Auckland man whose car was trashed by thieves finally wins battle with insurance company

An Auckland man whose car was trashed and smashed by thieves has finally had a "Fair Go" after his story prompted help from an unlikely source.

Luke Chammen's car was stolen and taken for a joyride in February. It was recovered by police, and taken to a tow yard.

However, his insurance company Trade Me took four months to decline Luke's claim, and then lumped him with the storage bill as well.

"If I was to pick this car up, as we speak, it would be between $2200 and $2500," he said at the time.

That didn't include the damage to the car, which was estimated at over $1000.

The company wouldn't detail why it rejected the claim for damage on Luke's car.

Trade Me Insurance did eventually agree to pay the storage fees, which Luke accepted, in the hope of filing a complaint with the Ombudsman about the way his case was handled.

But he didn't have to, as after Luke's story went to air, viewer and insurance adviser David Crawford contacted Fair Go, offering his services free of charge.

"I just thought this sounds wrong. You know you just have something that says this doesn't sound right, or fair, so I thought well the least I can do is have a look at it."

That's exactly what he did, David and a colleague reviewed the file, presented an independent assessment of the damage suffered in the theft and lobbied Trade Me Insurance to pay the claim, which they did.

The brand, which is run by Tower Insurance, says its decision to pay out was based on new information in the assessment.

Luke's just glad his claim is all done and dusted.

"I'd just like to thank David Crawford. He was extremely helpful and I couldn’t have done this without him".

Luke’s car was smashed by thieves, but it was his insurance company that got him really upset. Source: Fair Go