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An unfortunate aspect of a car insurance policy

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Auto Insurance

This is a true story of an unfortunate aspect of a particular car insurance policy. Please note that the particular auto insurance policy lacked certain coverages which would have prevented the out-of-pocket loss.

In highschool I worked for a furniture delivery company. The company was a privately held local entity and was owned by one person whom I was very close to. He was a great guy to work for and regardless of this unfortunate event I still enjoyed working in his presence.

We had full-sized vans that we used to deliver the furniture to the customers. I didn't know anything about the car insurance coverage on these vans but seeing all the dents in the vans I assumed they all had liability only and the owner of the company paid out-of-pocket when major problems were incurred. Another assumption is that it was likely very expensive to have full-coverage (comprehensive coverage) on the two vans owned by the company. Being in highschool I too only carried liability car insurance as my budget didn't allow for full-coverage.

One day we had a large delivery. We filled the only two vans we had and needed all four delivery people to move and install the furniture. The vans were so packed that both of the passenger seats were full with lamps and rugs so my boss said he would have to drive us to the delivery location in his car. I said no need to and I would drive my car to the delivery location. He said he would gladly pay for my gas to and from the location as it was 30 minutes away. We made the delivery and started back to the furniture store. On the way back I was following one of the store vans down the highway. Moving at about 65 mph and probably two car-lengths from the van in front of me I noticed the van ran over something and it was heading towards my car very quickly. I instantly tried to swerve as this large object looked as if it would kill me if it went through my windshield. Luckily I swerved and the large piece of metal hit the right side of my front bumper. I had save up for several years to get this car and it was very special to me. Happy to be alive I get out of the car to inspect the damage. It sound and felt like it did some serious damage. The piece of metal was actually a leaf spring from a large truck. When it struck my bumper it cracked the plastic front-end in half, busted a headlamp and caused some scratches and paint damage. When the driver of the van pulled over I asked him why he ran over the piece and he said he didn't see it. I told the drive that someone would have to pay for this as I didn't carry comprehensive auto insurance therefore I would have to pay for all the repairs. Making $4.00 per hour delivering furniture didn't allow for a disposal income to fix the $2000 in damages. I assumed that since the drive of the van ran over the piece which caused it to flip in the air and hit my car then the van's liability insurance would cover my losses.

When we got back to the furniture store I told my boss what happened. He was sorry that my car was damaged and said he would call his insurance agent. An hour later my boss approached me and reported that his insurance agent said that since this leaf spring didn't fall off of the van and was already on the highway then they are not responsible. I then made it known that I felt he should pay for it as I was driving my vehicle to a job working for his company and his insurance should cover my losses. He checked with his insurance agent and said that since I volunteered to take my vehicle and it was not a work vehicle then it is not covered.

I realized that I could likely win a legal dispute if I hired an attorney. It was very likely that an attorney would cost more than the $2000 in damages therefore I decided that this was an unfortunate event and if I want my car back to normal I would have to save for a long time and pay cash for the costs.

This is a case where I assumed that liability covered everything except for accidents I caused. Thinking I was the best driver on the planet and with a limited budget I passed on the comprehensive full coverage my insurance agent offered. In this instance I was one of probably millions of people who never read their car insurance policy. This is not an unfortunate aspect of car insurance but an unfortunate aspect of an individual who didn't do their homework and didn't assume risks. Read your insurance policy and ask your insurance agent questions.

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