Insurer unfairly points to policy exclusion for damaged jewellery

Exclusions Insurance

Whilst he was doing some washing up, Pietro damaged a ring he was wearing. When he tried to claim, his insurer said that the damage was from wear and tear. Pietro asked us to step in and help.

What happened

While washing up, Pietro dropped a pan on his hand and felt it hit the ring he was wearing. Afterwards he realised the stone was no longer in the claws of the ring. He couldn't find the stone and thought it must have come out when the ring was hit, and then gone down the plughole. He called his insurer to make a claim. 

The insurer's jeweller inspected the ring. They said it was worn in places and the claws holding the stone were bent. The jeweller thought the damage was wear and tear, although it suggested the claws may have bent from some kind of impact. 

The insurer accepted the damage was accidental - but said it was from wear and tear. They pointed to an exclusion which said 'we don't cover any damage resulting from wear and tear'. Pietro didn't think this was right, so asked us to investigate. 

What we said

When we looked at the jeweller's report, it was clear that the ring had suffered wear and tear. But we thought that the damage to the claws was more likely due to the impact of the pan. We weren't satisfied that the damage claimed for (the bent claws) happened as a result of wear and tear. 

The insurer agreed to repair the claws, but not to put a new stone in them. They pointed out that the stone was lost, not damaged. We agreed, but noted that because of the damage, this caused the stone to be lost. We also pointed out that the stone was a fundamental part of the ring. So we told the insurer to put a stone in the ring that was a similar style and type as the one Pietro lost.