Wednesday 9 April 2008

My Insurance Company and I

While my trip to Hong Kong last year was enjoyable, about 4 days in I lost my camera (A FinePix S5600). Fortunately I was insured and filed a claim with my insurer. After a degree of waiting, due to the inevitable "the person handling your claim has left the company" problem, they got in touch to organise a replacement. Now the original value of the camera was $370 with a memory card costing an extra $80. But silly me didn't have an excess waiver in the policy, so to get a replacement I would still have to stump up $250. At first I was happy to do this, as I was assured by my insurer that the quote for the replacement camera (a S5700 btw) was "well in excess of $250". However I thought it would be prudent to check some prices and amazingly the very first camera store I walked into had an S5800 (the next model up) for only $299.
So I had to make a choice. Pay $250 for an inferior model, or have the insurance company cut me a check for $120 (the difference between the excess and the replacement value), and buy my own (better) replacement for $299. The first choice costs me $250, the second, only $180. So I opted for plan B.
However, lest you jump to the wrong conclusion, this wasn't a problem with the insurance company, it was with who the insurance company buys their items from. As I said to the claims officer "Someone is getting gouged here, but it shouldn't be you, and it certainly won't be me"

So for now I'm reduced to taking poor quality photos with my mobile phone. Hopefully this will change when I get my replacement camera, but if you want to see my phone pics from this years Doeberl Cup, just click on the "My Chess Photos" link and look at the 2008 O2C Doeberl Cup Gallery.


TrueFiendish said...

You say you were silly not to have an excess "waiver". Wouldn't this have pushed your premium up unreasonably?


Shaun Press said...

Not unreasonably (maybe an extra $30). The main reason I take out travel insurance is to cover medical expenses (if they occur). I assume that I'm more likely to have an unforeseen medical emergency, than to lose something like a camera. Guess I was wrong.

TrueFiendish said...

Personally I'm an unreasonable risk taker who only insures when he absolutely has to. That will work well till disaster occurs, then I'll kick myself.