The Mail on Sunday

Theft of keys from home hits car cover


D. R. writes: I’m having problems after my car was stolen. Someone broke into the house and took the car keys, but the insurer refuses to pay. How can I make it change its mind? G. T. replies: There are ‘ keys in car’ exclusions in many motor policies. These mean that if you leave the car unattended with the keys in it you are not covered for theft.

Sometimes, questions are raised over a vehicle theft using keys if there are no signs of a break-in at home and nothing else in the property is stolen.

Insurers want to ensure there was no fraud as keys might have been left in the car, but the driver did not want to admit this.

If you notified police of the breakin, you should have a crime number and possibly a police report that you can submit to support your claim.

Ultimately, if you are still in dispute you have the option to ask the Financial Ombudsman Service for an independen­t review of your case. C. C. writes: I save £50 a month each for my three grandchild­ren into Invesco Perpetual Children’s investment fund. Each year the statements tell me tax has been deducted, even though we are not taxpayers. Is this correct? S. B. replies: Sadly, yes. The fund mainly invests in British shares and receives dividend income after ten per cent tax has been deducted. This cannot be reclaimed, regardless of whether investors or beneficiar­ies pay tax. The ten per cent dividend tax loss also applies to shares held in otherwise tax-efficient investment­s such as Isas or Child Trust Funds.

But over the long term, an equitybase­d investment has the potential to grow faster than alternativ­e forms of savings. This should more than compensate for the tax hit.

If you are determined to avoid any tax on these savings, you should switch your payments either to cash deposits or a fund investing mainly in bonds. In both cases non-taxpayers can reclaim tax on interest. B. C. replies: Allowing a week for the money to reach the beneficiar­y will be cheaper than sending it at the last minute by express transfer.

You will need to convert the euros to sterling before the transfer is made. Get your bank in Ireland to do this to avoid a handling charge in Britain. On a transactio­n of this size, you should be able to fix the exchange rate in advance.

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