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Sorry this is long, I want to try and explain fully! The actual question is at the bottom, in bold, if you don't want to read my essay lol

 

I've not got a complaint (yet! well, I have but it's minor) just after a bit of info from anyone who knows how these things work.

 

We have 2 desktop pc's (on laptop now) that went bang from what I'm thinking was a lightning strike in the storms last week (the router and 2 digital phones went too, but we're not claiming for them as they've already been replaced and it was pretty cheap, didn't want to complicate things). Anyway, Barclays put us through to a company called IVal and they arranged for our computers to be picked up. My partner called today and they said the computers are beyond economical repair and should contact us on Monday with a valuation and will offer us PC World vouchers.

 

Now, my partner works at PC World, so other than the fact we know that should anything go wrong with the new computers we'd be totally fine, we know we could get much better computers for the same price elsewhere. I've done my reading though, and know that we have the right to be offered cash to the exact same value as the vouchers (I hope I'm right in thinking that, I got it from another post on here).

 

Anyway, that's not what I'm worrying about.

 

Our computers although not that high spec compared to some new ones, did have certain specifications we were fussy about. They're custom built (my partner built them) and we've spent a lot of money over the years (although not so much recently because of the kids now).

 

To name a couple specs - the graphics cards in them - they were DEDICATED graphics, with dual heads, because we both run two screens on the computers. This is because my partner does a lot of web designing and 3D graphics, and I do some photo and video editing, and two screens make this easier (yes, we're computer nerds, him more so than I am lol ) Also, they were NVidia graphics cards, and my partner requires this graphics card because they offer open GL support (not that I know what that is) and no other does.

 

Another is the fact that one had a 250gb HDD (mine) and the other a 400gb HDD (his).

 

Another is that although the processors weren't that new (2.5+ and 2.6+) they were Athlon processors, not the crappy Celeron, which in real terms, even if they say the same mhz speed, don't perform the same (anyone who knows about computers will tell you this).

 

What I want to know is: Will their valuation have to take into account ALL the specifications, including the dual heads, Nvidia, decicated graphics, Athlon not Celeron, hard drive size etc? As the computer is custom built it'd be hard to put a value on how much it would cost to replace it as you can't buy one with those specs. They could match hard drive but if they go on that alone and go with the cheapest computer with that size hard drive it will not have the dedicated and dual head graphics we require! Where do I stand with all of this?

 

I know it's a lot of "what if's" right now, but I like to be prepared for anything they may throw at me!

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Hiya

 

Have you kept receipts for all the spec upgrades? if so this should help the loss adjuster calculate replacement costs.

 

If not then you may not get what you are looking for

Halifax + BOS

  • £1300 WON from Halifax
  • £713 WON from BOS

Have I helped? tip the scales

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Thanks for replying :)

 

No, we haven't... Most parts were bought online, and only the hard drives upgraded relatively recently. All in all, we've spent over £1000 on each computer, but I know we can't prove that...

 

I was under the impression that receipts would only help the claim if something was stolen... But it's damaged "beyond economical repair", and they have the parts, so wouldn't the fact they have the parts in front of them make sure they'd have to pay out what it would cost to buy a computer to match EACH specification? For example, they could say "Well, the processor in this £299 computer is better than yours" But for that price you'd only get 512k RAM (our machines had 1024k) tiny hard drives, less than 100gb, and more than likely on board graphics with no dual heads... So although the processor would be marginally better (if it was a 64 bit or dual core) the rest of it would be completely useless to what we use the computers for....

 

I am just really worried that they'll want to pay out something stupid like £300 each (taking away the £50 excess) and even then the total for both wouldn't get us a computer to match the specs of just one of the ones we had :(

 

I know, I'm impatient, and I should just wait and see what they say, but I do like to be prepared, and know what my rights are before I go make an idiot of myself on the phone....

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You Are Entitled To A Like For Like Replacement On A New For Old Basis - So The Replacement Computer Offered Should Not Fall Short Of What You Already Have - If You Are Not Happy With The Validation Complain Directly To Barclays And They Are Normally Pretty Good At Working Things Out To Your Satisfaction

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Shaniannie, can you get your old machine back, as it maybe very possible to salvage certain parts, like HDD and video cards.

