HUK-Coburg – Car theft: Insurance doesn’t always pay


Car theft. Photo: Mobility of the Union of Authors/Goslar Institute

Whether the windows are slightly open or the sunroof open in the summer, the car is only unlocked for a short time while you pay for gas, or the top is left down, some drivers make it easy for thieves. Therefore, a vehicle should never be left unlocked, even for a brief moment to do something. Because insurance does not always cover damage, it depends on the circumstances.

HUK-Coburg’s Goslar Institute for Consumer-Friendly Insurance makes it clear that household goods insurance typically covers items stolen from a car by breaking it open. However, this only applies if the insured is not jointly and severally liable for the negligence. And that can be available quickly. Anyone who parks their vehicle in a public space and leaves valuables in it should expect partial or no compensation in the event of damage. This includes not only streets and squares, but also public parking lots. If the car is broken into there, the insurer always checks the circumstances and, if necessary, reduces the benefit or pays nothing.

Even a properly locked car is no guarantee of getting money if valuables are stolen from the vehicle. For example, the Goslar Institute refers to a judgment of the Frankfurt am Main district court from 2019, in which objects were stolen from a car, but there were no signs of a break-in (Az.: 32 C 2803/18 (27). ). In the case in question, the plaintiff had claimed 3,000 euros from his household insurance. As there was no evidence of forced opening, a clause in the insurance came into force according to which it should only compensate if the theft was committed “by forcing closed motor vehicles”, which also included the “use of keys or improper keys”. another not for the correct opening of certain tools “, that is to say, also the possible intervention of the radio signal of the original key, but the victim of the robbery could not later prove that she had indeed correctly locked her car.

The court also clarified that the so-called interference was not covered by the insurance clause. The authors block the radio remote control of the key with a transmitter (“jammer”) so that the vehicle does not lock properly. A subsequent theft would not occur from a closed car, but from an open one. The insurance company then does not have to. The HUK-Coburg therefore generally recommends not leaving any valuables in the car and always making sure the car is locked.

It is undisputed that motor vehicle insurers, in the case of partial or full insurance, generally cover the costs of repairing damage to a vehicle that has occurred as a result of a break-in or attempted break-in, such as broken windows. However, loose items in the vehicle such as mobile phones, cameras, bags and other items are not insured. As I said, they are covered by household insurance. (awm)



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