Many insurance policies have a matching sets clause.
This means that insurance doesn’t cover the costs of multiple replacement items if one is damaged. Let’s take a bathroom as an example – if the sink is damaged, insurers would cover the costs of replacing a sink, but wouldn’t replace a matching bath and toilet. The homeowner then, would be left with a miss matched bathroom set – something that, understandably, can lead to complaints.
The insurance ombudsman receives the highest amount of complaints around the ‘matching sets clause’.
For insurers, this situation obviously isn’t ideal. An unhappy customer is something that service providers will always want to avoid; however, a line needs to be drawn on what should be covered in a policy.
Obviously, the customer is keen to have a like for like replacement where possible. But this isn’t always an option, with insurers sometimes having to go with the nearest equivalent. However, there’s then the risk of an evident disparity between items in the set.
In this instance, it’s common for the policy holder to expect the insurer to pay for the entire set to be replaced – a large expense to cover. The insurance ombudsman, however, would usually expect the insurer to pay for the damaged item plus 50% of the costs of the rest of the matching set.
This serves to drive up costs for the insurer as well as the customer, while also being a less than satisfactory outcome for the homeowner, if expecting full cover.
In this scenario, this is where we at Plastic Surgeon can step in and use our specialist repair skills to help both parties out. Ultimately, the insurance provider wants to deliver a service that customers are happy with in order to maintain a good ongoing relationship, while also helping to maintain their reputation as a provider.
Our colour matching capabilities can facilitate this when it comes to matching sets clauses. We always advocate repair over replacement wherever possible. In the case of repair, we can colour match the repaired surface to that of the original. But we can also do this with replacement items, where we colour match the new item to bring it in line with the items already in place.
Our colour matching skills can be applied to a wide variety of substrates including wood, brick, UPVC, enamel, marble, laminate, metal, glass and more. Our fine finishers are trained to a high standard, and are able to precisely match a replacement or repaired item with those already in situ.
This approach saves both the homeowner (who would be liable to cover 50% of the replacement item costs) and the insurer (who would be liable to the remaining 50%, as well as the originally damaged item). The other added benefit is its positive environmental impact – saving an entire bathroom or kitchen set from going to landfill can help achieve corporate social responsibility targets for businesses, again helping with reputation.
Chris Edwards is Head of Insurance Services at Plastic Surgeon. For more information on our insurance focused offering please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970 102413 to speak with him directly.