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Motor Insurance - welshstaff
I was wondering if anybody out there has had a similar experience to ours with our motor insurance policy. We have full cover on our car and when we took it out we specified all that we wanted covered and of course this included fire and theft but after having a problem with our car and the loom burnt out we were told the car was a virtual right-off and to contact our insurance company so we were horrified to be told that it was not covered as the policy did not cover electrical faults or wear and tear but surely nowadays all cars have so many electrical parts this is silly. Anyway to cut a long and painfull story short, the assessor told us the car could be repaired for about £3500 but then we got a letter to say that the insurance would not pay out, to be honest when we read our policy we just read the first part that states covered for fire and theft and did not notice the tiny writing to say see exceptions on page so and so. Anyway after reading the exceptions our car was not covered for anything really as it stated any electrical parts or short circuits - we have realised now that if we had just left the car burn to the ground then we would have been paid out but we thought we were doing the right thing by preventing further damage. We wonder now what are we paying insurance for? We have ended up lossing the whole lot, no car and no money. Can anybody say about similar experiences or are we just very unlucky or stupid - please don't answer that!!!
Motor Insurance - Galaxy
That's insurance companies for you, I'm afraid!

You could report them to the Insurance Ombudsman and see what he has to say about the matter.

Wouldn't the damage be covered by any sort of vehicle warranty that you might have?

Other than that, sorry, I don't really know what to suggest.

Motor Insurance - daveyjp
A link to the actual policy would be useful.

Mine covers the car for damage by fire, but no further exclusions relating to how a fire may start.

Most policies contain an exclusion that mechanical, electrical, electronic or computer failures, breakdowns or breakages are not covered by the insurance.

If a component failure results in a fire we could all be in the same situation.

Edited by daveyjp on 09/01/2009 at 09:57

Motor Insurance - L'escargot
We wonder now what are we paying insurance for?

You're paying for cover against unpreventable fire, such as if someone sets fire to your car, but you're not insured against fire which occurs because something in your car has reached the end of its life. Similarly you couldn't expect to get paid for repair to bodywork caused by the engine disintegrating.

As with all documents you need to read insurance policies fully.
Motor Insurance - L'escargot
We wonder now what are we paying insurance for?

In the Fire and Theft section my policy clearly states (in normal sized font) that I am not covered against "Loss of use, depreciation (including diminution in value as a consequence of repair), wear and tear or mechanical, electrical, electronic or computer failure or breakdown."
Motor Insurance - Mapmaker
8< SNIP - removed following a complaint - DD

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 09/01/2009 at 12:40

Motor Insurance - Andrew-T
I suspect you might test the size of this loophole a bit further, to find out whether the is simply using their normal stage-1 refusal tactic. I would have thought that the frequency of cars being written off by electrical fire is not that high, so in total such losses are not great. Does anyone have a feel for this?

If you are prepared to dispute their decision persistently enough they may capitulate. But if the wording is clear and explicit you may have to put it down to experience.
Motor Insurance - motorprop
if the car is written - off by fire and you weren't involved then they should pay. If they refuse to pay just take out a claim in the small claims court ( it's below £5k so no costs awarded against you even if you were to lose , all you can lose is the court fee )

at the end of the day it'll be the judge's decision at that moment. I think you'll find a cheque coming about 3 days before the court date if it gets there .
Motor Insurance - Mr X
If an Insurance company doesn't want to pay out, it has a hundred ways of not doing so, hence the small print is no longer worth reading. If it wants to use the fact that you didn't declare your great , great great grandfather was sent to Aus for stealing a loaf of bread as failure to disclose a conviction, it will.
Motor Insurance - CGNorwich
If it wants to use the fact that you didn't declare your great , great great grandfather was sent to Aus for stealing a loaf of bread

Personal experience Mr X ?
Motor Insurance - CGNorwich
But surely nowadays all cars have so many electrical parts this is silly.

So you would expect the Insurance to cover a starter motor burnt out or a burnt out light bulb?

The Insurance would cover a fire caused by the incident you decsribed but not the actual electrical fault itself. From what you said it appears that there was no actual fire
Motor Insurance - captain chaos
If you had let the car burn to the ground you would have been compensated for the current market value of the vehicle minus the cost of the part which caused the loss to occur. Very tough but that's how motor insurance works I'm afraid. Might be worth writing to the insurance ombudsman as has been mentioned, perhaps even a letter to the insurance company CEO. Nothing ventured, as they say
Good luck
Motor Insurance - Hamsafar
There is a difference between a fire caused by an electrical fault, and an electrical fault burning out a loom with no fire. Otherwise a heated seat burning out would be covered.

Still a useful heads up, if my car starts to burn, I'll make sure it gets going properly so that I'm covered.

Write down all the facts of the incident and then apply the rules to them and this will help you to formulate a response. The rules and facts are the key things, not how you feel or how ticked off you are.

Good luck, keep on at them.

Edited by Hamsafar on 11/01/2009 at 17:58


Value my car