Consumer asks us to investigate if compensation amount for insurance claim was fair

Insurance Distress and inconvenience Up to £750

When Anita's phone was damaged, she claimed for the repair through her insurer. But the only existing photos of her honeymoon had been erased during the repair. She got in touch to see if the offer her insurer made was right, considering how upsetting losing the photos was.

What happened

Anita made a claim on her mobile phone insurance policy as she’d cracked her screen.

The insurer requested that she send the phone to it so that it could carry out the necessary repair work. She sent off the phone but called the insurer in distress a couple of days later. She explained that she’d realised the phone contained photos from her honeymoon which weren’t saved anywhere else. The honeymoon had been a once in a lifetime trip for her and her husband and the photos on her phone were the only ones that existed. So, she wanted the insurer to return the phone so she could save copies of them.

The insurer reassured Anita that it would arrange for the repair work on her phone to be paused and that the phone would be returned to her in a day or two as per her request. However, a week later, the phone was returned to Anita fully repaired. All of her data, including some of their wedding photos and all of their honeymoon photos, had been erased. When Anita complained to the insurer it said there had been a delay in contacting its repair team after she’d phoned. It accepted that it ought to have instructed her to back up her personal data before sending the phone for a repair. It also admitted that when Anita had called the data hadn’t been erased yet, so had it followed up with its repair team promptly the photos could have been saved.

The insurer offered to pay Anita £200 compensation, but Anita wanted to challenge this amount so brought the complaint to us.


What we said

We noted that, but for either of the errors the insurer had admitted to, it was likely the deletion of the photos would have been avoided. Whilst this was a one-off event, we felt it had a serious impact on Anita. The photos were irreplaceable and meant a lot to her as they were taken to commemorate a significant life event. So, we were compelled by Anita’s testimony that she found the loss of them deeply upsetting. 

We considered that the timeline of events would have caused Anita frustration because she’d initially been reassured that she’d contacted the insurer in time to prevent the very situation she then found herself in. Taking everything into account, we made an award which brought the total compensation amount to £600.