Tech Data Mobile and consumer electronics insurance provider SquareTrade want to revolutionise the mobile insurance sector with plans to sign up at least two major customers in Europe over the next 12 months.
The pair announced their partnership earlier this week. It attempts to provide customers with end-to-end mobile insurance programmes, streamlining the supply chain. SquareTrade intends to build on its market-leading reputation in the US, and Tech Data Mobile senior vice president Rod Millar told Mobile their new relationship presents a good opportunity for both companies.
He said: ‘Our ambition is to sign up two major customers in europe over the next 12 months. SquareTrade is the strongest company of its type in the marketplace because of its revolutionary approach to handset insurance.
‘We will use our existing relationships with customers to offer this proposition, and as long as we execute it correctly we can achieve our goals.’
According to Kevin Gillan (pictured), MD of SquareTrade Europe, his organisation has the chance to ‘disrupt’ the current phone insurance scene because of its emphasis on high levels of customer service. The company was originally founded in 1999, although operations in the UK started in 2011.
SquareTrade counts Tesco, Amazon, Asda and eBay among its partners within the UK, although Gillan expects its new Tech Data Mobile partnership to leverage an increasingly international client base.
He said: ‘Both companies are passionate about service so there’s a lot of commonality. We have great customer service and claims management ability, while Tech Data Mobile has international presence, and great distribution and logistics capabilities.
‘This partnership gives us credibility in the eyes of the channels and our customers. No one else can bring everything to the table like we’ll do.’
Millar added that getting into the warranty and insurance business was a high priority for the distributor after investing ‘hundreds of millions of pounds over the years’ to keep a competitive advantage. He revealed that Tech Data Mobile had toyed with the idea of developing an insurance service organically, while an acquisition also became a possibility.
Millar said: ‘We have a strategy to build on the business we have with value added services. We want sticky business. SquareTrade is a great partner as anything we do together in europe is incremental to its business and doesn’t compromise its US operations.’
Although the companies have high ambitions, Tech Data Mobile’s VP told Mobile that no potential customers or partners had been approached yet as the venture was still in its infancy. Gillan added that customers will probably range from ‘operators [and] retailers to b2b channels’, while he expects SquareTrades’ service to shine through in the fragmented european insurance market.
Gillan said: ‘We’re different to other insurance companies and we want to disrupt with excellent customer service. We have over 250,000 Facebook Likes. Our service is for all mobile devices including tablets and we have truly transparent terms and conditions.
‘There’s real ambiguity out there for customers as it’s difficult to tell what’s covered and what isn’t. When you buy cover from us you know what you will get for your money: quality of service.’