I've just been looking at some photos on flikr and have had a good laugh. If you have my sense of humour (how will you know? Click and see) you might like to visit the site.
For some reason the pics really tickled me. After the lost glasses/ insurance company issue yesterday, I really needed a good laugh.
Maybe I'm naive. But I thought 'replacement' insurance meant that, for the extra cost of premium, the value of what you lost would be given to you. Cash. Current value - ie what it would cost you to replace what you lost, when you lost it. I have replacement insurance on my house, so if it burnt down, I would be able to afford to build a new one. The same. If I wanted to. If, instead of a rambling old timber home, I chose instead to build a small brick cottage and use the rest to replace my books (inadequately insured), then surely I could do it?
OK. I knew there was an excess, $150, on my reading glasses. ( That's another issue, really. How is it 'replacement' if you still have to fork out $150? But anyway, put that one aside for the moment. ) I found out from my optometrist that my original glasses would cost $780 to replace. (No change from what I paid for them, as it turns out). So, taking off the $150 excess I would miss out on, I figured that, being a bit short at the moment (having just had my insurance premium to pay), I would get a slightly cheaper pair, and come out with less of a bill.
I found a nice pair for $670 and decided to speed things up by ordering them there and then. I'm sick of wearing my wonky and shonky Warehouse ones.
Anyway, the upshot is that Farmers Mutual Insurance Group have a different definition of 'replacement'. They will only pay me the value of my new glasses. In other words, my replacement. Less the $150 excess of course! I said "But I didn't lose my new glasses, I lost the $780 ones!" Intractable mouthpiece on the other end of the phone would not even listen to my challenge to what, to my mind, is a totally amoral and sneaky practice. I was really frustrated and angry.
Since then I've cooled down and become more rational. My decision? I have no choice. I will pay the $150, end up with cheaper glasses than the ones I lost, but then I will take my business elsewhere. With the refund of my premium, and the cheaper insurance with, say, AMI (I checked), I should actually make on it. And I'm going to tell everyone.
I should also mention two other things:
1. I have been with FMIG for about 25 years, in which time I have made one other claim that cost them about $500. My premiums have averaged $1200 per year.
2. Had I not ordered new glasses, I could have made a claim for the loss of the original ones (Note double standard). But I would have been only given replacement value less depreciation. Because they weren't new. And of course, also less the $150 excess.
I think I'll go and have another look at the funny stormtrooper models photos again.