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Diminishing returns: claimant loses dispute over new TV

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A Suncorp customer has failed in his bid to have his damaged TV replaced with a similar top-of-the-range model or be compensated $2300, the amount that he paid 11 years ago for the item.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) ruled the insurer is not obligated to pay equal value for a high-end replacement TV.

“A TV purchased for $2300 in 2008 will not have the same features and specifications as a TV valued at $2300 in today’s market,” AFCA says in the case document.

“Invariably, a current TV will have more features and be cheaper than an older TV of the same price, given advancements in technology.”

The complainant had taken his case to AFCA after Suncorp proposed a replacement from the same manufacturer that cost significantly less than $2300.

He argued the new TV should also be a superior model or be retailing at the same price.

But AFCA ruled the insurer has chosen to settle the claim according to the building and contents policy terms.

“The insurer’s proposed model is reasonably equivalent, if not superior, to that which it replaces,” AFCA says. “Based on the available information, I am satisfied that the replacement model identified by the insurer adequately discharges its liability under the terms of the policy.”