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Insurance refusing to pay out after Theft of Car


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Hi,

 

A Friend had her car stolen from outside her house. She had given the keys to a 17 year old neighbor for him to gain access to the car to wash it inside and out.

About an hour later she looked out the window and the car was gone, she went to the neighbors house to find out where the car was as she had not given him permission to drive it but he was not there. When she got home the police were already at her house, the car had been written off a couple of roads down.

As far as she is concerned the neighbor stole the car as he did not have permission to drive it.

 

The neighbor has told the police he left the key in the ignition and the window open and went to a shop with his friends, somebody else stole the car.

 

Insurance company have said since the key was in the ignition and the window was open they will not pay out.

 

Can anybody please advise where my friend stands on this?

 

Thanks

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This may help.

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/38/keys-in-car-38.htm

 

There may be case for taking the the neighbour to court for negligence! but as under 18 may not work!

 

I don't think being under 18 would stop a claim for negligence. From what I understand, age is not relevant. It is whether the person concerned would be aware that their actions would not be prudent. If it were their own car, would they leave the keys in the ignition with the windows open and then leave the car unattended to go down to the shops ?

 

I can't see the Insurers paying out and that the cars owner will need to take the neighbour to court. Suggest that they see a Solicitor.

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UB 67, you could be right.

From CAB site:

Negligence

 

As a child or young person you can be sued for negligence through your parent. Negligence is defined as failure to act with reasonable care thus causing damage to other people or property. An injured party has the right to sue for compensation. An example of negligence is riding a bicycle in a manner which results in personal injury or damage to property.

When taking court action against a child or young person for negligence, the person taking action (the claimant) should name the child or young person as the defendant and a parent or guardian who can act as the litigation friend (next friend in Northern Ireland).

The age of the child or young person will be taken into account when deciding whether behaviour is negligent. There is no point in someone suing a young person who does not have money unless, for example, the young person is insured. However, someone who successfully sues a child or young person aged under 16 may wait until the child is working before enforcing the judgment. Judgments must be enforced within six years.

A parent can be held liable for their child’s negligence if the parent failed to take reasonable care to see that the child did not cause harm to others.

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If the neighbour has Home Contents Insurance, if OP win a negligence case against the Son, then the liability cover on the neighbours Home Insurance may pay out. If the OP or their Solicitor is writing to the neighbour, they should advise them to inform their Home Contents Insurers of the situation, that a liability claim may be coming their way.

We could do with some help from you.

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I dont doubt for a minute that the story told by the lad is anything but true as it is obviously very common to leave a car unattended with the windows down and the keys in but I bet the police SOCO wasnt called to check for fingerprints of a third person just to make sure that is was someone else driving at the time.

No-one injured so no real effort expended in chasing after someone who wont get done, whether it was a stranger or not.

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