If you regularly send your car to for car wash, did you notice that there are some people who simply pass their car key to the car wash attendant and mentioned that they will be back hours later to collect their car. Many Malaysian do not like the idea of paying for car wash service before their car is done. They prefer to pay when collecting their car. So, you may notice and realise that after handling their car key to the car wash attendant, no receipt nor any form of acknowledgement is provided by the car wash centre.
Now, assuming that someone turn up to collect their car and the car wash attendant mistakenly handled the wrong key to the wrong person, or worst, the car wash attendant drove the car away. The actual car owner turn up few hours later to collect his car, only to realise that his car was lost.
Do you think he can claim against his insurer for his car lost? Now assuming the victim is you, where after surrendering your car key to the washer, you go for a tea and return to find your car gone.
Under a comprehensive car insurance, you are protected against damage and theft. In this case, can you claim that your car was stolen and file for theft claim?
The answer is no and your car insurer will not pay for your loss. Before you scream and curse insurance company for being unfair and not honouring their promise, you must understand that insurance come in a form of a contract. In your comprehensive policy, you will be compensated in the event of car theft, but the above scenario, you willingly handed your car to someone. It is unfortunate that this someone drove your car away, or handed to others unknowingly. So, it is either a Criminal Breach of Trust, or negligence. Either case, this has nothing to do with the insurance company.
Your only remedy would be to sue the car wash centre, but the car wash centre will not admit liability and may even denied accepting your car, since you have no receipt or any acknowledgement document from them. It will be a tough and tedious case then. Worst if you send your car to be washed by those operating by the road side. Even if the car wash centre is big, it is likely to be a Sdn Bhd, where the owner can just wind-up the company, and you still get nothing.
So, in future when you send your car for car wash, it is best that you hand around there.