Car stolen - insurer blames driver

2011-11-04 10:00

A student whose car was stolen after armed robbers took her keys at gunpoint was refused a payout by her insurer and in fact blamed the entire ordeal on her.

A UK student, whose vehicle was stolen by armed robbers, was refused a payout by her insurer Admiral.
Trainee teacher Zoe Buckler (29), has spent the past five months battling Admiral, one of Britain’s largest insurers, after the company refused to pay her claim.

As reported in the DailyMail, Buckler was working part time at a newsagent’s shop in Liverpool when three armed men demanded she open the shop safe. The men, armed with guns and knives, stormed into the shop and had a gun held to her head and a knife at her throat.

The robbers made off with her handbag containing the keys to her Opel Corsa as well as the equivalent of R12 600 from the shop safe.

Buckler said: “It only lasted a few minutes, but it felt like hours.”

Despite her harrowing ordeal, Buckler was back at work again the following day. That’s when the robbers struck again stealing her vehicle from the driveway of the house she shares with her boyfriend.


The vehicle was found by authorities 16km away, lying in a field on its roof. The car (worth over £25 000) was a write-off, though insurer Admiral rejected Buckler’s insurance claim stating Buckler had been negligent with her keys.

Buckler has reported he keys being stolen to the police but not to Admiral, who then argued that the thieves were most likely the same criminals who robbed the newsstand and followed her home the next day.

The insurance company said that Buckler should have realised the thieves would follow her and she should have changed her car’s locks.

Buckler said: “It was horrifying to think I may have been followed. I moved back in with my parents for two months, because I was so traumatised.

“Admiral had no sympathy for me whatsoever. They maintained it was entirely my fault the car was stolen,” she said.

Buckler changed the locks to her house but Admiral used this against her, claiming she understood the risk of her property being stolen.


Consumer newspaper Money Mail has frequently named and shamed companies which have turned down claims of honest policyholders. Money Mail contacted Admiral regarding Buckler’s claim and the insurance giant agreed to settle the claim.

A spokesman for Admiral said: “We are sincerely sorry Ms Buckler’s traumatic experience has been compounded by the way in which her claim has been handled” 

“I can confirm we will be paying Ms Buckler for her claim and, by way of apology, we will be waiving the excess of R3154 and offering her R6308 compensation.”