CLUB BATTLES TO WIN PAYOUT AFTER BLAZE
Garage fire that wiped out stash of spares sparks a 12-month insurance struggle – what every classic owner needs to know
Aclub that’s spent a year fighting for an insurance payout after one of its members lost a parts stash in a fire is urging all classic owners to document their spares. The A30-A35 Owners’ Club says that it has taken months of wrangling to secure a payout after the garage full of components, worth an estimated £10,000, was destroyed in a fire in May last year. Because the cache of valuable parts, built up since the 1980s and a valuable lifeline to owners running the ‘ baby’ Austin models, was not fully documented, the club has struggled to recover the cost of the destroyed parts.
Club secretary Steve Neathey says: ‘ You just don’t think it’ll happen to you.’
‘It’s crucial to keep as many receipts as possible for your spare parts’ EMMA AIREY, RH
Aclub commitee member who lost a 30-year parts stash in a fire – and then spent a year fighting to recover its costs – is warning classic fans to document all their car components.
More than 300 Austin parts in a cache belonging to the A30-A35 Owners’ Club secretary, Steve Neathey, were obliterated in the blaze last May, but a lack of documentation meant that it’s taken months of wrangling to recover some – but not all – of the costs.
Steve says: ‘ You just don’t think it’ll happen to you. I was very lucky that I could photograph the remains – if not, I probably wouldn’t have got any money back.
‘The problem is that enthusiasts and car clubs have a lot of the spares that have been acquired many years ago, often donated, with no purchase or receipt. ‘I only found out in passing when I spoke to our club contact for insurance company RH, Emma Airey. She mentioned that spare parts for cars insured under the policy were covered. I had three cars on the policy so raised a claim for the spares for each of the cars which resulted in a very long list of bits and pieces.’
Panels, electrical spares and tools were all destroyed in the garage blaze in Bath, Somerset. Only a welding machine survived.
Fortunately for Mr Neathey, a combination of emails from other club officials who had visited his garage and photographs of the burnt remains resulted in a full payout from RH.
Emma Airey, account executive for RH says: ‘The claim highlights the fact that it’s crucial to keep as many receipts as possible for your spare parts. In the absence of receipts, we will still require evidence in the event of a claim.
‘In this case, Mr Neathey was able to supply photos of the spare parts both before and after the fire. This, accompanied by testimonials from the club’s fellow committee members as to the ownership of the parts by Mr Neathey, resulted in the claim being successful.’
Plenty of classic owners have stashes full of spare parts to keep their cars going – but they’re often underinsured or not fully documented.