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car stolen - insurance company not paying out

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I am hoping that someone can advise me.

My brother bought a car through a lease-purchase company. This was an BMW X5 worth I think around £20,000 – 25,000. His car was stolen from the driveway while his wife was present. His wife immediately reported this to the police and they duly made a claim from the insurance company. The car has still not been located.

However, problems arose because the insurance company decided not to pay out. The reason given to my brother was that his wife had allegedly said something different in her actual statement compared to what she had said to the police when she first telephoned to report the car stolen. The insurance company informed my brother that they could not disclose exactly what it was that was different and left it at that. They threatened that if my brother or his wife pursued the claim they would take him to court for fraud.

My brother is still paying the monthly installment to the leasing company and also the insurance. We feel it is unfair that the insurance company has not paid out and will not disclose the reason as mentioned above. We would like to know whether we can lawfully obtain this information that the insurance company is withholding? Any advice on how my brother can get the insurance company to pay out would be appreciated.


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In order to find out what was said in the statement, I think your brother would have to send a written Subject Access Request to his insurer. This is a legal right under the Data Protection Act which means that people have a right to see a copy of the data held about them by a company.


This is what it says about Subject Access Requests on the Information Commissioner's Office website:

Subject access request (Data Protection Act) Under the Data Protection Act, individuals can ask to see the information about themselves that is held on computer and in some paper records. If an individual wants to exercise this subject access right, they should write to the person or organisation that they believe is processing the data.

A subject access request must be made in writing and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. In most cases, the maximum fee will be £10, but this can vary, particularly if the information requested is for health or educational records. If a subject access request is made to a credit reference agency, then the fee is £2, and the information must be provided within seven working days. A request must include enough information to enable the person or organisation to whom the subject is writing to satisfy itself as to their identity and to find the information.

A reply must be received within 40 days as long as the necessary fee has been paid. A data controller should act promptly in requesting the fee or any further information necessary to fulfil the request. If a data controller is not processing personal information of which this individual is the data subject, the data controller must reply saying so.

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Sorry to hear your problems, as the above poster mentioned, request a subject access request from your insurance company.


If the keys where not present in the carwhen it was stolen, then there should be no problems with the payout !


Keep us informed of developements.

The retailers worst nightmare !

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The difference in statements would have to be pretty significant and material for the insurer to do this. For them to say "pursue this and we will take you to court" is pathetic. If they suspect fraud, they should be voiding your policy and possibly taking legal action anyway.


As well as the above SAR, I would put a complaint in writing to demand that they either justify their statement and release the informaton that they claim is fraud.


You might find this an interesting read:


aspects of insurance fraud - 41

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Thanks for your input everyone - it is really helpful. I will be writing to the insurance company using the info.

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Agree with Gyzmo, if they are suggesting fraud why are they letting the insurance policy run? they should cancel from the date of the claim. Also strange how they have not given you the reasons for not dealing with the claim as i would have thought they would have to explain in detail etc.

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imgoing thru the same thing my x5 was stolen in january off my drive whilst i was on holiday they got the keys thru my house which they also burgled - house and car insurance are not paying - car insurance is threatning me to drop the claim and house inurance says they are waiting foe police investigation to be finished????

i have complained to financial ombudsman about car insurance as i will not be threatened whilst making a legite claim, so many people must b making false claims that theyre penalising the genuine claims too now, its pathetic.

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Hi everyone,


Just to follow up on this and to get some more advice...


After helpful advice from replies to my post I sent a Subject Access Request to the insurance company in June. We have still not received any documentation from them despite chasing them various times. I spoke to someone at the insurance company last week and was told that the reason they had refused to pay out was that the police had told them that it was a robbery and not a theft. Does anybody know about the law surrounding this? Surely stealing is stealing and althoguh I'm no expert I don't think it was a robbery because there was no form of violence used.


boo_kitty10 - I agree with you. Lately it feels like victims of crime are treated as criminals themselves! have you had any luck?



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Robbery is where violence or a threat of it is used (not quite the wording but it will do).


I do not know what difference this makes to the insurer. Your car was taken without your consent or knowledge, nor did you "allow" it to happen.


Given what was said at the start about the discrepancy, I am wondering if he discrepancy relates to what the police are saying, if indeed that is what they are saying.


I think the insurer needs to make it's mind up about what it is they are doing.


Did you letter to them indicate that it was a complaint? If so you can go to he Ombudsman without further recourse to the insurer.

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Hi gyzmo,


No, i didn't mention in the letter that it was a complaint. I thought I would get the documents first, look through them properly and then make a complaint.


The name of insurers is Zenith - anyone else had any dealings with them?

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Ideally you should have put a complaint in. It's free for you no matter what and the FOS can do all the donkey work. It would be left to the insurer to justify it's stance, and they are less likely to fob off the FOS.


On saying that, the FOS's definition of a complaint is "any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written....", so if you have complained, whether or not you have done so "officially", you can go to the FOS


Zenith, as far as I am aware, only deals through intermediaries, though I know little more of the company than that - never had dealings with them.

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