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We hear from people who’ve had insurance claims turned down after their cars have been stolen. Often, this is because the insurer thinks the car was stolen using its own key – and that the owner must have left the key inside or near to the car.

need to know

  • Most car insurance policies don’t cover claims for theft if the keys were left in or around the car. Because this exclusion is important, we’ll check whether the insurer clearly highlighted it when the insurance was sold. And we’ll make sure it’s fair for them to apply it in their customer’s particular situation.
  • If an insurer says someone left their car unattended – or left their keys in it – we’ll find out more about the circumstances. If we think someone was near to their car – and had a good reason to leave it – we might tell the insurer to pay the claim.
  • If there’s no sign of a break-in, an insurer might say that a car’s keys were used to steal it. But from the complaints we see, we know there can be different explanations. So we’ll check the insurer has fully considered other options.
  • An insurer might tell us someone didn’t take enough care of their
    car – putting it at risk of being stolen. We’ll ask questions about
    why, where and how someone left their car – and decide whether
    they knew there was a risk. If they didn’t, we’re likely to tell the
    insurer to pay the claim.

common complaints showing our approach

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