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Here’s an motor insurance nightmare story for you, and I can tell you I'm more than a little bit peeved. My twenty-year-old son had his Scooter stolen last December, his pride and joy that he had owned for three years. It was stolen from where it was parked, in a quiet col-de-sac just outside his girlfriend's house.
Although the Scooter was chained to a wrought iron gate, had a front wheel 'disc lock' and the steering lock was in operation; the thieves still managed to steal it without much trouble apparently.
We reported the theft to the police as soon as we discovered it, and we were very surprised when they rang back a couple of hours later. They informed us that they had apprehended the thieves and located the vehicle. By this time the scooter had a puncture and could not be ridden anywhere, so the Police arranged for it to be 'recovered' by a commercial organisation. This was handled by the insurer as our broker was disinclined to get involved.
The Insurance company then left it in storage for two and half months before an engineer could take a look at it and assess the damage. He immediately declared it a write off which was of course ridiculous, but not nearly as ridiculous as the cash offer we received once the excess had been deducted.
My son loved his scooter and looked after it well. It had a very low mileage, was serviced regularly and repaired whenever it needed to be. To earn a living he worked in a bakery, and “worked” being the operative word here, because without the use of his own transport he could no longer make those early morning starts that bakers are required to do.
During the course of handling our claim, the insurance company never wrote one single letter and only once returned a phone call until the final offer was made. We had to chase THEM all the time, usually by phone. When we called them, we would quite often be kept waiting. Once we waited for over an hour for a claims handler to become available. The brokers of course, were absolutely no help whatsoever and steadfastly refused to be involved!
So, now my son has, no vehicle, no job, and a distinct feeling that dealing with the insurance company was far more traumatic than actually having the scooter stolen.
In summary, vehicle theft and recovery: 2 hours, handling the insurance claim: 11 weeks and running. When the Police originally called us back they said, “don't worry”. I think they should have said the exact opposite!