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Travel Insurance Claim - Won't Replace Mobile Phone?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by LeanneB, 30 April 2014.

  1. LeanneB

    LeanneB Guest

    My partner broke his phone while we were on holiday, but our travel insurance company won't replace it because we cannot prove it wasn't broken before. Is it legal for them to do this?
     
  2. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Hi Leanne,
    What do the terms of your travel insurance policy say in relation to mobile phones?
     
  3. LeanneB

    LeanneB Guest


    The Policy States:
    11.1 WE WILL PAY

    a] We will pay the repair cost or value of any luggage and Personal effects which are stolen or accidentally damaged or are permanently lost. When calculating the amount payable we will apply depreciation due to age, wear and tear of each item. the amount of such depreciation will be determined by us.

    no depreciation will be applied to goods purchased duty free prior to your departure or goods purchased during your journey. We will not pay more than the original purchase price of any item. We have the option to repair or replace the luggage and Personal effects instead of paying you.

    b] the maximum amount we will pay for any item (i.e. the item limit) is:

    • $3,000 for personal computers, video recorders or cameras • $1,000 for mobile phones (including PDA's and any items with phone capabilities)

    Does this mean they have to replace it?
     
  4. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Unless there’s anything else in the insurance policy that says you must provide evidence that your personal effects weren’t broken before you travelled, I think you have an argument to go back to them saying that they should pay "the repair cost” or “value of the phone (less any depreciation due to age, wear and tear)” in accordance with Clause 11.1 of your insurance policy. Perhaps put it in writing as well as call them.

    Let us know how you go.
     
    LeanneB likes this.
  5. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree with CathL, insurance companies will always try to get around paying for things like this.

    What sort of damage is it? Is it something that is visible to the handset? Is it something that prevents you using the phone? I suppose simply providing phone records to demonstrate that you were using your phone prior to going away on vacation would not necessarily prove that you were able to use the handset, because you could have put your sim into another phone but it may be worth a shot. I don't know, are there ways that telephone service providers can record what sort of handset you are operating the sim card from? What about pictures? I know its unlikely, but do you have any photographs of the phone lying around in the background?

    I would write to them and ask them to stipulate specifically the sort of evidence they require. If they cannot specify what they need, or if is unreasonable for them to expect that you could provide that sort of evidence, I would escalate your claim through the normal appeal procedures of the insurer. All insurers should have in place some avenue to dispute decisions and generally if you make enough of a song and dance about it they may eventually cave.

    Once you have tried to resolve the problem through the insurance companies internal dispute resolution procedures, I would then threaten to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service - which also deals with insurance matters.

    This is the link http://www.fos.org.au/resolving-disputes/before-you-lodge-a-dispute/

    Good luck!
     
  6. LeanneB

    LeanneB Guest

    Thank you all so much for the advice, much appreciated. I will post the outcome (hopefully from my new phone!)
     

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