Byte Me Article 213 – Costs surge on insurance claims

Costs Surge on Insurance Claims

Two weeks ago we talked about PC’s and servers that had coped a power surge from Cyclone Marcia as well as a number of the same devices that were killed by generators in the following days.  Last week we talked about the implications getting a power surge through your PC and how easy it is to underestimate the ramifications of such an event.

We also gave the real life example of a surged PC which was ‘fixed’ elsewhere under an insurance claim with just a replacement power supply – only to be finally brought in to us with further problems a day later.  In this instance a new motherboard, CPU and ram were needed to sort it out, demonstrating that a new replacement PC would have been the best way to go in the first place.

This weeks’ article looks at the costs associated with a customers’ data recovery & restitution from an event like Marcia and who pays for this work.  We have regularly done insurance work for customers prior to Marcia and have found giant disparities in what some insurance companies will cover and what some won’t.  Let’s take a closer look at this area of possible contention.

2015-03-14 Byte Me Artilce 213 - Dead PC's Continued

By far the majority of our customers need some sort of support work to setup their PC’s so they can effectively use them.  This work in the very least includes migrating their data from their old PC to a new one and in most of these cases we have to install their core software applications such as accounting packages and Microsoft Office to complete the work.

In many business scenarios replacing a PC also requires a technician to deliver the PC onsite to integrate it into the customers’ network to complete the installation.  In a home situation the effective setup of a new PC can be almost as complex – with wireless printing, family tree databases and cloud backup systems.  Should the customer pay for this when a cyclone has wiped out the old PC?

For an answer to the above you may need to look closely at your insurance contract (in which case you either need a sharp solicitor – or simply a good broker) to decipher who will pay.  I personally take the stance that if insurance companies are looking for a ‘like-for-like’ replacement then not only should the PC specifications be the same – but also the usefulness of the PC to the customer should mimic their previous PC.

I am not suggesting that this level of detail should filter down to what screen saver & background picture they previously used, but it should consist of recovering their data from a dead PC, restitution of this data to a replacement PC and other work to make the new PC an effective replacement.  This may also include installation of their core software applications and in many cases it will need to include onsite delivery/setup – if they are not able to complete this work themselves.

As a comparison, if you had a vehicle accident and wrote off a car that had the accessories of air-conditioning, a bulbar and a towbar – would you be happy with a ‘bare’ like-for-like replacement as well as being told that you can have the accessories as long as you fit them yourself!

With the Marcia claims that we have completed so far I am happy to report that the insurance companies are mostly coming to the party with covering the above costs.  This is a welcome attitude in what should be an event that most of us will hopefully never see again.  I will keep you informed if this attitude changes. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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