Convenience store theft not covered by owner’s commercial insurance
June 10, 2022
A convenience store owner who suffered theft when an employee stole money and content will only have a portion of their losses covered after losing litigation over company pack claims.
The theft happened on August 23 last year, when a casual worker stole a key, entered the store out of hours with an accomplice and stole more than $20,000 in contents from the store and $3,450 in cash.
AIG limited its liability for the claim because the policy only covered content theft in certain circumstances. The insurer said there was no cover because the keys had been used and the entry was neither violent nor forced.
The complainant said the policy did not clearly define theft and that the insurer had to cover all costs of stolen stock and contents.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) ruled that AIG had the right to limit its cover, saying it had informed the store owner of the grounds for exclusion from the policy and agreed with the assessment of the insurer that the theft did not meet the criteria of the policy.
The AFCA said there was no evidence the thieves broke into the store’s cupboards, counters or display cases during the burglary.
AIG has partially covered theft of money, but its policy limits the amount of coverage for stolen money to $1,000 when not kept in a safe or locked safe. The AFCA reaffirmed that this decision was in line with policy.
The plaintiff said AIG should redefine its policy to use the term burglary, not theft, if coverage is limited to burglary events. But the AFCA says the policy is ‘reasonably clear’ and it is at the discretion of the insurer whether they wish to change it.
Click on here for the full judgment.