Do you know a Comprehensive Motor Insurance may not insure the loss of this vehicle?

You must take all reasonable steps to safeguard the Vehicle from loss or damage

It was reported in the Straits Time on 24th Sep 2017 “Man’s van stolen within minutes, vehicle found 15 hours later with suspected drugs

There are generally three types of coverage one can take up for their car insurance; Third-Party Only (TPO), Third-Party Fire Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive.

When a vehicle is lost through the act of theft, one can normally count on their TPFT and Comprehensive coverage.  In this case, the owner’s insurance, even if its a Comprehensive coverage may not necessarily be liable and he may have ended up not receiving any compensation from his insurance had the vehicle not been recovered. Why?

To be eligible for coverage there are Policy Conditions which the owner or authorized driver is required to fulfill to be insured. In this instance, it probably failed the requirement on Duty of Care of the Vehicle” that I’ve lifted off the policy wordings of a motor insurance policy from a leading insurer. It states  “You must maintain the Vehicle in an efficient and roadworthy condition. We shall at all times have free and full access to examine the Vehicle or any part of it and interview any of Your Authorised Driver(s). You must take all reasonable steps to safeguard the Vehicle from loss or damage.”

Mr Koh was taking his daughter to childcare centre and he left his one-month old van unlocked with the keys inside, but when he returned less than 5 minutes later, his van was gone. Leaving the vehicle unattended with the keys left in the car obviously breached the above condition.

It’s very fortunate that no one was injured or no 3rd party property loss ensued from an accident that the vehicle could have been involved in the time till its recovery. Had there been an accident, there could have had further implications various parties involved.  This is where the issue of Authorised Driver comes under the spotlight. A standard policy exclusion clause excludes coverage on “any person who is not Your Authorised Driver(s).”

Who is an “Authorized Driver”? “Authorised Driver(s) any person with a valid license to drive the Vehicle in Singapore and is

a) driving the Vehicle on Your order or with Your permission; and
b) not excluded under this Policy.”

Given that the thieves are obviously not authorized drivers, any resulting accidents resulting from this theft would have implications for the vehicle owner and its victims; the 3rd parties who had been injured or had property damaged.

From this episode, what are the learning points?

My thoughts:

a) Always secure you car, even for 1 minute.

b) Ensure, you are well protected with a good personal accident that pays you for an income while waiting through the process of litigation,  it can take years!

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Last Updated On:
Monday, September 25, 2017
Tags: Deductible