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When a Theft Can Leave You High and Dry With Your Insurer

We've all popped out of our cars to poke a note through someone's letterbox, or drop off a parcel, leaving the engine running for just a few moments.
Delivery drivers do it too.
But sometimes the seemingly impossible happens: the delivery driver's back is turned for such a short time, but a thief is tempted by an easy opportunity and the prospect of potentially valuable goods in the van.
He's made away with the van AND the goods in the blink of an eye.
What are the likely repercussions of such a small lapse in judgment? The delivery driver might lose his job.
It seems harsh but he has likely cost his employer an awful lot of money because the business owner has no recourse to recover his losses via his van insurance.
For any business in similar circumstances, there would be two costly losses here which they would no doubt seek to redress from their insurance company: the loss of the delivery van itself, and the value of the goods in transit.
But here's the thing: if a courier van is left unlocked, unattended and with the keys dangling invitingly from the ignition, how on earth can a claim of theft be enforced? Insurance companies usually state in the small print that vehicle owners take reasonable steps to ensure their van is secure and safeguarded.
This is reasonable enough - after all, an insurance company has enough legitimate claims to drain its coffers without having to pander to fools who practically throw out an open invitation to thieves.
The same goes for the goods in your van.
Assuming you've taken out Goods in Transit insurance, in circumstances such as these, don't hold out too much hope of recovering the value of any stolen goods.
Forcible entry is usually a minimal requirement for a goods in transit claim to be considered.
It's important for businesses to recognise that this is a very plausible situation, and remind drivers to be aware of the risks involved in leaving their vans unattended for even a very short period.
The financial consequences to the business owner could be dire: losing a valuable vehicle, as well as the value of the goods in the delivery van, not to mention having to discipline an otherwise valued employee.
So if you've got decent van insurance in place, pat yourself on the back, but don't put yourself get in the position of not being able to claim on it!


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