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Insurance conversation with customer

Here's an example of an actual customer conversation with Westpac insurance about claiming for handmade jewellery:


Customer: Hi there - we have premier contents insurance with you and were wondering, in the event of a claim for any jewellery losses, would we be made to use a westpac preferred jewellery supplier or would we be able to use one of our choice?  

Westpac Insurance: It would depend, specific to each claim. What normally happens is we would get you to send in a valuation/receipt/quote for the item and then if we were happy with the amount, we would pay that out, however if we could get it done cheaper through our jeweler, we would only pay the amount we could have it repaired for." 

Customer: What about if I lost antique jewellery that is handmade and can't be replaced by modern jewellery sold by ordinary jewellery retailers?

Westpac Insurance: In the case of the antique jewellery we would need to see a valuation for the item to be able to determine the replacement cost/payout.

Westpac Insurance: If you have expensive items of jewellery you would need to have them specified on your policy to ensure they are covered for the full amount.

Westpac Insurance: Our general contents have limits as to how much you can claim with jewellery.

Customer: Understood. But would the cost of replacement still determine whether I could choose to go to a manufacturing jeweller (who would handmake it) or a retail jeweller (who supplies mass produced jewellery) if I want to replace it like for like?

Westpac Insurance: As I noted before, if it was an expensive item, we would determine a repair cost through our jeweller, but if you decide to go with a different jeweller that is fine, however we would only pay out the amount we were quote through our jeweller.  

Westpac Insurance: You can choose who you will get it repaired by, but we will only pay out the amount we could have it repaired for.

Customer: Sure - but I'm not talking about repairs. I'm talking about replacing a lost item.

Westpac Insurance: For the replacement of a lost jewellery item, we would need to see a valuation for the item and we would pay out that amount, then you could have it replaced through a jeweller of your choice.

Westpac Insurance: So if you had a $5K ring and you lost it, we would need to see a receipt or valuation showing that value and we would give you the money if we could not replace the same item.

So the moral of that story is if your jewellery is handmade or antique and can't be replaced like for like by a mass produced item from a preferred jewellery store, you should be able to argue your case - as long as you have a valuation for it and as long as the amount you're claiming falls within the limits of your policy.