BCAA Insurance offers new coverage to keep customers connected

First home insurer in Canada to offer Mobile Device Insurance

BURNABY, BC, March 4 /CNW/ - Many of us depend on cell phones and other mobile devices to stay connected, and would be lost without them. BCAA Insurance has heard the call and responded by adding special coverage for mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones, iPods and MP3 players to its home insurance mix, offering extra peace of mind for its customers.

BCAA is the first insurance company in Canada to offer Mobile Device Insurance as an option on any new or existing home, condo, or tenant policy. Coverage starts at $3 per month for $300 in coverage, or $6 per month for $750 in coverage. All claims are free of deductibles and do not affect annual premiums.

If your device is accidentally lost, damaged or stolen, BCAA will pay out the cost of replacing it, up to your coverage limit, regardless of your service provider. Plus, Mobile Device Insurance will also pay for any unrecoverable downloads, like songs, games and ring tones you may have purchased and lost along with your phone.

"Today's mobile devices are not cheap - especially top end products such as the iPhone and phones with multi-year commitment contracts," says BCAA's Home Insurance Product Manager, Brooke Moss.

"We take our mobile communications and entertainment devices everywhere with us so they are naturally at risk of getting damaged or lost. What's more, they're becoming lighter and smaller, and can be easily misplaced."

Most new mobile devices come with a manufacturers warranty, which covers equipment failure or malfunction due to defects. It does not, however, cover accidental damage such as dropping the device or spilling coffee on it.

Of course, accidental loss or damage are not the only reasons for considering mobile device coverage - they're at risk of being stolen, too.

"Cell phones are so multi-functional now," adds Moss. "For example, you can browse the web, listen to music, check your emails, take photos and lots more. That makes them an ideal target for thieves."

How the coverage works:

Mobile Device Insurance can be added to any current or new BCAA home insurance policy. You can purchase $300 worth of coverage for just $3 per month, or $750 worth of coverage for just $6 per month.

When you purchase coverage, BCAA provides you with an identification label to place on the back of your device, which directs you to register it with the recovery provider listed. If your device goes missing, the finder can call the number on the label and a service representative from the recovery provider will coordinate the return of the device.

If your device is damaged, stolen or goes missing, customers can contact BCAA Insurance to make a claim.

Tips if you've lost your cell phone:

    
    -   Report your loss quickly. It's imperative that you report your
        phone's disappearance to your network provider as soon as possible to
        prevent potential airtime and download abuse. If it appears to be
        stolen, report it to the police.

    -   Set a credit limit. Some providers will allow you to set a maximum
        credit limit for calls each month.

    -   Bar international calls. If you don't use your cell to call overseas
        ask your network provider to bar international calls. This will
        prevent someone from racking up expensive overseas calls before the
        phone is reported lost or stolen.
    

Tips on avoiding data loss:

    
    -   Connect to a computer. Most modern phones will be supplied with a
        cable and some software to connect them to your computer. This
        software is designed to sync calendars and address books, including
        phone numbers.

        If you don't have a data cable, but you have access to bluetooth or
        infra-red (on both your phone and computer) you should be able to
        port your numbers over those too, though it'll probably take a little
        longer.

    -   Back-up utility programs. Some network and web providers may store
        your data for free. These companies offer a back-up utility allowing
        you to transfer your numbers onto any new cell phones, easing the
        transition between handsets.

    -   The old-school pen and paper route: For all the fancy new
        technologies that promise time savings, there's still a whole lot to
        be said for keeping important contact information written in an
        address book.
    

BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C., with over 100 years experience and gross annual sales of nearly $400 million from its membership, insurance and travel businesses. A BCAA Membership can be found in the wallets of over 780,000 British Columbians and in one-in-four B.C. households. For the past two years, BCAA has received the highest score in Canada for home insurance customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power and Associates study. And, for the past four years, BCAA has been named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association

For further information: For further information: or to request an interview, please contact: Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media Relations, Tel: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859


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