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Thread: Is it ever worth claiming on insurance?

  1. #11
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave2010 View Post
    We went away for nearly a week, and something tripped one of our consumer units. Consequence: a freezer full of suspect food.

    Is it ever worth claiming? Maybe the food was worth about £100 - though some was bought at a discount. If we claim, perhaps the premiums will go up so that over a year or two we won't be any better off, and there's very possibly an excess which could be more than the value of the damaged food.

    I need to decide on this fairly soon, as I'll be wanting to take the bagged up food down to the dump shortly.

    I'm not a great fan of insurance companies. They takes yer money, and then try very hard not to give any of it back, even if there's a genuine reason.
    Not worth the hassle for £100 IMO.
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  2. #12
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

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    I'm Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Not worth the hassle for £100 IMO.
    Probably nearer or more than £300, unfortunately. Our neighbour suggests that since there were power failures, that the trip would most likely have happened when the power came back on.

    Are there any devices which can prevent or mitigate against this? For example, detect power cut, then delay power to one of more plug sockets by various random times? If power cuts are going to be common and frequent, any devices to protect angainst this could be well worthwhile.

    Another useful device would be a temperature logger in the fridge and freezer, as then the severity and time and duration of the power cut could be checked, thus reducing the need to throw away all the food.

    Do such devices exist?
    Dave

  3. #13
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

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    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    When power is restored after a power cut, connection is made when the AC cycle passes through 0V. That way no current is drawn, minimising any 'surge'.
    Barry

  4. #14
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

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    I'm Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    When power is restored after a power cut, connection is made when the AC cycle passes through 0V. That way no current is drawn, minimising any 'surge'.
    Is it as simple as that? Doesn't it depend on the load in each house, whether it's inductive, capacitative, or whatever? The impact of most houses on the grid as it comes live again is presumably not too significant - but within houses there might be effects. The RCDs are triggered by various conditions - for safety reasons. I suppose that faulty wiring might make those conditions more likely after a power cut - but in that case it would be good to know what the possible faults might be, and have the wiring checked to mitigate against those. I don't know what I'm looking for, but I can't afford to throw away all the food in a freezer if power cuts become frequent.
    Dave

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

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    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave2010 View Post
    Is it as simple as that? Doesn't it depend on the load in each house, whether it's inductive, capacitative, or whatever? The impact of most houses on the grid as it comes live again is presumably not too significant - but within houses there might be effects. The RCDs are triggered by various conditions - for safety reasons. I suppose that faulty wiring might make those conditions more likely after a power cut - but in that case it would be good to know what the possible faults might be, and have the wiring checked to mitigate against those. I don't know what I'm looking for, but I can't afford to throw away all the food in a freezer if power cuts become frequent.
    I'm not sure. Admittedly some items which have a motor in them may present a power factor which is not unity, but they will be close to unity. Ali Tait works in the electric distribution business, so he might be able to advise.

    The only time one of the RCBOs in the consumer unit tripped out was when I was checking a 1.5kVA industrial step down transformer. I put it down to the initial magnetising current transient.
    Barry

  6. #16
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

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    I don't really know. In years gone past, we lived close to the end of a distribution spur - there was a transformer opposite our house. We also used to use incandescent light bulbs - but in recent years we switched to more modern lower energy ones. It wasn't completely clear cut, but we did feel that the light bulbs blew at a significantly above average rate, and I think others at our end of the road felt the same. It gradually seemed to become less of a problem - but I don't know why. Possibly the installation of a new transformer a few years ago made a difference. Seeing it installed was interesting, as a huge crane arrived to raise it over a field, and remove the old one.

    It's difficult to know whether there really is/was a cause/effect relationship between problems in the supply infrastructure and failures within the home. We did have a couple of freezer failures, similar to the current one, but over a period of 17 years. Now that we have moved, power failures do seem more common, and also very localised. Sometimes only a few hundred homes are affected by power outages. Although I don't want to have to dump food from freezers, a failure rate of around one event in every eight years is probably not impossible to cope with, but a higher failure rate would really scare me.
    Dave

  7. #17
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Surrey

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    I'm Mike.

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    Self Insurance crossed my mind
    Putting away every year's premium and having that to pay for any damage.
    After all insurance companies have to pay out for all sorts and a lot of their customers are not as careful as us - are they ....?
    Then they have to pay staff salaries and make a profit
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