I have found in lightening strikes these tend to be fine.

The poser supply and motherboard are the aprts that take the brunt of the electrical spike and fail, terminally.

Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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Do you mean to get them back and not claim at all?

 

Before we even thought of claiming on the house insurance my partner (being the computer geek he is) tested the hdd to see if they'd broken (if it was as simple as PSU we'd have just bought new ones, cheaper than our £50 excess!) but the hard drives, when put into an external hard drive bay and connected to the laptop were dead... So I guess we could only hope to recover the graphics cards????

 

We actually asked for our HDD back, whether broken or not - one person told us "yeah fine, the insurance people (meaning barclays) usually don't mind this, but ask them first". On a different call we asked again and were at first told no way, then were told we'd be charged £15 each to send them back to us! As we're pretty sure they're dead I don't see the point in spending £30 to put a hammer to them ourselves (I have thousands of my kids pictures and some video clips on mine (which are luckily backed up onto an external HDD) and don't like to think someone may have access to them) but they have assured us that they will be crushed in 8 weeks time...

 

Ugh, all this hassle, I just want a computer instead of a stupid laptop, it's so hard to type on this thing lol (plus it's got rubbish graphics, 64mb onboard, so I can't play games etc!)

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I have found that external drive bays are iffy in the extreme, especially the USB ones. The only sure fire way to see if the HDD is ok would be to fit it in a known good machine as a slave.

Even if the OS where gone the data maybe recoverable and the HDD usable.

 

 

Now if this was me I get down to the next compuetr fair and get all the needed parts for a rebuild.

There are serious bargains to be had and after all some of the old parts will be salavagable.

 

Ps there's nowt wrong with a laptop, just depends on the spec.

You'd love mine; Dell XPS M1710. Core 2 2Ghz, 2 Gb RAM, 100 Gb HDD, 512 Mb Geforce 7950GTX 17" wide screen running at 1920x1200 ;)

Dell XPS M1710 review - IT Reviews

Kicks bottom :D:D

And the best bit it's my work machine.

Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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Oh that is SO not fair! lol Mine was just something my partner got for me for Xmas coz I whined lol It's only got a 1.3ghz, 512 RAM and 64mb on board graphics, and a 14" screen!!! Mind, I suppose you do have a DELL, I wouldn't touch those with a barge pole lol ;)

 

The external bay works fine with 2 other hdd's we have that we connect to it (a 20gig and 60gig). My partner would be forever greatful if I told him we could go to a computer fair - but my credit card wouldn't lmao Plus, we live in the sticks, in Wales, so it'd cost us a bomb in petrol to get to anywhere!

 

I'm so negative and defeatist, aren't I? lol

 

I hate having to wait on other people to make decisions, but I think that's what I'll have to do...

 

Just a side thought - if it was only the motherboard and psu that had gone would IVal still have classed it as "beyond economical repair"?

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Just a side thought - if it was only the motherboard and psu that had gone would IVal still have classed it as "beyond economical repair"?

Yes as they would be looking at retail prices to replace.

Bear in mind the mobo would include the cpu and ram as well.

 

OK so it's a DELL but I couldn't get what I really wanted my boss wouldn't sign the PO; Alienware: Aurora mALX Notebook - Learn More! Droooooollllllll

Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too

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So basically, only the hdd, if it was working (which I'm pretty sure it's not, it was dead lol ) I could salvage??? (and possibly the cd and dvd drives, which really, are only worth pennies)

 

Oh, my partner has ALWAYS gone on about the alienware pc's... Just "for fun" he went and priced one up he'd love to have... it came to about £4k!!!! He knows that it's TOTALLY out of the question lol

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Wouldnt bother with Alienware as they are ridiculously overpriced for what they are and remember they are part of Dell now. Personally i have no problem with Dell's XPS line as they have their own dedicated support unlike their more average notebooks which you have to deal with an offshore call centre. I went with Rock who are a UK supplier who are also at the cutting edge of laptop technology.

