It is the ultimate nightmare: The key ring is stolen and the thief then clears out the apartment without having to break in. Normally, this should not be a problem for household insurance, because it pays for it if there were burglars at work in the apartment or house. However, insured persons can also experience a nasty surprise whenever they have acted negligently in the opinion of the insurance company.
A momentous shopping spree
The higher regional court in Hamm, Westphalia, now had to deal with one Bring a case where a woman sued her home insurance policy for refusing to pay. This was preceded by a somewhat curious theft. The plaintiff was cycling and had her handbag in a basket that was attached to the front of the bike. In the handbag were the wallet and the identity papers as well as the house keys. When the lady took her bike, basket and handbag out of sight for a moment, a thief took the opportunity and stole the handbag. The lady reported the theft to the police immediately, but the thief was quicker and stole objects worth over 17,000 euros from the apartment.
The household insurance should pay
the damage caused by the Theft occurred, the woman reported to her home insurance company and then experienced an unpleasant surprise. The insurance company did not deny that the lady was insured against damage of this kind, but the fact that the theft of the key was due to negligence led to the refusal to settle the claim. The handbag, according to the insurance company, was open and accessible to everyone in a basket and that is negligent. Since the insurance and the lady could not come to an agreement, it went to court.
So ruled the court
The plaintiff suffered a severe defeat before the higher regional court in Hamm, because the judges gave the insurance Law. In their opinion, it was not a classic case of theft, as it was preceded by negligence. The thief would not have been able to break into the apartment so easily if he hadn’t had a key. The judges did not accept the plaintiff’s objection that she always had the bicycle close by. She should have carried her handbag with papers and keys on her body to prevent theft.
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