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Would i be covered for damage causedby wrong fuel?

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janetsflower | 11:26 Mon 18th Feb 2008 | Insurance
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I did a silly thing just before christmas and put the wrong fuel in my car, didn't realise it had happened and drove quite a long way before the car started to struggle and ground to a halt - too late- i had damaged injectors and rail whatever they might be and had a huge garage bill to put it all right. It has just occured to me that i did this by accident -could this be classed as accidental damage and would i be covered by my insurance - i have fully comprehensive cover with Tesco. Just wondering if is worth trying to make a claim as i have had the work done, and paid the bill


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I wouldn't even bother trying
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If you were washing your car and scratched it, it would be classed as accidental damage, even though it is your fault. If you crash into somebody it is classed as accidental damage, even though it is your fault.

If you put the wrong fuel in your car and it causes damage it is classed as accidental damage even though it is your fault.

As with all insurance policies you will need to check the wording, but unless this type of incident is specifically exluded, it will be covered.

The only problem you may have is that you've already had the repairs done.
Accidental damage is when you spill a pot of paint on your carpet or similar. Your car insurance is for damage caused in an accident, not being stupid enough to put the wrong fuel in your tank. If you cannot even pay attention in a petrol station, are you actually competent enough to be driving on the road.
actually Kevin and pickle, we cover this (as do other insurers).

At the end of the day, whilst it is caused by negligence, the same can be said nof people who crash their casrs due to speeding, not looking before pulling out of junctions, etc.

Its not an insurer's decision, but due to the ombudsman deciding that so long as it wasn't a deliberate act, it's accidental damage.

I personally don't agree with this decision, and I don;t feel we should pay, but there you go

So perhaps we need another clause, "damege caused by being a total wally" to be included along with accidental damage.
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Question Author
Well thanks everyone for the answers, I didn't need the insults tho kevin, I am sure you are in a minority if you never make mistakes, lucky you! And thanks for your response gouldc I will give my insurers a call and see what they say. Thanks again
wrong fuel = Driver Induced Error, so you wont be covered. You could get a quote, and if it exceeds you excess, which it possibly will, you can see if the insuers will let it go through as a claim. This may reduce you one of cost the beggining, but it will result in an increase in your insurance, so I would just have it repaired and pay for it your self. dont damage your claims history.

How much was it? and for which car?
I am sorry janetsflower, it was honestly a bit of lighthearted banter. I have a diesel engine and my wife petrol, so I had actually filled hers and went to fill mine and put 10p worth of petrol in my diesel. No real damage but I got some abuse from my missus when I told her. Hope you are not too offended. X
There isn't generally a specific clause in any policy (that i've seen to date anyway) that would exclude this, and besides which, the ombudsman would most likely make your insurer cover this.

As for driver induced error, you can use this to cover:
1. pulled out of a minor road without looking - still covered
2. hit a pedestrian - still covered
3. driving too fast in the ice and total the car - still covered

list goes on. You'd be surprised at what stupid stuff we actually cover, but some people don't realise and lie. We find out, and kick your claim out on the basis of misleading info, despite the fact that if you;d been truthful in the first place you'd be covered.

You would be surprised how often people claim for arson (dropped a fag in the car), or hit whilst parked (actually left the handbrake off), when both are human error cases, but equally would both still be covered under the policy.

Don't let people who don't work in the business put you off - it's not so bad when someone says ''I don;t think they'll cover you'', but people shouldn;t be saying ''Not a chance in hell'' when they clearly don;t know better.

Plus, each claim is taken on it's own merits, so on the flipside, whereas we may cover one case of putting the wrong fuel in, we may not cover another due to individual circumstances
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Thanks for that and it turns out i am covered so i am glad i took your advice Gouldc. Kevin - my car is petrol,my husbands car is diesel and our van is diesel, i drive all 3 and have never out the wrong fuel in at the petrol station -my husband had riven my car home and left i virtually empty so i thought i would be on the safe side and top it from the petrol can in the garage which has always only ever contained petrol for the lawnmower etc - how was i to know some numpty had put bloody red diesel in it when they had a digger on hire (not my husband either incidently but someone who works for him!). Oh well all is well that ends well
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