Car insurance - stolen recovered

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bingoban90 | 09:04 Thu 09th Apr 2009 | Insurance
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My car was stolen in january 2009. It has now been returned to me. Minimum damage was done and repaired by the insurance company. I have been told that i can get the stolen recovered tag removed from my car, as it has been returned. Can any one shed any light on thia? As I am sure you are aware that it is hard to part ex or sell a car with this tag?


Category C and Category D Registered Cars


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No you can't. We have an obligation to add these vehicles onto a system called MIAFTR (Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register).

It would have iniitally shown the vehicle as being stolen, but will be amended to show stolen - damaged, not a total loss.

However, this should not appear on any HPI checks (I'm 99% certain anyway), as they should only show written off and unrecovered vehicles.

At the end of the day, people are entitled to know about the history of the vehicle, which is the whole point of HPI and the various databases we use in the insurance industry.

Look at it another way, how would you feel if you bought a car with a potentially dubious history, but the previous owner had removed the entires from the databases and not told you?
Question Author
I agree to the fact that people are entitled to know the history of a vehicle. However the victims of these crimes are punished, i can not sell my car for the correct value, even though minimum damage has been done. I am looking at losing �5K due to my car being taken with out my consent. Insurance companies do not allow for this loss. As insurance companies are aware of this loss taken on board by the consumer, nothing is in place to compenate for this? I have done a HPI check and it is showing stolen recovered!

i am a bit confused as to why a car should lose 5k in value owing to it previously being stolen. Are you sure you are not just overestimating the value before stealing? the bottom has dropped out of the car market recently
The MIAFTR system was put in place by the DVLA, ABI (Association of British Insurers), ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), and the Salvage industry. It is a point of law that we have to update it, and there are very specific guidelines as to how we do this - I have countless arguments with people over this sort of issue. We are obliged to enter every vehicle that was stolen or written off - once on, unless a mistake was made, the car will remain on there.

�5k is hell of a big drop - don't know what car you have there?

However, there is no case in law for diminuation of value - the idea of insurance is to put you back in the same position that you were in prior to the loss (i.e. repair the vehicle to it's pre-incident condition, or pay the market value in the event it is written off/unrecovered). This is all decided by the courts, not by the insurance industry. Obvously if we did have to take this into account, premiiums would increase as a result.

I sympathise with you totally - it's not a fair system, but it's a double edged sword.

Take the example - there are two seemingly identical cars for sale at a garage. Both are priced at �10000. One was a previous stolen recovered vehicle that has been repaired to an identical condition as the one that has not been stolen. Which one would you realistically buy?

The systems are in place to protect the consumer - I have bought plenty of previous ''proper'' write-off's (i.e categorised salvage), and have no issue with it. But some people will.

Insurance is, in general, flawed. I work in the industry, and cannot honestly say I agree with half the rules, but you have to work with it.
If you have the car details, I am happy to value it for you myself.

Would need the year/letter of registration, model, engine size, number of doors, and mileage.

I can give you the retail and trade values (i.e. top and bottom book). Generally expect to get bottom book on any trade in at a garage, especially in the current market.
Question Author
Hi gouldc
Audi S3 December 2006 56 plate 2.0 T 27K miles. 3 door hatch. I have already been told by Audi that they won't part Ex stolen recovered vehicles. It is still under warranty!
Surprised that Audi won't part-ex it - granted it's showing as stolen recovered, but it's not a total loss.

Top book (retail) is �18050
Bottom book (trade) is �16050

That is at 31000 miles - give or take maybe �300 for your slightly lower mileage.

These figures are from April 2009 Glass's Guide
Interesting issue. We had a similar case recently.
It is correct that Audi won't part-Ex a Stolen Recovered Vehicle.

High Class Audi stolen recovered. We wrote to insurers saying that the Insured refused to have it back as it breached the indemnity principle - as the vehicle could not be Part Exchanged the insured could not be put back into the position they were in pre-accident.

Counsel's opinion agreed and pointed out that there was a duty to disclose Stolen Recovered Status in the Fraud Act 2006 and possibly also to disclose that it couldn't be part-exchanged. Failure to disclose could be Fraud by Silence under the 2006 Act (See recent case-law).