 

Getting back on topic - I wouldnt even contemplate salvage as you dont know if another component has been affected long term. Replace it if i were you. As Mooreda said (capitalised for some reason) the principle of indemnity is to put you back in the position you were in prior to the insured event occurring.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07

 

Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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Thanks for your input :)

 

So basically, for instance on the machine with the 400gb hdd, they found a machine (to estimate the cost of replacement) that met all requirements other than the fact it had a smaller hdd, could we refuse that estimate of cost by saying it has a smaller hdd so it's not putting us back in the position we were in originally?

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Slight development.

 

My partner call IVal and they didn't have that much to say other than they've done an estimate through Spire computers (NEVER heard of them other than one other post on this forum, which didn't sound too good!), could only manage VERY brief description of specs, and said they've passed it back to the insurers to see if they accept it....

 

I called Barclays and they've not processed the fax yet...

 

From reading the other post on here (which I came up with in initial searches on Ival and computers, hence why I joined this forum... http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/insurance-assurance-companies/69277-barclays-insurance-services.html ) I am REALLY worried that we're gonna get fobbed off with $h1te!

 

On the phone to my partner they mentioned 3ghz machines which were Athlon (yep, that's fine) no knowledge of HDD size, 128mb and 256mb graphics cards, but no knowledge on brands (partner needs Nvidia for open gl support) or whether they were dedicated (shared will NOT do as this'll eat up the RAM) or whether they have dual heads (as I've said before, we both have two screens connected up). No mention of disk drives, or the card reader (my partner had in his pc) or anything - she basically answered "don't know" to everything, and she wouldn't even give my partner the price at which they've valued them!

 

I'm waiting for my partner to call back right now, so I can tell him what Barclays (or rather what they didn't) say.

 

Surely IVal know what specs the computers they've quoted have?????? It's just absurd if they don't!

 

Do they have the right to force us to use their supplier? We were told on the phone on Saturday that we'd get PC World vouchers!

 

I've also found this comment previously written on this forum ( http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/insurance-assurance-companies/86166-norwich-union-dont-pay.html )

 

I see this claim scenario time and time again and it makes me so mad because insurance companies are still trying it on. The fact of the matter is that if the insurer's supplier CAN NOT replace Like for Like then you are entitled to a CASH SETTLEMENT at the full value and NOT at the DISCOUNTED RATE i.e. what the insurer would pay its supplier. Insurers are not supported by the Ombudsman if they try and insist on replacement through it's suppliers. See repair, replace or cash? - october

 

The Ombudsman says: -

 

"Policyholders should be allowed to choose where they purchase a replacement and they are entitled to a cash settlement if they cannot find an acceptable alternative. In such circumstances, we would not regard it as reasonable for the insurer to make a deduction from the cash settlement to represent any discount it would have got if the policyholder had bought a replacement from one of the insurer’s nominated suppliers. Nor would it necessarily be appropriate for the insurer to offer vouchers to the policyholder. If the option of replacement is not available, then the only way in which the insurer can indemnify a claimant is by a cash settlement.

In some cases, policyholders may not wish to purchase a replacement for the damaged or stolen goods. This may be, for example, because their circumstances have changed, or the object had sentimental value. Where this is the case, we will normally ask the insurer to agree a cash settlement".

MY STRONG ADVICE IS POINT THIS OUT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY AND IF THEY STILL TRY AND FOB YOU OFF COMPLAIN TO THE OMBUDSMAN. IT'S A FREE SERVICE.

 

 

I am thinking that if they try and fob us off I'll be using some of this.... Hmmmmm.....

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Well, finally, it's settled today... Ival and the insurance must have been sick of us calling, but we'd have still been a week or two at least away from sorting this out had we not called them each about 5 times a day...

 

It turns out that they valued our computers at £394 and £465... which is nowhere near what it would cost to build computers to the same specs... Anyway, my partner spoke with the technician (I'm assuming, he did know his stuff) at Ival, and we suggested a couple of pc's from pc world... The processors were above the spec we had, but they had to go higher as we had big hdd and really good grahpics cards... To be honest, only the VERY top end computer they had at pc world rivalled the graphics card that was in my partner's pc... although it wasn't that new, it was a top-of-the-range one... Kinda the same as a brand new 1litre car still can't go as fast as an older 2 litre car, if you get what I mean...

