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Author Topic: Might want to check your insurance policy on fire damage  (Read 2482 times)
Rick59-4104
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« on: August 10, 2011, 02:22:03 PM »

 The only vehicles I have comprehensive full coverage insurance on are my 1959 4104 Bus and my restored 1970 Oldsmobile. All my other vehicles are worth less than $10,000 and I just carry liability insurance on them . Had a fire behind the dash on the Oldsmobile Friday night, pulled into a Dairy Queen parking lot and used their extinguisher to put the fire out I would guess 2 to 3 thousand dollars to fix. I thought I would be covered less my deductable so I filed a claim with State Farm Insurance, the folks I pay about $6000.00 to each year for insurance of various types. Just got a call from a talking head on State Farms "Team 2" out of Tulsa who was not very incouraging. Fellow told me they would not cover a vehicle fire unless it was the result of a collision or something from the road hitting the car. Guess I am just a dumb hillbilly, I thought if you had a full coverage policy and your car is consumed by flames you would be covered.

 If I had a coach worth very much money and thought I was covered I would be making sure as I would think probably 99% of fires in cars and RV's are not collision related. I would encourage any of you who have State Farm Insurance to print my story, take it to your agent and ask "what if ?"

  He told me several times a fire that is not the result of a collision is not covered.  Now I know if I run my engine low on oil and blow it I don't have a claim, if I do not do maintaince on my transmission and it fails I do not have a claim but I sure as hell thought if my car burned up I was covered. He said an adjuster from State Farm will inspect the car on Friday but if there was no evidence of a collision or something from the road striking the car he needed to "prepare me" (his words) that I might not be covered.

 I need to get my policy out and double check, has any one had a vehicle fire experience?

 So I guess if you have an electrical fire you probably need to roll the vehicle into the ditch and say the fire started after the "collision." Sorry but I am a little pissed right now.
 This is my first insurance claim in probably the last 25 years.

Rick


« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 03:35:58 PM by Rick59-4104 » Logged

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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 02:32:42 PM »

If you have comprehensive full coverage, that should include non-collision induced incidents, theft, fire, tree falling on it etc.

Quote from insurance website:

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car that isn't due to car accidents. That includes theft, fire, vandalism, natural disasters and collisions with animals (such as hitting a deer). Another perk that may be covered under your comprehensive coverage is your windshield. In some states, comprehensive coverage includes glass replacement with no deductible, but it varies from state to state. Ask your agent about the specifics when you purchase your policy.

Here's a direct quote off of STATE FARM WEBSITE:
Comprehensive Insurance
This auto insurance coverage helps pay for loss of or damage to an insured vehicle, not caused by a collision or vehicle rollover.
Examples of this type of damage or loss include:
Fire
Wind
Hail
Flood
Vandalism
Theft
Hitting an animal
A deductible may apply.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 02:34:58 PM by Scott Bennett » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 05:55:16 PM »

BULL!!!  I had a fire that involved the wiring under the dash in my 1980 Cadillac, severals years ago. Sent it to the Caddy dealer. They replaced the wiring harness, which involved removing the dash panel, the steering wheel, and a lot of hardware. I was expensive; don't remember the cost, I'm thinking about $4 grand. They paid the bill, as well as the bill for the windshield replacement when the mechanics at the dealer cracked it, then tried to say they didn't do it.
I would be tempted to go see the adjuster in person, and ask him to look me in the eye and tell me they would not pay. That's just a bluff!
Keep us posted, please.
Dennis
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 06:44:28 PM »

Dennis, you obviously had comprehensive.

Rick, Check your coverage card - the talking head may not have known how to properly look up your coverage. If you don't have comprehensive, your best bet will be to calmly explain to your agent that you thought it was included with the 'full coverage' policy based on the conversations you had when you started it.

I'm with State Farm & have always been treated very well - sometimes, I had to get past the occasional dummy in the front office  Shocked

One thing for sure is to remain calm & keep your questions polite, but firm. If you 'cop an attitude', it is much harder to get them to listen.
I've even had an adjuster offer to meet me at work to 'minimize my inconvenience'.

