I accidentally put the wrong fuel in my car – why won’t my insurer pay LV for the cost of pumping out the engine?
- Filling your car with the wrong fuel can cost hundreds of dollars to fix
- But only one in 10 auto insurance policies will cover the cost of a fuel misfuelling claim
I have auto insurance with LV and it claims to cover misfuelling. However, after accidentally doing this recently, I was trying to recover the £210 charge.
LV rrejected my claim on the basis that I first called Green Flag, my roadside assistance company, and not LV.
I don’t recall reading this specific requirement in my policy. Anyway, when sputtering to a stop in a dark side road, it was obvious to call my breakdown service and not my insurer.
am Is it true that I am a little surprised by this? I would expect most people in similar circumstances to contact their breakdown company… Via email
Pumped up: Putting the wrong fuel in your prized engine means a costly bill
Sam Barker, from This is Money, replies: Filling the wrong fuel in a car is something that all drivers dread.
A moment of distraction at a gas station and our petrol car can end up full of diesel, or vice versa.
Depending on how much of the wrong fuel you put in, at best your tank will need to be pumped out, which normally costs £150 to £300.
The worst-case scenario can also lead to serious engine damage and a bill of hundreds or thousands of pounds.
To make matters worse, most auto insurance policies won’t cover fuel misfuelling claims.
According to the financial information agency Defaqto, only 13 percent of auto insurance policies default to cover the cost of draining the wrong fuel from a vehicle.
Another 3 percent of these insurance policies allow you to pay extra to cover the cost of draining fuel from an engine.
When it comes to engine damage due to misfuelling, only 42 percent of car insurance policies pay out.
Your LV policy covers claims for wrong fuel, but LV personnel made a mistake when you called them to make a claim.
The LV claims handler falsely said that the insurance would only pay out if you used the insurer’s own misfuelling service.
However, that is not the case and LV can also reimburse the costs you have paid to Green Flag.
The bottleneck is that you have a voluntary excess of €300 and a mandatory excess of €100, making it cheaper for you not to claim at all.
LV has apologized and given you £25 for the inconvenience.
A spokesperson for LV said: ‘We are sorry that our customer is not satisfied with the service they have received from us.
“LV car insurance customers who have misfuelling coverage can make a claim against their policy in the event of a breakdown.
“If they decide to use another company to recover their vehicle, they can also claim for a refund of the amount they paid, but the deductible on the policy must be paid.
‘In the case of this customer, although he can claim reimbursement for the costs he paid to get his car back after misfuelling, the cost of his claim was £210 but his voluntary excess of £300 + £100 compulsory deductible on his car insurance is £400 so if he decided to make a claim it would cost him more.
“When he first called us we realized we could have been clearer with him about the situation and as an apology we compensated him £25.”