The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman has rejected a complaint by an insured in relation to a bag that was stolen at a railway station.  The insured was with his luggage at the railway station and stepped away briefly to place some rubbish in a bin.  In doing so he turned his back on the bags for a few seconds and when he turned back one of the bags had been stolen.

The Ombudsman agreed with the insurer that as the insured had stepped away from his bags, turning his back on them and could not see the bags during the theft, the bags were therefore unattended in a public place and the insurer was entitled to decline the claim.

Only if the insured was with the bags, so they could both see them and stop someone just walking off with them, would they be “attended” when they were taken from a public place.

Alan Knowsley

Insurance Lawyer