How closely have you looked at your insurance policy?
Mohan Singh Mohain, who runs Goodcheer Cellar in Derby, found he didn’t have much to cheer about after thieves broke into his locked van in a Booker car park. They caused £250-worth of damage and stole goods worth £900.
He duly submitted his claim to NFRN Mutual assuming ‘goods in transit’ would be covered. However, the letter rejecting the claim seems to suggest that there would have been cover only if Mohan had been in the vehicle and tried to ward the thieves off!
I rang NFRN Mutual and spokeswoman Cathy Atkinson confirmed this was the case. “It’s standard practice with most commercial cover,” she said. “We do tell our members this when we give them a quote.” She said he could appeal - an unusual extra offered is that the claims committee is made up of retailers.
Furthermore a warning about the escalation in thefts from cash and carry car parks had been circulated via email in May (Mohan didn’t receive this because the NFRN doesn’t have his email address).
I also contacted Stuart Knowles, business development manager with SME, which provides our own Convenience Store insurance package. He replied: “The Convenience Store Insurance brand has a panel of insurers, and while each has its own wording surrounding theft from vehicles, there are none that contain the exclusions quoted by the NFRN letter.”
The policy wording on theft from an unattended vehicle says there is cover so long as the vehicle has all its doors and windows locked and the keys removed and any protective devices in operation. (If the vehicle contains target stock with a value above £2,500, it must be fitted with an immobiliser approved by the insurer).
Stuart’s advice was to appeal and consult the ombudsman if necessary.