PS
I had to use my comprehensive policy when the bodyshop did more damage to the interior than the body hail damage they were supposed to fix.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 06:47:53 PM by kyle4501 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2011, 07:12:09 PM »

Just hit the bumper with a large hammer and have them put it in the claim. Those damn mailboxes Grin
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Red Rider
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2011, 07:45:47 PM »

I have looked into this and find that I have 100% coverage on everything I don't need, it seems that all things that don't happen are covered. Usually the thing that do happen will be found under "Exclusions".LOL
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Mike AKA; Red Rider 4106-1885
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2011, 08:49:04 PM »

I suspect that the insurance companies are seeing lots of claims for RV fires that don't involve a collision.  Folks are in way over their heads and, well, fires happen.  They probably have a standard "rejection" statement.  Pushed, I bet they will cover you.

I  often say that if I had developed a fire starting system that could not be detected, I would become rich rather quickly.

At the trade shows where I show my fire suppression system, many **MANY** folks tell me that they "almost wish" that they would have a total loss via some "tragedy" since the had "full replacement" insurance (yeah, right).

Jim
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 10:33:10 PM »

  Rick, that is the biggest croc or crap ive ever heard. Make a call to the state insurance commisioner down in LR and ask if thats even possible. Look your policy over good too, especially the secion on comp. All were required to have is liability. Collision and comprehensive are extras and I do not believe you can even have collision without comp. Back in Minnesota you could have comp only if its was parked/stored and you dropped liability, and I assume its simular down here but whatever.. Collision is just that. You wreck it and it catches fire, your covered. Comp is if it sets itself on fire or someone steals it and your still covered.

  They would have a real hard time selling cars to anyone if the cars wernt covered with comp like everyone understand comp to be. What Bank would ever loan money with a policy like that?? What if its gets hail damage, or a tree falls on it?? Oh you have comp, and your paying for comp, but if anything happens your out? What the heck are you paying for comp for then???
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2011, 11:59:23 PM »

I am  frugal with money. But for insurance I stick with State Farm even if they cost more! One reason I'll pay xtra I do not want to be talking to some guy named Peggy in Uzbekistan when I have a question or a claim.

 IF I have a big claim is Peggy going to move corporate headquarters to Kurdistan and change the name?

 Years ago I had a fire which totally destroyed a Ford convertible, it was covered under comprehensive. The comp also covered a couple windows over the years.

 One thing I do not understand, people always refer to "my agent" You need insurance go see "my agent" Joe! How come when I have a claim my agent does not take care of it? You might want to call your agent on this, he may not want to lose 6 grand a year!

 Keep us posted on this, I expect better service from State Farm.  JIm
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Rick59-4104
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 12:30:13 AM »

 I will know more Friday I guess, will go to my local State Farm office tomorrow and see if they can tell me anything. What is the diff in comprehensive and "full coverage" ?  I thought they were one and the same.

 I bought this car in 1972, I was 16 years old, sold it about 8 years ago to a neighbor who has a restoration shop with the understanding I got first shot at buying it back after he restored it. So 3 years ago I borrowed 20 grand (put some cash with it)  and bought the car back, so I have whatever insurance the finance company would require. My policy is in the car which was locked up in the repair shop today, I will get it and read it over.

 When I asked the State Farm guy I spoke with today what if I had a newer car financed for 30 or 40 grand and it caught on fire would it be covered and he told me no (unless the fire was the result of a collision) it would be between me and the car manufacturer. He even suggested I contact the manufacturer of my car (Oldsmobile) and see if they would do anything. Guess he missed the fact Oldsmobile is no more and even if they were still around I bet they would be jumping on the chance to help me with my electrical problem on a 41 year old car.  Really, when I was talking with this guy I was kind of wondering if the conversation was real or staged.

 Paul, I agree if this was the case I cannot imagine banks loaning on vehicles

 My point here is I sure would hate to have a coach worth several hundred thousand, have it insured with State Farm, have a fire and find out I was SOL.

 I am anxious to talk with the folks at my local State Farm Office tomorrow.

 I will keep you all updated.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 09:01:32 AM by Rick59-4104 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 12:45:01 AM »

'Full Coverage' is common vernacular for collision (damages to your vehicle from a collision) AND comprehensive (damages from things not involving collisions).

The only time I've heard of damage from a fire not being covered, is if the vehicle is parked in your garage at the time it happened.  Then it would be covered by your home owner's policy instead.


I have a friend who has full coverage on his Monaco coach who had a fire started by his Norcold fridge. All of the repairs are being fully covered by his policy. I'm not sure who his carrier is. 

Unless for some reason you didn't have comprehensive coverage, I would be surprised if it wasn't a covered claim.