Expert report said that value of a high-class vehicle incapable of Part-Exchange was significantly diminished and valued diminution in value at "in excess of 30% of value of Car immediately prior to theft".

This left the insurer with a headache.
If an Audi is stolen and recovered:
a) Pay out book value on any Audi if stolen and recovered; {and this has huge implications for Audi less than 1 year old with Gap Insurance or new car provisions); or
b) Repair and return the Audi and then pay the insured between 30% and 50% of the value of the vehicle prior to theft in compensation for diminution in value of the vehicle.

Funnily enough the insurer paid the insured the full value of the car and tells us that it will sell the vehicle via auction.

DL Legal

Payton v Brooks 1974 (before Lord Justice Ormrod); Brightmore v Eaton 1986 (before Judge Crowther QC) and Watson v Aston Hackney Turvey 1991 (at Leeds County Court):
"The Diminution in Value occurs immediately after the accident damage has been repaired. From that date, the motor car has a diminished value which remains with it for the rest of its existence. The diminution does not arise upon the sale of the car. It is my view, therefore, that the damages for Diminution in Value to which a plaintiff is entitled is the difference between the price the plaintiff would obtain if he sold the car immediately after the repairs had been completed and the price he would have obtained on that date if the car had not been involved in an accident. "
I am in a very similar situtation as bingoban90....
Our cars were stolen after a break in last month, my car was immediately found to be burnt out whereas my wife's car was recovered yesterday afternoon. Only yesterday morning she was advised by her insurance company that a cheque was in the process of being issued to settle the claim and she should receive it by Monday. After being advised by the police yesterday afternoon, that the vehicle has been recovered we did the right thing and informed the insurance company. They have immediately stopped the claim and advised that if the car is in good condition (which we believe it is) that we will have the car back after the locks have been changed and any repairs made. Odviously my wife no longer wants a vehicle that has been stolen, it has no resale value, so we are stuck with a vehicle we do not want or can sell for its true value.
We were offered �6k by the insurance company yesterday morning for the total loss of the vehicle, now the vehicle will only reach between 3 - 4 k if we are lucky. My question is - do we have the right to claim back the difference from the insurance company? We spoke with them this morning and they said that we cannot use the legal protection we purchased through the insurance, against themselves, however I was under the impression that the legal cover you pay for was independent of the insurance company you bought it through, is this not the case? I'd really appreciate your advice on where we stand with this.
I am in a similar situation to bingoban90........
My house was broken in to last month while we were asleep upstairs, and as well as personal posessions, both our cars were stolen. My car was found immediately, burnt out, however my wife's car was only recovered yesterday afternoon.
We were in the process of settling the insurance claim so the logbook etc had been sent off to the insurers and the ownership of the car had been transferred to them via the DVLA (as instructed by them).
My wife received a call from the insurance company only yesterday morning, offering a settlement of �6K and we were told that this should all be finalised on Friday of this week.
As the car was recovered yesterday afternoon, we did the right thing and informed the insurance company, however now they tell us that the payout will not be issued and the vehicle will be repaired and returned to us in the condition it was in, prior to it being stolen.
Due to the emotional impact this has obviously has on my wife, we will need to sell the car immediately as she is not able to drive the car, however the value of the car will have depreciated about 30%, as indicated in the previous posts.
My question is, are we entitled to claim back the �2K difference in depreciation from the insurance company, considering they were willing to pay out �6K only hours before? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks
This appears to be a test case waiting to happen.

It seems to turn around the wording of the insurance policy and the definition of "Diminution in Value" and "Indemnity Loss" and the meaning of diminution in value (not capitalised).

"Diminution in Value" as a term of art is "loss following accident repairs" (Payton) and does not include 'indemnity loss' stemming from a S&R marking.

However some policies use wording that excludes "Diminution in Value following an accident"

Some policies purport to exclude all diminution in value (and it is unclear whether this also excludes Indemnity Loss).

It is arguable that an insurer may need to exclude:
a) all diminution in value and other loss in saleability arising from any accident involving your vehicle where it has been satisfactorily repaired following an accident; and
b) all loss in value (however calculated) including loss in saleability following a recovery of a vehicle after theft; and
c) b) all loss in value (however calculated) including loss in saleability following inclusion of the vehicle on any database used by the insurance industry.

