs, smoke detectors, wearables, smart speakers, smartphones, laptops & tablets and most smart home devices.

Coverage is provided for extending the manufacturer’s warranty with mechanical and electrical breakdown, additional cover for power surge, a no-lemon guarantee and coverage for accidental damage. Furthermore, screen-only cover for Apple and Samsung smartphone is offered as an option.

AmTrust Innovations' TapSafe team at Parks Associates Connections 2018: Scott Stecklein, VP Sales & Solutions; Conor O'Sullivan, SVP Product; Karl Thompson, AVP Design; Derek Jones VP Design 


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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at jjacobson@ehpub.com

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Automation · Whole House Control · Business · Business Operations · Service & Recurring Revenue · News · Connections · Fing · Insurance · IoT · RMR · Warrantech · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 19, 2018

This might be one of my all-time favorite quotes:

“We don’t believe the future is in warranties, but in service and support,” says Conor O’Sullivan, senior vice president, AmTrust Innovation Labs.

Integrators should take note of this.  Entire warranty/insurance companies are saying that their own business models are being disrupted and they are pivoting towards providing support.  The best integrators in the industry will recognize this same thing and gain the confidence to lead their relationships with service.

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on June 19, 2018

This might be one of my all-time favorite quotes:

“We don’t believe the future is in warranties, but in service and support,” says Conor O’Sullivan, senior vice president, AmTrust Innovation Labs.

Integrators should take note of this.  Entire warranty/insurance companies are saying that their own business models are being disrupted and they are pivoting towards providing support.  The best integrators in the industry will recognize this same thing and gain the confidence to lead their relationships with service.

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