Holidaymakers win insurance dispute
TAXI company owner Andy Jack has taken on an insurance giant and won after the company finally agreed to pay out for a theft which ruined his holiday.
AXA Insurance refused to pay out after Andy, 48, of Burns Way, had cash and passports stolen from under his nose at Gatwick Airport, costing him thousands of pounds.
The theft meant he and wife Sara, 48, a nursing auxiliary at Great Western Hospital, were unable to take their holiday to Turkey on September 17 to celebrate her birthday and wedding anniversary.
AXA had rejected Andy’s claim on the basis of the wording of the agreement, insisting he was only covered if he was watching his property at the time.
But after a month of pressure, Andy has forced them to back down.
“They told me it was a very extraordinary case and they have never had any like it before, which I find very hard to believe,” he said.
“They said that on this occasion they would pay out for all of our losses.”
Andy says the only reason he was successful was because he would not let the issue rest, whereas some people might just accept what they were told.
“They got out of it on the wording,” he said. “People do not pay attention to that until something happens to them.
“I was constantly in contact with them, sending emails all the time. It was a case of highlighting the problems we had, and they caved in because they did not want the bad press.
“We constantly hounded them and pointed out the legislation. The ombudsman has the final say and then AXA have to look at the policy in hand.
“There is a series of meetings when they have to discuss what happened and be honest with themselves.
“Some people will shrug their shoulders, but I was willing to stand my ground and I got some results from that.”
Pressure from the ombudsman forced AXA to review Andy’s case and admit they were wrong.
“It was about a week ago that I had someone from AXA ring me up, who said she was high up in the claims department,” he said. “She had the recorded conversation of my initial claim, but she wanted me to tell her exactly what happened.
“She had the power to overrule any decision and she offered to refund the money for the passports and the cash that was stolen.
“She then went away, and came back to me saying she could reimburse me for the money lost on the holiday as well.”
The couple will now be able to go on their annual holiday after all, after a month of grief.
“We are getting in the region of £2,000 back, which we will put towards a holiday to visit friends in Dallas,” added Andy.
“I would say to anyone in similar circumstances that if you have a cast iron case it is worth pursuing it.
“If you go down the right roads you will get a result.”
A spokesperson for AXA Insurance said: “Having had time to look into this case in more detail, AXA has decided to take a pragmatic approach and settle the claim in full.
“We have currently issued payment to Mr Jack for the amount of £2093.64 which covers the cost of replaced and stolen items as well as the cost of cancellation for Mr AND Mrs Jack.
“As the circumstances surrounding this claim are quite unique, there are not plans to make any changes to the policy wording.”
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