Cellphone theft is becoming more common. After reviewing millions of consumer claims, Asurion estimates that over $5 billion worth of cellphones are lost or stolen annually.
From this claims data, Asurion found that iconic devices such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy series are 35 percent more likely to be lost or stolen than other smartphones.
Manufacturers are taking note of the need for improved device protection. Apple’s iOS 7 includes a new function called “Activation Lock,” which has been dubbed the “kill switch” by many media outlets, and its iPhone 5S features a fingerprint scanner.
While this type of protection and theft deterrent may help curb mobile device thefts, when a customer’s device is stolen, he or she is left without a phone, needing to replace the device on their own if they don’t have insurance coverage.
Nearly 50 percent of iPhone claims processed by Asurion are the result of a lost or stolen device, and while it remains to be seen if theft deterrent initiatives such as kill switches, fingerprint scanners and databases will curb crime, many consumers are left unprotected with hundreds of dollars in replacement costs looming overhead.
“We live in an age where many of our personal keepsakes and so much of our private information lives in digital format on our mobile devices,” said Bettie Colombo, spokesperson for Asurion. “Just as we lock the door when leaving the house or put our most valuable possessions in a safe deposit box, so too should we care for our digital property. By taking appropriate precautions, we can ensure our digital memories are always accessible; our private information secure; and our ability to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues maintained.”