Photo: iStockphoto

The Fortnite experiment Photo: iStockphoto

Polish insurer TU Europa is testing new products in the growing market for the gaming scene: insuring consoles, digital gold and magic swords.

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Published in September 2020 Author: Mariusz Gawrychowski

Video games have become as normal for leisure time as watching TV, meeting up with friends and sport. Gamers are investing more than time in their hobby – they also invest money. They buy new games, take out subscriptions and purchase various digital products that accompany games like Fortnite and Co. For example, they can kit out their avatar with clothing or weapons. This is how they gather together a completely new category of digital assets – that are in turn subject to risks. And where there are new risks, there is room for creating new insurance products.

Polish insurer TU Europa therefore launched Gshield.gg in December of last year, a new insurance product for gamers. The company also invited two partners to join: Protect.me, an insurtech startup which is responsible for sales, and FantasyExpo, an expert in gaming and e-sport marketing. TU Europa is providing the product, after-sales service and claims settlement.

Growing market

“The gaming market is growing quickly,” commented Magdalena Marciniak, Head of Business Development at TU Europa. “In the past four years, spending by enthusiasts in Poland on games and the game-related digital goods has increased by 25 percent. Polish gamers are also spending more and more on gaming equipment. We think that the time has come to offer the entire ecosystem of insurance products to computer gamers.”

Currently, Gshield.gg consists of two products: “Gshield Hardware” protects equipment and accessories, “Gshield Inventory” offers protection for payments made for digital, game- related goods. The insurance product for the hardware didn’t present any problems because TU Europa has extensive experience in insuring computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices. However, it was a challenge to create an insurance product for digital gaming assets from the ground up.

Gold and magic swords

“The simplest solution has already been tested by another insurer in Poland and it consists of insuring the game items directly,” said Piotr Marcinów, manager responsible for creating the Gshield.gg insurance at TU Europa. “The results of an analysis led us to conclude that protection of gold or magic swords is simply impossible from an insurance point of view. This is because there is frequently a lack of objective evidence for the value of these goods and there are potential difficulties associated with the claims settlement process.” That’s why TU Europa adopted an innovative approach that consists of protecting payments related to the purchase of games or game-related goods. This solution also provides clear conditions for customers. If a gamer loses their account in their favourite game, for example due to a hacker attack, and they fail to recover it using the security mechanisms built into the game, the insurer will reimburse all expenses related to the game incurred during the insurance period or up to 24 months prior to the conclusion of the insurance contract.

The Polish insurer is treating insurance for gamers as an experiment to test the market. This is supposed to show whether the Polish gaming community, dominated by the age group from 21 to 30 years old, is ready for new insurance products tailored to their needs. Gshield.gg is not the first trial carried out by TU Europe. For example, the insurer started to test selling smartphone insurance products on a mobile app two years ago.

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