Vicar's car insurance company threatens to void policy over Jesus Christ stickers

Rev Wena Parry from South Wales was told that her car stickers should have been declared to her insurer

Ben Tufft
Sunday 01 February 2015 20:20

An insurance company has denied claims it threatened to void a vicar's policy because she put religious stickers on her car.

Rev Wena Parry’s stickers, which read “Christ must be Saviour” and “Christ for me,” apparently counted as a modification to the vehicle, like enhancing an engine or adding a spoiler.

The minister from Neath Port Talbot in South Wales believes that she was discriminated against by her insurance company, Age UK, because of her beliefs.

“There might be somebody within that company that hates Christianity,” she told a BBC Wales programme.

Age UK denied that religion was a factor in the decision. A spokeswoman for the organisation told The Independent: “The situation regarding Rev Parry’s claim was in no way related to the Christian nature of her graphics.

"Our insurer concluded that our request to declare all modifications was not made clear enough to Rev Parry and therefore she did not know which vehicle enhancements should have been declared.”

The devout Christian paid £120 to adorn her Vauxhall Zafira with the religious stickers.

“Every opportunity I have I want to tell people about Jesus. I reckon there must at least a million people who have read the texts on my car,” Rev Parry said.

The insurance company was only made aware of the stickers when Rev Parry submitted a claim on her policy after her exhaust was damaged and thieves stole a part of the car's engine.

Her insurers wrote a letter demanding to know why they had not been told about the modifications, warning: “The policy may be declared void.”

Age UK’s insurers, Ageas have now reviewed the claim and offered a settlement of £725 and has waived the £100 policy excess and outstanding direct debit balance as a gesture of goodwill.

Age UK’s spokeswoman added: “While all car owners have the right to self-expression and place whatever they wish on their cars, we would urge all drivers to make their insurance providers aware of any graphics applied to their cars.”

It is not the first time people have seen their insurance invalidated for what some might term trivial reasons.

In 2013 Paul Scholes was left red-faced when his car was stolen after he left the keys in the ignition to defrost his windscreen.

Almost all insurers will not pay out if the owner leaves their vehicle unlocked and unattended, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Another common reason for invalidation can be something as simple as driving into standing water, where there is a flood warning sign. Insurers can term this “negligence” and refuse to pay up.

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