Being the victim of a carjacking two days before your wedding is one thing, but a battle with an insurance company over the contents of a fully laden vehicle is another.
Mudgee couple Jay and Beth Evans were married at Minnamurra on Friday, with the reception held at Wollongong’s City Beach Function Centre.
It was a special day, but part of an unforgettable week that began with the assault of Jay and armed robbery of their Holden Commodore station wagon in central Wollongong, the car loaded with wedding items plus baby equipment for their four-month-old daughter Harper.
The couple were on their way to Barrack Point where they had rented a holiday house with family, but first there were a few last minute wedding plans to attend to in Wollongong.
About 2pm while Beth, 25, was at a beautician appointment, Jay, 29, found a shady spot nearby in Church Street to wait and have a quick nap.
He was woken by the sound of his car keys jingling and two men ordering him out of the car.
An argument followed and Jay was punched in the face.
One of the men told Jay he was ‘‘packing’’ and the man lifted his shirt to reveal what Jay believed to be a gun or knife.
‘‘They pulled me out of the car, by the time I hit the ground they were gone,’’ he said.
‘‘It was surreal, I wasn’t scared or intimidated, I was just in shock.’’
Apart from baby gear, the car included the couple’s iPods (with wedding music), iPads, jewellery, Canon camera, wallets, keys and much more.
The car was reportedly last seen in the Corrimal area.
The day before the wedding became all about replacing baby gear and wedding items.
The wedding was a great day enjoyed by 150 guests although, according to Beth, a little stressful.
"Everything was a bit rushed... it didn’t go exactly to plan and we had to go with what we had,’’ she said.
‘‘There were a lot of car jokes at the wedding,’’ Jay laughed.
However, the laughter died on Sunday when he was told by his insurer of the past 13 years, AAMI, that despite having full comprehensive motor insurance the thousands of dollars worth of property in the car was not covered.
‘‘I hadn’t been that worried about what happened because I knew I was insured.’’
A planned honeymoon to Hamilton Island has now been canned.
‘‘I was told that what was in the car related to my home contents insurance,’’ he said.
‘‘We have home contents insurance but we apparently had to go to the next level.’’
Adding insult to injury, they were offered no more than a hired Toyota Corolla to get back to Mudgee, with new baby seat, pram and wedding presents – after he paid a $700 excess.
Heading home yesterday the couple’s first step will be to change the locks on the house, yet another uncovered expense.
‘‘We just don’t know what kind of people we are dealing with,’’ Beth said of the carjackers.
Yesterday afternoon, AAMI conceded that mistakes had been made in dealing with Mr Evans’s claim.
However, the company said a comprehensive motor vehicle policy covers the car itself and its accessories, not the personal items in the car.
Those sorts of items can be covered under ‘‘the portable valuables’’ section of a home contents policy, an AAMI spokesman said.
‘‘However, when you are away from home travelling, and your car is involved in an accident or is stolen, there are certain emergency provisions that should kick in under AAMI’s Comprehensive Motor Policy, including replacing personal items up to a certain amount,’’ the spokesman said.
‘‘And this is the conclusion we should have reached in Mr Evans’s case when he called.
‘‘Unfortunately, our failure to get it right first time caused the happy couple undue stress when we are supposed to do exactly the opposite.
‘‘We will be contacting Mr Evans directly to offer our apologies and arrange payment.’’