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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mobile Phone Quote - What is that ?

There have been innovations in Insurance field too – in the way policies are Sought,  Underwritten, drafted and sold – in tune with the expectations of the customers as also keeping abreast with modern technologies.  Recently heard of ‘Mobile Photo Quoting” – this is nothing about photos of a cell phone or quotes giving price list of various mobiles – something totally different from what you can conceive from the Name !

Many  Firms like Kodak, Agfa, Konica  were all household names when people used to buy film rolls, load their Yashica and other cameras, click photos, move either manually or automatic, take another photo, take out the film roll – give it for printing, anxiously wait as to how many would qualify and how much of them would have the intended frame captured !  The no. of Companies manufacturing Cameras and others involved in film making have slowly vanished out of the market – not only by the arrival of digital cameras but more so my the Mobile phones; yes Mobile Phones with built-in cameras have pushed them out of market.

People like us will be surprised to learn of ‘Mobile Imaging and Printing Consortium’  a non-profit industry association formed to promote the usage of mobile devices with digital cameras, particularly camera phones, and the printing of photographs taken with them. The association intends to do this by standardization of the software and hardware used to communicate between mobile devices with cameras and printing devices through collaboration and the implementation of guidelines. It sees direct printing, without the usage of a computer, as highly desirable. It was founded in  2004  - Canon, Epson,  Hewlett-Packard.; Brother Industries, Eastman Kodak, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Motorola, NEC, Olympus, Nokia, and more .. are its members. 

‘Mobile Photo Quoting’ is an application which would finally make the quotations for property much easier – most suitable for Insurance and for automobile selling.     San Diego, California -based Mitek Systems Inc.  is a organisation that has introduced this programme.  They have applications for Banking industry and this is a specialized one for Insurance industry.  This application reportedly enables users to take a design of their driver’s license, and their automobile marker series (VIN), and  afterwards fills several pieces of information into a form on a approach to generating an automobile word quote. The VIN indicate prefills a year, make and model, and even underling model, of a car. A indicate of a driver’s permit fills in the  name, address, gender and permit series of a licensee.

In India, also most Insurers profile their customers and try developing a database of their customers so that they know who their customers are, what would be their requirement to try and promote cross selling of insurance products.  Almost every other person today carries a mobile phone;  more than 75% of them perhaps have phones with cameras and perhaps a very high % of the policy holders use smartphones, which is only growing – every day mobiles get sold in vast numbers as could be seen by the mushrooming ‘Cellzones and mobile shops’ in every other Street and the crowds that you invariably see in them.  So in an exponential market, trying to utilize an application which is based on smart phones would do only more good for increasing the premium of the Insurer.   

It is claimed that  Mitek’s mobile insurance solutions allow your mobile applications the ability to leverage the camera on any smartphone or tablet device as a sophisticated document scanner. Consumers can take photos of documents to automate key processes like getting a quote, filing a claim, enrolling in ACH for payment or direct deposit for reimbursement, capturing VIN information, sending documents electronically and much more.   Of course most of what is stated, applied more to US market which already has capability of recorded information of automobiles but this application sure can be tweaked to suit other markets as well and would most likely work elsewhere also !

If it is easy and convenient to handle, sure it would provide a growing market for the Insurers and improve their operational efficiency as lots of tedious data entry could be avoided.  The cost of converting this imaged data to the other form could be cost-prohibitive though, but still it would have the benefit of accurate data.   For the proposer it offers the simplicity of just taking a photo and allow the application to do the rest.    The Company Mitek claims having  patented and sophisticated technology  which would guarantee a superior mobile user experience every time. 

So instead of the hassles of entering an Insurance Company or getting in contact with an agent, one can simply shoot a photo of their DL or Insurance card using their smartphone, and expect everything else to be taken care of by the application running on the same smartphone.  Mitek’s extractive imaging technology would then put the extracted data from the document and puts it into the appropriate fields in the mobile quoting form.  No data entry is required by the user. The user then hits send and is returned an insurance quote   !  Sounds so simple and friendly, not sure whether it works the same way!!

Apart from mobile quoting, Mitek has application known as Mobile Photo Payment enables enrollment in electronic remuneration by checking accounts or approach deposition of cheque by taking a printout of the cheque and mobile imaging it.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
24th Feb 2012


  1. you mean that people will insured their mobile?

  2. “Why I need mobile phone insurance?” “I’m always careful” “I won’t leave it behind anywhere”; these are the words which comes in your mind while talking about mobile phone insurance. Well according to a survey, about 15K mobile phones are reported lost, stolen or damaged each and every month in UK. And the cost can put quite a knock in your budget.

  3. I do agree with you that mobile phone insurance is also an important element but what to do if your insurer is a fraud?


    The solution is online consumer forum, you should go for it. Its simple, you have to register your complaint in a proper manner using complaint form and then they will helps you to resolve your issues. The best and the cheapest way to get resolve your complaints.