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GAP wont pay because of "modification"

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Hi everyone, after abit of advise and to see if this has happened to anyone else before. The story goes...

 

We brought a brand new car back in 2007 and took out GAP with the dealer, citroen.The underwriter of the GAP is The Warranty Group.

 

Over a month ago the car was written off when a 76 year old lady drove into the back of us when stationary at 40mph. We filled out all the appropriate forms and were told there were no problems with the engineers report and the only dispute was the amount our motor insurance was offering us.

 

We finally got to the stage where all we were waiting for was a cheque from GAP insurance only to be told we wont be getting anything as the car is modified, the modification being a subwoofer in the boot.

 

Now the terms and condition state....

 

" any vehicle which has been modified other than in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications"

 

will invalidate a claim but this is so vague i rang around other GAP providers and all of them said modifications dont include in-car entertainment even though there terms and conditions contain the exact same wording. I mean where do they draw the line, is a roof rack a modification, a child seat.

 

Ive even contacted the Business Development Director of The Warranty Group and he has confirmed that in-car entertainment is not classed as a modification. A modification is a change to the performance,shape,suspension,brakes etc..

 

The Warranty Group also underwrite RAC GAP cover, who also say in-car entertainment is not a modification.

 

We are going down the route of making a complaint in writing to The Warranty Group and also to the FOS.

 

Is there anything else we should be doing?

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A Sub Woofer As A Modification

Realy Have Seen It All Now

Edited by postggj

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It Will Be The Warinty Group

 

A Subwoffer As A Modification

Realy

 

Subbing On This

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Well the policy was taken out with Bristol Street Motor Scheme and the policy was underwritten by Aon at the time. All comunications and letters have been to The Warranty Group now as Aon seems to no longer exist.

 

They said they are going by what the indepedent engineers report said and its them that have told them the car is modified. We have requested a copy of this report.

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I Bet You Have Requested A Copy

Have You Tried Asking The Garage Where The Report Was Done For A Copy On The Qt

 

I Had To Check As I Thought This Was Welcome Finance Rather Than Bristol Street

 

Sorry

 

Private Joke

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Where Is The Car Now

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The motor insurance company have it, they are waiting for our confirmation of there final offer before they dispose of the car. I need to check but i'm not sure if the GAP had there own inspection carried out.

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Dont Give Your Consent For The Disposal Of The Car Until You Are Happy

 

Have You Tried Asking Your Insurance Company For A Copy Of The Report

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No not yet, its on the list of things to do. As far as we knew the warranty group had this report weeks ago and it wasnt untill last friday they decided they werent going to pay out.

 

I'll find out tomorrow how many inspections were carried out and try and get copies.

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I had modifications on my Ford Focus ... Dealer fitted parking sensors (don't ask its a long story!) and my gap insurers wouldn't cover them. Everything else was fine and my claim was only reduced by £80.

I am told that Confused dot com now provide 'Car Depreciation Insurance' and that there is an option for Dealer Fitted Extra cover.

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GAP only pays out for for manufacturer fitted extras if they are part of the invoice value, if you have dealer fitted extras after they cannot be claimed for but it doesnt invalidate your claim.

 

All other GAP companys ive contact state that in-car entertainment isnt a modification. Click4gap actually put this in there terms....

 

Vehicles fitted with Non Manufacturer specified modifications including but not limited to engine modifications; up-rated brakes, roll cages; steering column extension. Modifications such as alloy wheels, in-car entertainment, sat-nav, hands-free kit, roof rails, tow bar do not preclude the vehicle from being covered.

 

It seems its just TWG that think all the above are modifications and void your claim. They even said a tow bar or roof rack if fitted after the car left the factory is a modification and they wouldnt pay out.

 

I asked the business director of TWG this...

 

"Am I correct in thinking that all in-car entertainment such as additional speakers, amps, subwoofers, sat-nav etc would not invalidate a claim? And a modification is defined as something that alters the performance, suspension, brakes and safety of the vehicle"

 

His response was....

 

"However, to answer your question directly, you are correct. It is not the intention the policy to decline claims where the owner has upgraded their mobile phone kits, sat navs or stereos but it should be realised that unless these are factory ordered (i.e. built into the car by the car manufacturer at time of purchase) and therefore are invoiced, their value cannot be confirmed and are therefore not covered."

 

So basically the cost of the upgrades are not covered but it does not invalidate the claim.

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Ok so we finally have a copy of the vehicle inspection report from TWG. The report was carried out by DEKRA. They say they dont carry out these reports to find ways to invalidate claims but the report says...

 

"Please check for optional extras and any non-standard fittings or modifcations"

 

Followed by the cars details then a list of yes/no options for exterior,interior,electrical,gearbox.

 

Now the interesting part. Under inspection comments it reads....

 

"Todays inspection found this vehicle to be fitted with standard equipment apart from a high rear spoiler fitted to the tailgate." (spoiler was a factory fit option)

 

New line and paragraph....

 

"A FLI speaker box was fitted into the luggage area behind the right rear seat, this unit has a 1000 watt large speaker, the other side of the box could not be seen due to the unit being trapped behind the seat. Damage was seen to the unie with the large speaker being away from its fixing."

 

Now to me that says everything is fine and the report just points out the fact that there was a subwoofer fitted.

 

TWG told us that the engineer who carried out the report told them that the subwoofer was a modification and they were simply going on what the engineer had told them.

 

Next step is a complaint in writing to TWG and FOS.

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So we made a complaint by letter asking many questions as to why the claim was denied and basically got a poorly written letter back avoiding all the points we made and saying they denied the claim because the subwoofer that they cant proove was wired up although not visable may be audible and there fore putting the car in a higher insurance risk group.

 

In regards to the emails from Mr Whelan they ignored what we said and told us he's saying they will not be covered, yes the value wont be but it doesnt invalidate the policy.

 

We've now contacted the FOS as TWG cant and wont give us any straight answers. My main concern is there the only GAP underwritters that dont cover in-car entertainment so there must be thousands of policys out there that are worthless.

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They can't prove it was wired up! So that means it could have been luggage in the boot. Are they suggesting then that the groceries from Asda are a modification.

 

I don't think I would be as patient as you have been. The policy does not say it is a modification, it has not change the car in any form or shape and I would now be threatening court action to let a judge decide.

 

Removing the air filter and adding ram pipe is a modification. This is just a blatant attempt to get out of paying.

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It's clear there trying to pull a fast one. We've contacted the fos who will be writting to them on our behalf so we'll see what that turns up but in the mean time the very helpfull mr whelan has taken the claim details and I'm hoping to hear something back next week. Hopefully he will be able to shed some light and give us a straight answer to our enquires.

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Just a quick update......

 

Had a phone call today from an adjudicator at the FOS today saying that TWG are in the wrong as far as he is concerned and he will be contacting them letting them know they should pay up.

 

Of course TWG now have the option to appeal which will then go onto then ombudsmen whos decision will be final. We shall sit tight and wait and see.

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great news

 

it pays to stick to your guns

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Result, A nice cheque for £4500 was in the post today courtasy of TWG. :D

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