Unfortunately, I lost my wedding ring swimming in the sea while on holiday in Rhodes.
I have contacted Saga – who I took holiday insurance with – to see if I was covered under the travel policy.
The answer is yes, as long as I have at least one but preferably all three of the following details: a notification of reported loss, proof of ownership and proof of value.
As I only have a photograph of my wedding ring and nothing else, it said I cannot claim.
Am I being unreasonable or are they being unfair? Paul, from Beverley, via email.
A This is Money reader lost his wedding ring in the sea and is now looking to claim on insurance
Grace Gausden, of This is Money, replies: Claiming back on insurance can often be an infuriating process.
That feeling of frustration can be exacerbated when the item that you are looking to claim on is of great sentimental value.
It makes matters more complicated when you don’t have the information that you need to make a claim.
Saga asked for a notification of reported loss, which means that if policyholders can’t or don’t report a theft or loss to the police, they must provide other independent proof such as a letter from their transport company or hotel.
For many holidaymakers, it would not necessarily be immediately obvious to ask for a letter from their hotel or transport company, testifying to the fact that they had lost an item.
It is understandable that you didn’t think to tell the hotel as the ring was dropped in the sea and wasn’t somewhere that could likely be found again.
However, it is always worth reading through your insurance policy to make sure that you have everything you need should you have to make a claim.
A representative for Saga said that if an item was lost and the person who lost it did not know exactly when and where, then they would take this into consideration as there would be no obvious person to report it to.
Problem: Saga provided travel insurance for Paul but he is now finding it hard to claim back
In your situation, even though you know when and where you lost your ring, there is still no obvious person to report the loss to.
Saga also asked for proof of ownership. As the wedding ring was over 27 years old, there is no receipt that can be produced confirming proof.
Picture proof is often enough evidence in the digital age to give to insurers as proof of ownership.
If there is a piece of jewellery or a valuable item you are taking away with you, it is worth taking a photograph, just in case something happens and you need to show it is yours.
However, as your claim was turned down, it would seem that it is not always sufficient and that other forms of proof will be needed.
This is unusual as Saga themselves have said that picture proof should be enough so it seems unfair that you aren’t able to make a claim.
Greece: Paul was on holiday in Rhodes when he unfortunately lost his wedding ring in the sea
Lastly, Saga asked for proof of the value of your wedding ring.
Although you haven’t had it valued, it is highly recommended by insurers that jewellery and other valuables should be valued for insurance purposes.
These valuations should also be updated every couple of years, to make sure that they are correct. It is common for insurers to ask for a valuation when customers are making a claim.
This makes the claiming process smoother and gives customers peace of mind that, should anything happen, they have a way of showing how much their items are worth.
A Saga spokesman said: We appreciate that customers may not always have all the desired evidence to support their claim, so we will work with them to get as much detail as possible in order for them to be able to make their claim successfully.
Regarding Paul’s claim, Saga added: ‘Obtaining a police report or notifying someone of a loss is not always feasible or reasonable so we would take this into account when the claim is being reported.
‘We do also deal with cases where people have not got up to date valuations for items and in these situations we work with the customer to ascertain the likely value, based on the description they give us, the metal any jewellery is made from, what carat it is and then look what the likely replacement cost might be.’
Despite Paul’s claim being denied, the representative said: ‘We understand that people may not have receipts for items such as wedding rings that have been owned for a long time and therefore photographs of items or even the box that the item came in are often enough proof of ownership.’
When asked if someone did not have to hand any of this information, what would happen, Saga said: ‘In our experience, people do tend to be able to provide some of this information.
‘We always work with the customer to understand what information they do hold in order to help them make a claim.’
Saga have promised to contact you to review your claim.
What you can do to ensure making an insurance claim goes smoothly
Saga gave this advice to customers taking out travel insurance:
1) Try to ensure you keep receipts where possible for items you take on holiday as this will make the claim process much smoother if you happen to lose them.
2) Take photographs of your valuable possessions to help ensure that you get a like for like replacement if you do not have a receipt.
3) If an item is stolen on holiday, make sure you obtain a report from the police to pass on to your insurer.
4) If you lose a valuable item then report it to the hotel, restaurant, airline or tour operator where possible to record the loss.
5) If you have valuable jewellery get it regularly valued (this applies as much to home insurance as travel insurance) to make sure you have the correct amount of cover.
If you have cover for personal possessions away from home on your home insurance policy, this may have a more generous single article limit than on travel insurance, so particularly expensive items are best covered under home insurance policies.
6) Where possible leave valuables, particularly cash, in a safe in your hotel, only take as much cash out with you as you think you will need for the day.