Custom Virus Protection come to Market

Assurant Solutions, part of Assurant, Inc. and McAfee, Inc. have partnered to create a program that bundles McAfee's leading consumer security software with a service plan that includes free 24/7 tech support and up to $2,500 in damage protection.

The products include McAfee VirusScan Plus, McAfee Internet Security Suite and McAfee Wireless Protection. The packaging will be co-branded with both the retailer's logo as well as McAfee's. Suggested retail pricing will be comparable to software-only products.

Assurant Solutions is a leading vertically integrated provider of extended service contracts. It has distribution relationships with six of the ten largest retailers of consumer electronics and major appliances in North America.

"When their PCs are crippled by a virus, spyware, or any malware, consumers want the problem fixed quickly without being nickeled and dimed for service calls," said Joe Erdeman, senior vice president and leader of the Assurant Solutions Personal Property Protection business. "With this program, we provide McAfee's unmatched security expertise and, at no additional charge, access to our extensive network of service providers."

"With 40 to 50 percent of consumers still un- or under-protected from today's internet threats, McAfee's always-on, always-up-to-date security protection is the first line of defense in protecting their investment in their PC, " said Todd Gebhart, senior vice president of Consumer and Mobile Business at McAfee. "McAfee's security offering combined with Assurant's industry leading service programs provide consumers the opportunity to choose the total protection offering that best fits their needs."

The service plan includes one year of 24/7 technical support and up to $1,500 or $2,500 damage protection, including hardware and operating system replacement, depending on the product purchased. Requests for online technical support do not count against the system's claim limit. The service plan can be renewed when the software subscription is renewed.

Erdeman said bundling a service plan with security software in effect creates a premium virus protection product at no additional cost to the consumer. "It's an extra level of protection for PC owners with no charge for technical support when you need assistance."

The turnkey program that Assurant Solutions has developed for retailers includes a custom packaging, CD and instruction guide with the endorsement "Powered by McAfee." The toll-free tech support number is answered as if the customer is calling the retailer.

Assurant Solutions expects that retailers will sell this program along side other security software products, thus providing consumers more choices when they are shopping for virus and spyware protection. The basic product includes up to $1,500 in damage protection and will feature McAfee's VirusScan Plus program.

Assurant Solutions also will offer a program featuring McAfee's Internet Security Suite, with a service program that includes up to $2,500 in damage protection. Consumers can also purchase a plan that includes McAfee Wireless Protection, which blocks hackers from attacking and connecting to consumers' wireless networks.