2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Insurance does not always pay for the theft of a car immediately. Sometimes the car owner has to dispel doubts about the “authenticity” of the theft.
If their own motor vehicle is stolen, the car owner usually gets the damage caused by his motor vehicle insurance. However, if the insurance company has legitimate doubts about the theft, it can refuse to pay if the car owner does not provide full evidence. The Cologne Higher Regional Court has confirmed this in a judgment.
Key issue is key issue
In the present case, a driver parked his leased luxury limousine in a guarded parking garage in the Slovakian city of Bratislava. After returning from a shopping spree, the vehicle had disappeared according to the driver. He filed a complaint for theft and wanted car insurance to cover the damage. However, the latter refused to pay because the car owner was initially unable to present any of the three original vehicle keys to the insurance company, although all of the keys should have been in the owner's possession if the vehicle had been stolen. In addition, the car owner got entangled in contradictions regarding the whereabouts of the keys.
After he had followed the repeated requests to hand over the key, experts discovered while reading the key that it had been used after the time of the alleged theft. In the opinion of the insurance company, it was therefore a fake crime. She refused to pay.
First instance canceled
The driver complained against it and was right in the first instance. However, the Cologne Higher Regional Court overturned this decision on appeal. Although the external image indicates a theft, if all the circumstances are considered as a whole, it must be assumed that the theft was faked. Since the policyholder cannot prove the opposite, the insurance does not have to pay, according to the judges (OLG Cologne, Az.: 9 U 77/09). (mid)