“Lock it or lose it” – wake-up call for insurance customers

21 October 2015

Twenty four incidents of theft from cars in Wellington over one weekend is a wake-up call for insurance customers, says Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, Karen Stevens.

“Leaving your car unlocked and your valuables visible is a double risk. You could have your items stolen and find you have no insurance cover,” says Karen.

Wellington Police have been reminding people to always lock their cars, and to take better care of their valuables such as wallets, phones, i-pads, laptops, cameras, or sports gear.

The “lock it or lose it” steps apply to everyone:

  1. Lock your car
  2. Take all valuables with you
  3. Make sure car windows are closed
  4. Consider installing an alarm.

Karen says taking “reasonable care” of your property is a standard requirement in insurance policies, particularly car, house, contents and travel insurance policies.

“We receive many complaints when insurance claims are declined, because insurers do not believe people took reasonable care for the safety and security of their property,” says Karen.

“This can mean not locking your car when filling up with petrol; leaving the windows of your house open; leaving your valuables on a beach while swimming; or leaving your baggage unattended at airports. Unfortunately, many people think they’re automatically covered if they have paid for insurance; not necessarily so, unless you comply with your policy obligations. You must always take care of your valuables, and take necessary precautions to avoid theft or burglary.”

See the NZ Police media statement