After a brazen robbery of a family home in Büren, the injured party is left with the damages. The man now wants to defend himself against the negative decision of the insurance company.
In January, unknown persons managed to steal a large amount of cash from a family home in Büren SO.
Because the perpetrators searched the house and used the PIN code to access the garage, the insurance company doesn’t want to cover the loss.
The victim does not want to accept that. However, for the storage of cash, special rules apply to insurance companies.
On January 25, an unknown person entered the house of a family in Büren, in the canton of Solothurn. The case became public after the victim posted video surveillance footage of his home on Facebook. The masked perpetrator could also be seen, who brazenly parked his silver BMW with no license plates in his victim’s driveway. The same man, along with an accomplice, had been hanging around the house in the previous days and had once tried to force the front door unsuccessfully.
That Tuesday morning, the perpetrator was able to access the property through the garage, which he opened with a PIN code. Then they stole two boxes with a large amount of money. The injured party denounced the alleged bankruptcy of his insurance company. Nearly three months later, the insurance company issued a decision and the injured party could hardly believe his eyes.
“According to the circumstances described by the police, there is no robbery or robbery,” says the Zurich insurance claims inspector, citing the police report. The perpetrators did not force their way into the building, but did open the garage door with the correct code. The consequence: do not step on the damage position. Monetary values of up to CHF5,000 are only insured in the event of theft. On the other hand, the repair of the entry door of the attempted break-in and the replacement costs of the two cash registers would be reimbursed.
“I’m not going to accept that,” says the victim. He has already explained in writing to Zurich Insurance how his house had been “attacked” by “fully masked people” for six days at all possible hours of the day and night. He also provided the insurer with surveillance footage documenting the processes described. “The images, the situation and the facts are really unbeatable. Such a brazen approach is hard to imagine,” replies the damage inspector. In his 40 years of professional experience he has never seen anything like it. However, so far, the compassionate words have not changed the assessment of the case.
Upon request, Zurich Insurance explained that it is standard market practice for the basic version of household goods insurance to cover only monetary values up to CHF 5,000 in the event of robbery and theft, but not in the case of simple theft. “Anyone who has more than CHF5,000 in cash at home and wants to be insured can take out supplementary insurance,” says spokeswoman Cornelia Birch. However, cash is required to be kept in a locked safe weighing more than 100 kilograms or in a wall-mounted safe. The insured would have to keep the key or code carefully in another room or take it with them personally.
How many policyholders are aware of this? “From a consumer protection point of view, the problem of general insurance conditions is comparable to that of general terms and conditions,” says Luien Jucker, a lawyer at the Swiss Foundation for Consumer Protection. For consumers, increasingly lengthy and complicated BAVs are a disaster. In the case of Zurich Insurance, the AVB for home insurance is almost 50 pages long.
In case of conflict, policyholders can also contact the private insurance advocate and Suva. In the present case, however, the injured party’s chances of success are likely to be low. “Unauthorized entry into a house using a PIN code at the house or garage door is not theft,” Ombudsman Martin Lorenzon said on request. He also points out that high standards of due diligence apply to the secure storage of valuables, because these are at particular risk of theft.
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