Jaguar Land Rover’s Derby dealership that was flooded during Storm Babet says it has been working with customers to give them access to their cars.
The dealership wrote to customers two weeks ago to tell them their cars had been written off and they needed to claim on their own insurance.
However, some customers contacted Car Dealer to say their insurance underwriters had been refused entry to the site and they had been unable to start their claims.
This morning, BBC Radio Derby covered the story on its breakfast show and asked Car Dealer editor in chief James Baggott to comment on the case.
The story led the programme’s news bulletins throughout the show and you can hear the section in full on the BBC iPlayer here at 2:07:00.
Inchcape issued the BBC with a statement, which said: ‘We’ve given our customers’ insurers access to our site to support claims, provided replacement or temporary hire cars to help keep customers mobile, and provided dedicated support for individual customer queries.
‘We’ve provided replacement vehicles to cover 80 per cent of those impacted and are working with the remaining customers to find a solution to get them back on the road.
‘Our security and support teams are on site to ensure these remaining vehicles are safe and secure.’
During the BBC Radio Derby feature, presenter Andy Twigge asked how insurers were meant to pay out for cars if they could not access them.
Baggott said: ‘Well, that is exactly the problem. I think, if anything, Jaguar Land Rover, the manufacturer, and the franchisee, need to come together to get these cars into a location that insurance underwriters can see and that customers can pick up their personal effects.
‘We’ve had lots of people who have said they have left stuff in their cars. They obviously weren’t expecting it to be flooded, and were expecting to get their cars back quickly. They need to let people have access to them and do the job they need to do.’
Customer Alex Booth, a company director, contacted Car Dealer about his Range Rover which was at the dealership at the time of the flood after his car’s engine blew up.
He said: ‘The dealership was in negotiations to buy the car off me after admitting fault and saying that they would replace the engine, but they no longer make the engine so they had to buy the car.
‘Since the flood, the communication has been horrific, and it has got worse since their insurance company got involved.
‘We were told that their insurance company would be contacting all customers, but I have had no email, phone call or mail from them.
‘I have had to call the insurance company myself several times and it is worse than talking to a politician, you ask binary questions, but get waffle for answers.
‘They told me on Friday that there is a legal dispute between the dealership and the insurance company, and this will take between one to five years to settle. This is an absolute joke and I am contacting an insurance litigator so that I can start an action against them.’
Car Dealer has contacted JLR for further comment.