Insurance Matters – Do you have full coverage?

It seems everyone has a phone nowadays. People just can’t live without them. The masses walk around, seemingly surgically attached to their devices. If you take a look on the Great British high street you will likely see a few people staring at their phones while they walk around, oblivious of what’s in front of them, whether it’s an open manhole or a lamppost. Some people use them in cinemas, when they really should be paying attention to the film and not disturbing others like great beacons of light in the otherwise inky black environment. Other individuals use them in restaurants, tables of people will ignore the company they’re with completely and gaze emotionlessly at their toy.

Ahmed noticed this, and being tech-savvy, he knew he could make the most of it. Ahmed spent what he felt was too much time on his phone but part of that was because he knew how they worked. He spent years taking gadgets apart and putting them back together, as well as learning all about computers and he was now efficient at fixing his own phone. If any of his friends had an issue with their phone, he was the first person they would go to.

Ahmed’s family had worked at markets for years and he wanted to follow in their footsteps and by running his own stall he could become his own boss. Naturally, he took his knowledge and passion for phones and decided to sell phones and accessories. If things went well, he decided he would invest more time into the stall and offer repair work as well.

Months later, business was steady and Ahmed started offering phone repairs. Things were going great until one day when he dropped a phone he was repairing. The phone smashed, the screen broke and all the exposed parts shot around the floor in every direction. He tried piecing the phone back together but some of the parts were now completely broken and the owner wouldn’t be able to retrieve anything from it. It was a disaster, especially on what was one of the newer models around that was only supposed to be having a new screen fitted.

Ahmed waited nervously until the owner returned to his stall a couple of days later when he had to explain everything. Naturally, the owner was very unhappy and demanded the phone was replaced. Unfortunately, Ahmed hadn’t made the customer sign a waiver or anything along those lines as he knew that they are only generally enforceable. The cost of the phone was so high that the customer said he would take Ahmed to the small claims court if this couldn’t be resolved, so he quickly decided to call his insurer.

On speaking to his insurer, Ahmed admitted he hadn’t read the full details of the policy he had with them and wanted to check if he would be covered for the incident. The insurers broke the news to him that he wasn’t covered for such a thing and they had records stating that he didn’t even do repairs as part of his business. This was a serious problem as it was classed as a material fact which had not been disclosed.

Ahmed informed his insurer that he didn’t do repairs when he applied for the cover and it was only something he had begun doing in the few weeks previously. This was not good enough
for the insurers and they informed him that they should be notified of any changes to the business and he had failed to do so.

This was deeply troubling for Ahmed as not only was he not protected for breaking his customer’s phone but he now also had to wait and find out if his policy was going to be cancelled by his insurer for not informing his insurer of his new business practices. He had learned one thing though, next time he would read the terms of business on his next policy so he didn’t run into the same situation again.

by Nat Imber