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Hot Spare, Inc.

Redundant Array of Expensive Consumer Goods
  (+19, -6)(+19, -6)
(+19, -6)
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An insurance company geared not towards refunding the monetary value of things, but towards replacing the things themselves, as fast as possible.

After a stereo, camera, TV, computer, bike, car, wardrobe has been registered with Hot Spare, Inc, Hot Spare guarantees that it can be replaced within N hours, either by purchasing a duplicate directly or by entering into corresponding agreements with the manufacturers.

It makes sense to centralize this service since one consumer good item can function as "back up" for more than one consumer (provided all copies of item X don't all break at the same time, e.g. Y2K.)

jutta, Aug 30 1999


       You could charge people a nominal fee (2% of the total purchase price of the item) and make money on it, betting that most of the people who buy the insurance never need it.
naveline, Jul 15 2000

       Wouldn't most people prefer to take the cash? Most models would be out of production by the time they're destroyed anyway (with a PC this would take about a month), making finding an exact duplicate difficult (unless the company maintains its own inventory, which would be pretty problematic). Any customization (half-finished theses, special paintjobs) would also be gone, and this is the only thing that people are really likely to miss.   

       Maybe it would make sense in business insurance, though, where getting replacements might be more urgent. But then it becomes more of a disaster-response company.
Monkfish, Dec 05 2000

       Monkfish brings up some good points. I would see it as being more of a temporary measure, to quickly replace an item until your regular insurance kicked in.
PotatoStew, Dec 05 2000

       A random point in time chosen by external events is not a good time to go shopping for laptops, stereos, pants or cars. Accidents and robberies cause a lot of stress, and the thing I, at least, want most at that time is for everything to be back as it was before, quickly.   

       Maybe there's some sort of side business here, though, where HotSpare buys back used insured items for a part of the price. (After all, the items the used replacements replace are used, too.)
jutta, Dec 05 2000

       That makes sense. Then people could get a functional replacement in short order, and if it didn't exactly match the item that they lost, they could take their time in shopping for a new one that was more to their liking.
PotatoStew, Dec 05 2000

       semi baked already, here in the UK. Whitegoods (tv, washing machine, cooker etc) can already be rented for modest sums on an ongoing contract basis from high street stores (www.radiorentals.co.uk) and if stolen, are replaced within 24hours with the current matching spec version.
ickledinkle, Jan 10 2001

       Undercooked: a friend of mine has a business that specializes in providing matching or comparable items for the consumer or insurance company to offer in case of loss. He makes his money by identifying the likely losses and purchasing replacements at costs far below retail.
dogd, Jan 25 2001

       Maybe the 'Hot spare' company could offer users a choice - either take the cash value of the stuff OR get the objects delivered. Another Idea would be an insurance company that lends appliances (microwave, VCR, etc....) until you get a chance to buy new stuff.
Stozza the Hampster, May 23 2001

       Why is this called 'Hot Spare'? For some reason I get the impression that if your car is stolen, this company will nick someone else's to replace yours ...
Rodomontade, May 23 2001

       'Hot-' means 'fast'. Like hot-swapping a drive in a laptop, you do it right then and it works, without having to reboot.   

       A hot spare is one that's ready to go immediately, as opposed to having to deal with the insurance company and get them to authorize the replacement through another company that then has to check out whether the authorization is good, then has to go find something of the same make and model as your equipment, then the company that has it has to go through the same authorization steps, then ship it to you, by which time you've died of old age and your children are wondering what the hell this box is...
StarChaser, May 23 2001

       You can say it's out of stock to?
postseti, Jul 08 2002

       Many household goods insurance schemes are 'replacement only' to stop people scamming the insurance company for cash. And the insurance co's tell you who you have to buy from, too.
pfperry, Jul 09 2002


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