The insured discovered problems with his vehicle and took it to be tested.  The testing found that water entered to gearbox of the vehicle through the dipstick cover after heavy rain.

The claim was declined by the insurer on the basis that it was not a sudden and accidental event causing damage to the gearbox and also based on an exclusion for wear and tear and transmission failure.

The insurer’s expert, however, could not explain how water could enter the gearbox and the Ombudsman accepted the evidence from the insured’s expert, that the only explanation was sudden damage from flooding or heavy rain.

The Ombudsman said that none of the exclusions applied and that the insured had established a sudden and accidental event. The gearbox failure was caused by the flooding, not by a mechanical failure of the gearbox.  The insurer was required to pay for the damage to the vehicle.

Alan Knowsley
Insurance Lawyer