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Help with meaning of wording - Travel Insurance


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Loss, theft or damage to valuables left unattended at any time (including in a vehicle or in the custody of carriers) unless deposited in a hotel safe, safety deposit box or left in your locked accommodation.

 

Unattended - means when you are not in full view of and not in a position to prevent unauthorised interference with your property.

 

I had valuables stolen from my car that were out of sight and locked in the boot, the car had an alarm and was parked near a security office so I took as much precaution as I could. I had no accommodation at the time so this was the safest place. Am I still screwed or can I argue that based on me not having accommodation at the time this was the best situation to prevent unauthorised interference with my property?

 

To me it seems unreasonable to deny if it was out of sight and in a locked compartment, especially as it was alarmed and near a security office.

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Have you reported the claim yet? Hopefully it will be accepted - for example I know that Norwich Union/Aviva would accept such a claim so long as the boot was locked and the vehicle was completely locked, so that the valuables are out of view.

 

Where did you buy your policy from? The wording you quoted does sound a bit vague - it says valuables left unattended "including in a vehicle" are excluded but it doesn't say whether it is OK if the vehicle is locked and the valuables are hidden. So it is difficult for me to judge whether the claim would be accepted or not. It sounds like you did your best in the circumstances so I hope it will be accepted, but if not it would be a good idea to check whether your home insurance covers you for belongings temporarily removed from the home.

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I've had a look at Endsleigh's website and there is no policy wording available, presumably this is because they are a broker and they don't underwrite their own policies.

 

As this is a policy for people studying abroad, maybe the terms and conditions are different than for standard travel insurance. I'm not really familiar with student policies, but hopefully it will work out OK for you. Let us know how you get on.

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Hi,

 

Endsleigh are NOT a broker, but a regulated insurance company.

 

You can get a copy of their current policy booklet, but you have to input 'phantom' information to get a quote first - it can then be downloaded as a pdf document.

 

The OP mentioned valuables (What are they?) If electrical then, regretably the claim has been correctly repudiated. If other goods, then subject to the severe terms detailed.

 

The policy wording (Section 22, page 38) reads:

 

What is not covered

1. The first £50 of each and every claim per incident claimed for under

this section by each Insured Person.

2. Loss, theft of or damage to specified electrical items left

Unattended at any time (including in a vehicle or in the custody of

carriers) unless deposited in a hotel safe, safety deposit box or left in

Your locked accommodation.

3. Loss, theft of or damage to Baggage contained in an Unattended

vehicle:

a) overnight between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. (local time) or

b) at any time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time) unless it is in

the locked boot which is separate from the passenger

compartment for those vehicles with a boot, or for those vehicles

without a separate boot locked in the vehicle and covered from

view.

 

The definition of Unattended (Page 4) is given as:

Unattended – means when You are not in full view of and not in a position to prevent unauthorised interference with Your property or vehicle.

Whilst I understand the the OP had no accommodation at the time, I regret that does not override the standard policy exclusions.

I trust that this clarifies

H

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Endsleigh are NOT a broker, but a regulated insurance company.

 

Are you sure about that? On the "about us" section of their website it says they are one of the UK's leading independent intermediaries. I'm aware that they're now 100% owned by Zurich insurance company, but they still seem to search a panel of insurers, at least for home and motor insurance. Or do they underwrite their own travel insurance?

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LemonTwist,

 

I stand corrected; intermediary as you state, albeit owned by Zurich. My apologies!

 

I checked the Travel policy again;

 

Your Insurer

AXA Insurance UK plc. Registered in England No. 78950. Registered

Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AD.

AXA Insurance UK plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial

Services Authority. This can be checked on the FSA’s register by

visiting the FSA’s website at http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting

them on 0845 606 1234.

Notwithstanding, I stand by my comments regarding policy cover.

 

H

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Unfortunatly your claim would most likely be declined. You may need to refer the matter to your home insurers.

Despite the fact you locked your car and had them out of sight the insurers view is that you should keep all valuables on you at all times.

The FOS would uphold the insurers decline im afraid.

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I would challenge it. I cannot see how such an exclusion would apply whereh there is no accomodation to speak of. What are you supposed to do when checking out? Fly it all by secure, army supported courier?

 

I cannot see such an exlcusion applying exclusively, and the definition of unattended has been challenged in court successfully.

 

I could of course be wrong as travel insurance was not my area, but I can say that you have nothing to lose by challenging it on the basis that the exlcusion only applies where you have accomodation to speak of.

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I deal with travel claims but their wording is quite strange to what ours is.

You could ask for FRL (Final Response Letter) so you can refer to FOS.

I wrote one today on a complaint i was assigned for the same thing and they are taking it to FOS.

If they are on dodgy ground with their wording or have lost prev cases they wont uphold the decline.

Every time a customer goes to FOS it costs the insurer regardless of whether they win or lose so from the insurance point of view we dont like to uphold declines on cases which we may not win. It is not worth it. Sometimes if it is something new and out of the blue we will let one get to FOS as a test case.

I know that this seems quite negative but i would rather be honest with you as this has been my job for 6 years and i would daily with the FOS.

Good Luck x

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Every time a customer goes to FOS it costs the insurer regardless of whether they win or lose so from the insurance point of view we dont like to uphold declines on cases which we may not win. It is not worth it.

 

Just a little asides, I am wondering whether insurers are still deciding whether to uphold complaints or not based on the cost of it going to the FOS. That certainly used to be the deciding factor in deciding whether to compensate - rarely was it the merit of the complaint.

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It is still a major factor Gyzmo your right.

In the current climate the insurance companies are tighening their belts and if we may not win the case we often pay out even if technically it shouldnt be covered. There is no point us spending time defending the complaint for it to go to FOS as then we pay a case fee plus if we lose we have to pay interest on top of the settlement figure so in some cases we end up paying double than had we backed down and paid the claim.

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If you pay a claim or compensation to avoid a case going to the FOS, is it considered an ex-gratia (out of grace) payment?

 

According to the policy wording which Helford posted, it seems that claims for unattended property are accepted, just as long as the goods are kept in the boot out of sight, and it happened between 9am and 9pm.

So surely it depends on when the break-in happened? Or have I misunderstood the wording?

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If you pay a claim or compensation to avoid a case going to the FOS, is it considered an ex-gratia (out of grace) payment?

 

According to the policy wording which Helford posted, it seems that claims for unattended property are accepted, just as long as the goods are kept in the boot out of sight, and it happened between 9am and 9pm.

So surely it depends on when the break-in happened? Or have I misunderstood the wording?

 

 

Lemon Twist your correct the time does matter and they will use the police report to determine it - or they should depends if they have the brains to check the documents.

 

Its only ex gratia if they pay out something that is specially covered. If its a grey area then it would be paid normally and not as ex gratia. Normally ex gratia is where someone has guarnteed cover and costs have resulted from that so the customer has incurred costs from incorrect advice.

 

Always follow the complaints procedure - the amount of declines i over turn is staggering. The claims handlers dont always have the understanding of the wording and kick claims out without full facts and evidence. Plus the complaints team have more flexibility - they should be viewed as help not ememies as often we fight to get the claims paid :)

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