stuck hikers use iPhone to blog their way to safety

Press Release : March 30, 2010
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Motor insurer swiftcover.com has helped reunite two friends who became separated whilst hiking in snow bound mountains in Sweden. The pair used Swiftcovers new iPhone app, Stuck, to locate each other and navigate their way to a meeting point. www.swiftcover.com/stuck-iphone-app/

Stuck uses geo-location technology to allow people to post a Twitter-style message about the locations or situations in which they are Stuck, which is then uploaded to a map of the world with a time stamp. Other iPhone users can then click on the Stuck and, using Google maps, zoom in to locate the person who posted the Stuck.

Nico Vittorio and Paul Alonso were hiking in the Sarek National Park region of Sweden when they became separated. Although they were in contact and knew they were close-by, because of the heavy snow there were no landmarks, making it impossible to identify a meeting point. So the pair used Stucks Near-Me function which flags up other users nearby to locate each other, tracking their progress until their paths met.

Swiftcovers Stuck app can be used for less adventurous situations, allowing people to upload a Stuck if they are trapped in a traffic jam, caught in the rain, stuck in a meeting, or even have a song stuck in their head. The app has a range of pre-set emotions that are quick to choose and upload, providing the perfect Stuck for every situation. Users can even communicate their Stucks to friends and followers by sending them by e-mail or posting them on Twitter directly from the iPhone.

The app was developed by swiftcover.coms innovation lab and has already been downloaded by 10,000 iphone users in 50 countries since it was launched in January. Swiftcovers head of innovation, Ambarish Mitra, explains: swiftcover.com is an innovator we threw out the rule book and started from scratch when we created the UKs first fully online insurer so we wanted our first mobile phone app to embrace that same spirit of innovation and something that would be of use to everyone, not just swiftcover.com insurance customers.

Stuck is quirky and fun and takes social networking to another level with a truly global dimension for the first time you can locate anyone around the world just from the comments they make. But it also has a serious application, as Nico and Pauls experience shows. People can post Stucks to show when they are delayed in a traffic jam or on a late-running train, for example, which then builds up a map of problem areas that other Stuck users can avoid.

Future developments for the app include one-to-one communication, linking individual Stucks to events, so people posting would be alerted to activities such as concerts or sales taking place nearby, as well as providing users with information on local amenities, like hotels or garages, perfect for motorists who find themselves Stuck on the road.

Stuck is another example of swiftcover.coms desire to use innovation to make life more hassle-free. In addition to online insurance, swiftcover.com also developed the UKs first insurance mobi site, designed for mobile phone users, the first mobile phone insurance quote system, as well as the My Swift Space feature which gives policy holders complete control over their insurance, enabling them to update or change their policy using the internet, whether via computer or a suitable phone.

For more information on Stuck and to download the app, visit www.swiftcover.com/stuck-iphone-app/

ENDS

Notes to Editors
For press enquiries please contact:
Paul Beadle or Joshua Van Raalte
Brazil (PR agency for swiftcover.com)
01865 556 000 or 08701 105001
swiftcover@agencybrazil.com

About swiftcover:
Based in Cobham, Surrey and employing over 800 people, www.swiftcover.com started trading in June 2005 and was born out of a desire to revolutionise the general insurance market.
swiftcover.com offers car, travel and pet insurance online, and is Britain’s only insurance company without call centres, which means that the cost savings can be passed directly onto the customer and premiums are kept low. In 2008 swiftcover.com featured as the cheapest insurance quote on the comparison website moneysupermarket.com more often than any other insurer.

This powerful operating model combined with successful marketing and competitive pricing has proven to be a tremendous success. In 2008 swiftcover.com achieved over half a million live policies and in May 2009 sold their one millionth policy. They are considered to be the fastest growing insurer in the UK.

In 2007, AXA UK acquired swiftcover.com. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of AXA Insurance UK PLC which forms part of AXA Group.

About AXA:
AXA UK is a part of the AXA Group. AXA is a world leader in financial protection. AXAs operations are diverse with major operations in Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. AXA employs 120,000 staff and tied agents and, as of June 30 2006, had 1,091 billion in assets under management. AXA reported total IFRS revenues of 72 billion and IFRS underlying earnings of 3,258 million for the full year 2005. Our previous company performance is not a guide to how we may perform in the future.

Notes to editors

For more information please contact:
Tel: email: Visit the newsroom of: Paul Beadle