Insurance Claims

Wrecked and stolen cars add to winter claims, says AA Insurance

23 December 2009

Drivers who abandoned their cars in the snow are returning to find them damaged. Claims are also coming in for cars stolen off drives while warming up, says AA Insurance.

Snow and black ice have brought up to 40% more insurance claims than for normal December days – but some display a distinct lack of Christmas goodwill, says AA Insurance.

Drivers returning to cars they had to abandon are finding that they have been damaged by other vehicles or broken in to by thieves. In one case, an AA customer returned to collect his car and found it completely wrecked by a much larger vehicle.

"There's no worse Christmas gift than finding someone has left a dent or scrape on your car and not left a note to admit it," says Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance. I would appeal to the conscience of drivers who do accidentally collide with a parked or abandoned vehicle to leave the best Christmas card possible – a note with your contact details so that insurers can sort out the claims."

AA Insurance has also had its first claims this winter for cars that are left to warm up with the engine running, being stolen off drives.

Every winter we have to deal with a spate of such thefts. There is evidence that organised criminals wait for just this kind of opportunity to steal cars, especially upmarket ones, which are otherwise almost impossible to take without the keys.

But insurers almost always reject these claims because theft of an unattended vehicle left open with the keys in it is specifically excluded from policies.

Never, ever let your car warm up on your drive without being present. Far better to use de-icer and scrapers. It also uses much less fuel.

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23 December 2009