A consumer leaves his car running and unattended

Motor Insurance

Trevor complains after his car was stolen from his driveway while he was in his house.

What happened

Trevor’s car was stolen from his driveway while he was in his house. He’d left the keys in the ignition and the engine running to de-ice the car. When he tried to claim on his insurance policy, the insurer told him they wouldn’t pay as he’d left his car unattended with the keys inside.

Trevor felt his insurer unfairly rejected his claim so he made a complaint. The insurer said in its final response that they won't be paying out his claim. Unhappy with the final response, Trevor referred his complaint to us. 

What we said

We asked for a copy of the statement Trevor made to the police, which he said he’d been upstairs when the car was stolen. The car was some distance away and out of sight, so we thought it was fair for the insurer to say he’d left the car unattended. And looking at the policy documents Trevor had been sent when he bought his policy, the keys in car exclusion had been clearly highlighted. We thought the insurer had acted fairly in rejecting his claim.

We’ll always look at each individual case to decide what’s fair. For example, if a customer left their car after being called away to an emergency, we might agree an insurer should still pay out on the claim. We’ll also check whether the insurer clearly highlighted that leaving a car could lead to a claim being rejected.