SBS Insurance Services has collaborated with Birmingham City University’s Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre, Cooksongold, and The Assay Office Birmingham to successfully replace a range of bespoke items through the use of 3D printing technology in what is claimed to be the world’s first 3D printed jewelry insurance claim service. Results from the first trials of show that SBS Insurance Services is able to replace items faster and cheaper, with savings of 30-50% compared with High Street prices, according to a report by Professional Jeweller.
SBS Insurance Services Technical Director Paul Fairbrass said: “The major problem for insurers is that they are often faced with valuing and settling claims for high value items based on vague descriptions and old records, such as photographs, out-dated valuations or old sales invoices. Once an item has been validated, the insurer must find a matching equivalent from a limited range on offer from retailers. This can be impossible with bespoke items or family heirlooms. Alternatively, a bespoke item can be manufactured using wax casts to try and replicate the item. But this has been expensive, cumbersome, and it makes the claims process very slow for the customer who might, even then, not be pleased with the replacement item.
"Consequently, many insurers opt for a cash or voucher settlement – which doesn’t always achieve the best outcome for the customer or the best value solution for the insurer.” He added that the innovation was not just relevant to jewelry claims. "The longer term impact of 3D printing technology for other insurance claims is likely to be hugely significant.”