Why are cars technically uninsured if a window is left open for a dog or child?

I recently renewed my car insurance with a reputable company. This time I took a closer look at the terms and exclusions, and was perturbed by the following statement. In the case of an unoccupied vehicle "the policy does not cover loss of or damage to your car as a result of theft or attempted theft if your car gas been left unlocked, left with the keys in it or left with the window or roof open." I accept the condition is reasonable if the car is left unlocked, but I am very concerned about the inability to leave a window or roof open under any circumstances. Effectively it means that, for example, on a hot summer's day, one cannot leave a child, dog, or any living being in a car with access to some form of ventilation.

I asked my broker about this condition, and he said he had never been asked about it before. After checking with other insurance companies, he confirmed that this appeared to be a standard condition with them all. This strikes me as a draconian and impractical measure. As I drive around, I can see many people quite clearly breaching these conditions, leaving a sleeping child at peace in the back of a car for ten minutes during a call to a fuel station, or a dog left in a car whilst the owner does some supermarket shopping, or a dog left in a car during a visit to the vet whilst the family cat is being treated at the same vet. I wonder how many of these people know that they are in breach of their insurance policy? Maybe this letter is worth publishing as a warning to others.

Asked on 21 January 2012 by GS, Saltash

Answered by Honest John
You are right. Most of the people who leave their car with a window open will not realise that it is then uninsured against theft. That said, children and pets should never be left unattended in a car in any circumstance, ever.
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