 

Lots of calls to speed them up (and speaking with a VERY helpful lady called Amy, I will have to find out how I can write/email a thankyou to acknowledge her assistance!) and the insurance finally approved the 2 pc's from pc world and Ival called me to take the payment for the excess and they've mailed out the vouchers :D

 

I am REALLY crossing my fingers that the vouchers turn up for Saturday, as that's the only day off my partner has for a while, and we have someone to watch the kids then...

 

Anyway, all's well that ends well :D I'm just glad we looked further into the specs of the original machines they wanted us to have... although they were newer parts and at first glance, looked like upgrades, they were bottom of the range parts and nowhere close to matching!

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  • 10 months later...

Thanks for that techwolf, at least I know its not just another one of their big fat fibs! Will get onto Norwich Union and double check, won't be letting them away with anything lol.

 

Thanks again for the info, it has helped loads : )

Dipply75

 

I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat! :p

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Good greef. This post has me worried. I have just claimed for my laptop which has suffered liquid damage. It is getting picked up on Wednesday for an engineers report. My insurance has told me that if it can't be fixed, it will be replaced with a model costing £300. My laptop cost me £1200 when I bought it back in 2004. That's a quarter of it's original value. Jeezo! What is the point in me paying insurance premiums each month for 10 years to get fobbed with that? This is my first ever claim. The BIG worry is that I have also got my mountain bike insured with them at a value of £2800 (I know, ridiculous price for a bike but it's my thang). Heaven forbid someone broke in and stole it. I don't think I'd be happy with a replacement costing a quarter of that. I'm gonna bookmark this topic and tell them to rethink that replacement if my old one can't be repaired.

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Hi Tomocr, I was the same, 1st claim and dn't have a clue but have read threads on here and had advice from the good folks and feel much better.

 

As far as I know, its not really the price, but the spec they are to replace - so the spec you got in 2004 would possibly be cheaper now but that is still a bit of a huge jump, that defo needs checking!

 

If you are concerned about being fobbed off at all, start a thread, naming the insurer and who is doing the report etc, just so you get what your entitled to - and there's bound to be someone who has worn that particular t-shirt!

 

Good luck to you

Dipply75

 

I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat! :p

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Guest Aviva Support

Dipply75 - and all other NU customers, just a reminder that if you need a hand with something to do with NU feel free to email me ([email protected]) and I will do my best to help you get the answers you need.

 

Becca

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Just a quick update,

 

After speaking with the loss adjuster regarding my laptop claim, he was in agreement that the valuation provided by Ival was too low and that the replacement they had offered was definately not "like for like"

 

The original valuation was £424 (although the replacement they offered can be found on sale for £299!), the new valuation provided by the loss adjuster is £549!

 

I would certainly advise anyone dealing with Ival/Powerplay to involve a loss adjuster, remember it costs you nothing more than a little of your time!

 

As an additional point of interest, I have been informed that Direct Line (my previous insurer) no longer use Ival/Powerplay as their valuation "experts".

 

P.S. Hats off to beccus! Providing an email address and offering to help on a consumer forum is what I call customer service!

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Good stuff techwolf - glad you got that sorted fairly - and I agree, am impressed with Beccus offer, speaks volumes for NU!

 

And NU should seriously reconsider using IVAL also - they are damaging their reputation no end

Dipply75

 

I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat! :p

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  • 2 weeks later...

holy smoke batman!!!! Just called my insurance company (M&S) to claim for my laptop. Cat jumped up on the kitchen table and knocked over a pint of coke, right over the laptop. Insurance company state that their approved assessors Ival will be in contact shortly to discuss how to progress the claim.

 

I thought I would do a wee bit research on this company and the 1st thread on google was this one. Cannot say that I am looking forward to dealing with this company.

 

They have not been in contact yet. Any advice for when they do?

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