We’re not quite there with frosty mornings yet but as you start to dig out your winter coats, the reality of cold mornings and defrosting the car isn’t too far off. When you are in a rush, it’s very tempting to start the car and let it defrost in the driveway while you go back indoors but we’ve all read horror stories about cars being stolen in these circumstances.
So where do you stand on insurance if your car is left unattended with the keys in it, for whatever reason?
Nearly all motor insurance policies exclude cover for theft if the keys were left in or on the vehicle, or if the vehicle was left unlocked and unattended. But the reality is, it’s not always so clear cut as to what consitutes unattended.
In many cases claims that have been refused by the insurer have been called into question and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has been contacted by the claimant to dispute their claim.
The FOS September news report highlights a number of cases where the judgement of the insurance company has been called into question over their refusal to pay the claim because the vehicle was unattended.
The role of the FOS is to look at each case fairly, taking into account previous court judgements and looking at what is reasonable for example, they might decide that a car was “attended” even if the driver wasn’t in it – as long as they were close enough that their presence would be likely to deter a thief. Or they might say it isn’t reasonable to apply an exclusion in exceptional circumstances – for example, an emergency – where leaving their car unattended isn’t the driver’s most pressing concern.
Whilst we hope these situations don’t happen to you, these recent FOS case studies make interesting reading and perhaps relate to situations which we are all familiar with and are thankful that it hasn’t happened to us.
As an independent broker, our role is to insure a swift and fair settlement of your claim so we would act on your behalf in claim disputes such as these. A good reason use a broker for your car insurance.
We specialise in high performance car insurance, classic car insurance and family fleet insurance. If you have a car insurance query or would like a quote, please get in touch via our webform or on 01489 579808.