However an insurer may be required to Indemnify and where there is a S&R marking this may not be possible.
(Unfortunately in the absence of caselaw, it is unclear where the law sits.).

(No liability accepted for comments here. Liability only accepted for advice provided to clients within terms of written legal retainers).
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There are also questions of the Big Red Hand (ShoeLane Parking case)

We are aware of at least one case making its way through to the insurance ombudsman on the issue.

Some policies purport to exclude all loss in value where a vehicle is satisfactorily repaired by an insurer, although the question will arise whether an exclusion (remember Contra proferentem) covers a loss in indemnity. It may be possible to argue that this is not a loss in value following a satisfactory repair but a loss in indemnity following a S&R marker.

(Of course, it is open to the insurance industry to agree to remove S&R markings for recovered vehicles, however the trade won't like this because it acts as a reminder to check for cloned vehicles)

The insurers rely upon most claims falling within Small Claims or Fast Track making legal costs uneconomic. What is needed is a multi-millionaire willing to make an issue out of it or a very valuable vehicle.

(Unfortunately also your problem re legal expenses insurance is a common problem with own-insurer legal expenses insurance - again never tested within the courts to see if it is within unfair contracts terms). Always get legal expenses insurance from an external insurer, not your own insurer - its worth the extra few pounds.

(No liability accepted for comments here. Liability only accepted for advice provided to clients within terms of written legal retainers).
Hi i have a question i purchased a 3 month old car that had been stolen recovered cat d slight damage back in 2003.

I have just done a check and has come back as stolen which i'm not worried about but it has also said it belongs to the insurance company and could be reposessed.

The DVLA check has the correct number of owners so how is the insurance database saying it still belongs to the insurance company.

How can i get the insurance company off the list as the owners?? as i want to sell and no one will touch it if they think it can be reposessed.

I spoke to the company that done the check and they said the insurers should have done this when i brought it but as it wasn't my insurance i dont know who they are to phone and ask any help on how to get this changed???
Sorry re open an old question. But my car was stolen in exactly same way, someone broke into my house whilst me and my family were sleeping and car was stolen, almost 3 hours later car was recovered but had been smashed up.

Insurance advised that they were going to get it repaired (15 weeks ago) and I still don't have it back Although my car is a ford, admiral wanted me to take into drive vauxhall. I have just been advised all the body work is sorted, but the computer hasn't been programmed, vauxhall have now given the car to ford to sort out the computer, who knows how much longer this is going to take.

I have a friend who works at the ford garage where my car is now and what he said has got me really worried. He said that the value of the car will go down a lot especially on a part exchange, he also said that with the stolen recovered flag it will be very difficult to sell.

I also believe the repairs to this vehicle have cost almost 7k. Should this car not have been written off and is their anything I can do. Just had to renew my insurance and direct line valued the car at 11k I am sure before the accident the retail value of this car was about 15k. Part ex value would have prob been 13k.

I am terribly word that this is going to cost me a lot as I still have finance on the car as well as a hefty deposit.

Any ideas or can any one shed some light on what I can do to minimise my losses
Thieves smashed my front door in with a breeze block and stole my car keys and subsequently my car.

Within 24 hours the car was found parked up on an estate and police believe thieves left it here to check to see if it had a tracker.

No damage has been done (although I havent seen this for myself just taking police words - car currently locked in compound awaiting to hear back form them), but obviously we feel this was a targeted attack and they were specifically after this type of car - police said is quite common.

I do not want this car back, I do not feel safe having it on my drive. It is financed and have no way of selling and clearing the full finance.

Is there a way i can refuse to take car back as obviously will need new locks etc as they stoles keys and will then show as Cat D from now on, cars book value about 7k so cannot afford drop in price.

ANy ideas? Can i refuse and force insurance company to take it back ?
I have recently had the MIAFTR taken off my car 3 and a half years after it was stolen and recovered, in the same situation the value I was being offered was considerably lower than it should have been and a garage would not p/ex . I was told by the insurance company it was a mistake on their part should have been removed from the vehicle once it had been recovered ...I then phoned the dvla to make sure it had been removed and it had , I then p/ex my car... but it is so wrong we av to go through this we are the victims who will pay for this through our ins policy for next 5 yrs let alone lose value on our vehicles.

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