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Toilet and trouble

Insurance ombudsman cleans up phone-in-loo mess

By swissinfo.ch and agencies

If you drop your mobile phone down the lavatory, can you claim any damage on insurance? Faced with increasing numbers of such cases, the Swiss Insurance Ombudsman has ruled that insurance companies cannot always refuse to cough up. 

In some cases, owners of the most expensive phones can be told by their insurers to take their devices with them to the loo, so they are not left lying around unsupervised on desks. If these phones then somehow slip into the loo bowl, their owner – if insured – can claim for water damage. 

However, not all the 3,000 or so cases which reached the national arbitration body last year – a drop of 8% on 2014 – involved wet phones. 

Half the complaints involved personal insurance, with the overwhelming majority dealing with rejected payments for daily sickness allowances or accident insurance. 

The overall decrease was down to the fact that Switzerland was spared any major damage-causing events last year, the organisation explained on Friday. 

Can of worms 

The ombudsman, Martin Lorenzon, said in a statement that some 2,700 cases could be settled between the insurer and the insured without needing an intervention. 

His organisation did get involved in around 330 cases, with the complainant winning in around two-thirds of cases. 

The highest amount disputed was CHF400,000 ($420,000) and the lowest CHF40.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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