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Strengthen customer relations by lending a helping hand with coverage

Everyone wants to be protected in the event of a sudden disaster. LACHLAN RENSHAW says retailers have an important part to play in helping customers pursue quality insurance.

What processes do you have in post-sales customer care for your client? Most jewellers place jewellery insurance in the ‘too hard basket’ and leave their customers to fend for themselves.

Many customers protect their jewellery through home and contents insurance and assume that they are protected in the event of a claim.

So, how protected are most customers who seek to insure their jewellery through home and contents? The short answer is not very well protected at all.

Unfortunately, this often leads to under-insurance – which is when the item insured on your insurance policy —
that is, the amount listed as the maximum you will be paid if you make a claim — isn't enough to cover the full cost of replacing the stolen or lost jewellery.

The problem is exacerbated when people travel or take a holiday because they do not consider their policy conditions.
For example, a recent report by Allianz Australia stated that more than 68 per cent of Australians do not have insurance for the valuables they take with them on holiday.

Considering the number of people who travel overseas on their honeymoon, this is a considerable risk that they unknowingly expose themselves to.

A recent case between a consumer and an insurer best illustrates the problem.

A home and contents policyholder, who had specified to the insurer the jewellery items that she wanted covered before purchasing the policy, lost a dispute over sentimental jewellery pieces that went missing during a hotel stay.

The home and contents insurance provider denied her claim on the grounds that she had not taken out the optional extra cover for ‘portable valuables’, which would apply for loss away from the insured address.

So, how protected are most customers who seek to insure their jewellery through home and contents? The short answer is not very well protected at all.

In the recent Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) ruling for this case, it was said, “She had the opportunity to check and ask the insurer about any concerns before the loss occurred, but she did not do so”.

The ruling went on to say, “The full terms and conditions are set out in the policy documents which were provided at the time (and again at renewal)”. 

In another AFCA case in October 2020, a homeowner who lost her engagement ring after it fell through her deck was awarded $50,000 for the jewellery in a claim dispute hearing. A prominent home and contents insurance provider in Australia declined the claim to the policyholder, saying the policy specifically excluded cover for valuable contents that are in the open air at the site.

“As the engagement ring was not lost or damaged inside the home, but rather lost while on the exterior deck that is in the open air at the site, coverage is not available in this circumstance,” the insurer said.

However, in good news for the policyholder, the AFCA determined that the ring was covered.

The question jewellers need to ask themselves is, by allowing customers to fend for themselves to insure their jewellery, are they providing exceptional post-sales customer service? Particularly when they have the knowledge and experience to assist them in making an informed choice?

Post-sale customer service

Considering the ever-increasing operational expenses for jewellers, it’s no secret that ‘customer acquisition costs’ are also rising. How much does it cost you to advertise and promote your business in order to gain a new customer?

This includes advertising spend, production costs, inventory upkeep, salaries, commissions, technical costs, overheads, creative costs, and many others.

For this reason it’s in the best interest of jewellers to educate and inform their customers about adequate insurance cover for their jewellery.

For most people the ideal insurance offers worldwide cover, guarantees the customer can return to the jeweller of their choice and with no cash settlements on the policy, just to name a few.

You don’t have to offer advice. Your valued and loyal customers will appreciate the fact that you are pointing out things that they may not have considered.

It can be doubly appreciated when it involves heirloom jewellery and other items that hold great sentimental value.

There are a number of industry-specific insurers that specialise in jewellery and you can compare what they offer as a way to investigate which might be best suited to your clientele.

Name: Lachlan Renshaw
Business: Centrestone Jewellery Insurance
Position: Director
Location: Sydney, NSW
Years in the industry: 8

 

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