Nearly unattended

Simon was on a tour of Europe when his bag was stolen. After arriving in Cannes, Simon’s bag was being unpacked in front of his hotel. Simon was standing about one and a half metres from the bag when an unknown man grabbed it and ran away. Simon ran after the man, but was unable to catch him. Simon went to the police station in Cannes and filed a police report.

 

Dispute

Simon had travel insurance and filed a claim when he returned home in October 2015. In April 2016 Simon still had not been contacted by the insurance company. Simon complained to FSCL about the delay and lack of communication in relation to the complaint.

Shortly after contacting us Simon received a letter from the insurance company declining his claim because Simon had left his bag unattended in a public place.

Simon disagreed with this decision as he was never more than a metre and a half away from his bag, and believed he had taken reasonable precautions to avoid losing his bag. In addition to this Simon was still not happy with the amount of time the insurance company had taken to get back to him.

 

Review

We referred the complaint back to the insurance company’s internal dispute resolution process for a review.

 

Outcome

The insurance company overturned their original decision, and accepted Simon’s submission that he could not have prevented the bag being taken. The insurance company covered the items lost from Simon’s bag. The insurance company did not cover the cash lost in Simon’s bag because under his policy cash was only covered if it is carried on the person, or secured in a locked safe.

 

Lesson

When travelling, the insured is required to take reasonable care to protect their belongings. This is an example of when the reasonable care threshold was met. Simon was close enough to his bag to notice it being taken, and was able to pursue the thief. This can be contrasted to situations where the insured leaves their belongings out of eyesight, or far enough away to not notice them being stolen.