Best wishes.. and hope things turn out right for you!
 - Cherie

 

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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 03:41:04 AM »

Your "Talking Head" is not correct. Go higher and get the correct answer. We have State Farm and have always had a good experience. Our agent is in Abilene, otherwise I would do as you suggest, copy him. A fire is a fire. He's just trying to get out of paying a claim. You have collision, you should be covered. Keep pressing, don't get upset, just be firm. You are paying for insurance, and deserve the claim to be covered.

It will be interesting to see how this works out. I'll bet the net is a buzz when the bots bring up State Farm in their tracking. Wink
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 05:15:55 AM »

My insurance policy has so many wierd little exclusions I'm starting to wonder if it actually covers anything.  They sent me a fresh copy of the policy a few years back as they had made a lot of minor changes over the years.  The problem is if you aren't a lawyer you can't really understand anything the policy says.

I doubt if I took my business elsewhere that the new policy would be any easier to read.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 07:11:16 AM »

I am watching a friend go through a fire deal on his Eagle that was posted here GMAC is not going to pay him the agreed value of his bus.
All insurance policies are different from state to state no 2 will be the same and you have to read some even change if you travel to a different state I know of someone that had a min coverage in 1 state had a accident in another in his bus he found out by saving a few bucks he had 0 coverage because that states min was double what he had
Never heard of a homeowners covering a vehicle in your garage for fire in the states I lived in doesn't happen in AZ,Ok,Tx or Idaho unless you pay and ask for it.
Beware of the loan sharks calling their self a insurance co they didn't become giants and rich by paying out money only taking in kinda like a casino in Vegas.
I did work on the State Farm building in Broken Arrow Ok very nice building lol 

good luck
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2011, 07:42:39 AM »

Wow, lots of people making absolute statements here without having read your policy.

I haven't read your policy either, but my first suggestion is to tell them you dropped your cigarette.  Or if you are getting the non-smoker discount, tell them a passenger dropped one, or better yet, it flew in the window after the guy in front of you flicked it out.

The fact is that the "talking head" may be right, and the only sure way to know is to read the policy.

On automobile policies, "comprehensive" coverage covers losses that have an external cause, such as wind, theft, etc.  Fire is covered if the fire starts outside the car, or some sort of accidental cause inside the car such as what I described above.

While some policies may also cover fires that start, say, in the engine, many policies explicitly exclude losses due to a mechanical or electrical defect in the automobile itself.  So, for example, if the fuel line comes loose and sprays gasoline on the exhaust manifold, it might not be covered.  Likewise, if a wire in a harness rubs through and starts a fire, that might not be covered.

Again, the only way to know for sure if such losses are covered or not in your specific instance is to read the policy.  Don't rely on others who use the same underwriter (State Farm) because policy provisions vary greatly, even within a single carrier, from state to state, and sometimes even county to county.

These type of comprehensive exclusions, by the way, make automobile insurance a bad choice for most RVs, to bring this discussion back to bus-related.  There are plenty of insurance companies who will say "sure" when you ask the agent if they'll cover your RV, but really all they are writing is a standard automobile policy.  These policies almost never cover the types of problems that can arise in an RV but not in a car.  There is an expectation that your homeowner's policy will cover many of those items instead.

This becomes a particular problem for full-timers, who have no other home on which to write a homeowner's policy.  There is only a small handful of carriers out there who will write "full timers'" policies that offer the coverages of both an automobile and a home policy combined.  Note this applies equally to the liability section as well as the comprehensive section.

For example, if someone is visiting you, falls down your stairs and breaks a leg, then wants you to pay the doctors' bills, an automotive policy will not cover that.  Your automotive carrier will tell you to file the claim with your homeowner's policy.  If your homeowner's carrier doesn't even know you have an RV and hasn't collected any additional premium from you for assuming this additional risk, they may well deny your claim.

Insurance is an extremely complex field with many nuances and details.  My understanding barely scratches the surface -- just enough to know what my own needs are.  This is where an independent agent who works with a number of different underwriters can be of great benefit in helping you understand what coverages are available and what the exclusions are at the time the policy is written.

The temptation to place your RV insurance with whatever carrier has your home and/or automobiles is great, especially when multi-policy discounts are offered.  The reality, though, is that many of these carriers, and I would include State Farm here, do not really have products well suited to the specialized needs of the RV community and especially those of self-converters, and are generally poor choices.  The only reason many of these companies offer the coverage at all is so that they can offer one-stop shopping to their customers so they don't lose any of their core business.

JMO and FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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