British pensioners refused insurance payout after their car was stolen and torched

Published:  5 Sep at 6 PM
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A British expats couple are being treated unfairly by their insurance company after they were gassed and had their car stolen and torched.

After falling into an unusually deep sleep, pensioners John and Jacqueline Armitage were woken by Spanish police knocking on their door to let them know their burnt-out car had been found after having been involved in a number of robberies. The horrified couple had no idea the Toyota had been stolen and are convinced they’d somehow been gassed prior to the robbery. According to John, he’s a very light sleeper and their dog normally barks at the smallest noise, with police also believing they’d been gassed.

As if their scary experience and the loss of their Toyota wasn’t enough, the couple are now facing a bureaucratic nightmare as their Spanish insurance company is refusing to pay out. The Gibraltar-based insurers are claiming they must present the original documents, which John kept in the car according to the demands of Spanish law. When the vehicle was torched, the insurance certificate went up in the flames and was completely destroyed, but the insurance company will only accept originals. John told local reporters the insurer’s system is stupid, adding they’re screwed unless they can provide duplicates and the insurance company will accept them.

The couple have already spent several hundred pounds travelling to Malaga in order to get a duplicate registration document and the car’s IVT documentation. Their car came with them 11 years ago when they emigrated to Mollina, near Antequera, and its details been transferred to Spanish number plates. According to Tradewise Gibraltar, the couple’s insurers, it would be ‘inappropriate’ for the company to comment on an individual case, quoting a law which allows them 40 days from initial reporting of a claim in order to complete an internal investigation. After that time, the minimum amount of compensation must be paid to the claimant. It’s to be hoped that common sense will eventually prevail and the couple will receive the full amount due.
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