Monday, January 07, 2013

Making a Claim from Photoguard/JLT

Tonight's Dispatches programme on car insurance reminded me that I'd always been meaning to blog about making a claim for a stolen camera, lens and accessories with Photoguard. Rather than blog the entire incident I thought I'd just reproduce my letter of complaint. For those of you who like to say tl;dr, the short story is that I do recommend them, but if you make a claim stick to your guns.
> We hope that you have been happy with our products and service in the past, but if not we would like to hear from you.

My main concern was that despite encouraging people to register online by giving a discount and offering worldwide cover and asking for evidence that I was travelling and having that evidence you still found it very difficult to communicate with me via email.

First of all I did not receive any acknowledgement that you had received my claim. I know that email is pretty reliable these days but still I think some confirmation is important, especially when you threaten to cancel any claim not made within 30 days.

After two rounds of questions and answers via email I was contacted, again via email, to confirm that my claim had been accepted. About a week later I received an email from my mother to say that she had opened a letter from you, addressed to me at my address in the UK, informing me that I was underinsured. I think this was the most serious issue. If there had not been anyone at my home address I would have had no way of knowing about this letter, I was not at home, I was in Peru, I had sent you evidence of my being in Peru, a letter to an address in the UK was useless to me, and again, there is always that threat of no-response within 30 days giving you the right to cancel the claim. After this I sent you an email (attached) raising these concerns, I never received a response to this email.

Then there is the fact that I was not underinsured. In fact buying from the suppliers which I listed in the email would have saved you up to £200. Not only was I not underinsured but the letter claiming that I was underinsured gave no real details. It did not state which items I was underinsured on and what the options listed really entailed. If I was to pay some excess how much would it have been? If I was to accept equipment up to the value what was the equipment to have been?

From then on I asked my mother to deal with you over the phone. Again, I am lucky that I had someone in the UK who was willing, able and trustworthy enough to do this for me. We did not record details of the phone calls that she had with you, but I believe that over the course of three telephone calls your position changed from us having to pay the equivalent of the discount you get from your suppliers (is this even legal?) to being able to buy equivalent equipment up to the full value insured.

Having said all that, I am of course very happy with the end result and I have recommended you to several other travellers looking for insurance, with the above caveats. I believe that it was under a month between my camera being stolen and my mother being given the OK to buy a new one and then the cheque didn't arrive too long after that, which was great.

I hope that helps you improve your performance with future claimants.

Yours, Jamie Kitson