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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1

    Default Dead Tree Fell on My Car

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Alabama. A tree marked to be removed because it was dead at the root fell on my car while at work. I filed with my insurance and they will work on getting their money and my deductible from the insurance carrier for the property but I want to know if I can recoupe any other monies? My car was 1 yr old so what insurance will pay is only the blue book value. But what about my investment, down payment, week with no car, stress? I feel like I should be put back to the same place I was but that doesn't seem to be their opinion. Not asking for anything enormous, just what can help me get back some investment and out me back into a comparable place as before my car was totaled.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    15,776

    Default Re: Dead Tree on Car

    Quote Quoting rspear70
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    what about my investment, down payment, week with no car, stress? I feel like I should be put back to the same place I was but that doesn't seem to be their opinion. Not asking for anything enormous, just what can help me get back some investment and out me back into a comparable place as before my car was totaled.
    All you are entitled to is the "book value" (ACV) of your car less your deductible from your insurance company. Not that other stuff. And not from anybody else either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,368

    Default Re: Dead Tree Fell on My Car

    Quote Quoting rspear70
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    A tree marked to be removed because it was dead at the root fell on my car while at work.
    To whom did the tree belong? A private individual? A business? The local government? The state government? Some other person or entity?
    Quote Quoting rspear70
    My car was 1 yr old so what insurance will pay is only the blue book value. But what about my investment, down payment, week with no car, stress?
    For the value of the car, you are entitled to fair market value -- and unfortunately cars depreciate a lot during the first year.

    If you had rental coverage through your own insurer then your insurance company will have provided a car during the week at issue, and will seek to recover the cost of the rental (if possible) from the responsible party. If you did not, and incurred car rental costs, then you can explore the possibility of recovering that money from the party responsible for the tree -- but we are not positioned to tell you if that is possible without additional information.

    You will not recover for stress from having your car damaged.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Dead Tree Fell on My Car

    My response primarily deals with what you're entitled to from a first party claim against the collision coverage in your own auto insurance policy.

    Quote Quoting rspear70
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    I want to know if I can recoupe any other monies?
    Assuming the cost of repairs is greater than the vehicle's fair market value, you are entitled to the fair market value of the vehicle (less your deductible). If you had rental car coverage, you'd also be entitled to whatever your policy covers.

    Quote Quoting rspear70
    View Post
    My car was 1 yr old so what insurance will pay is only the blue book value. But what about my investment, down payment, week with no car, stress?
    Stress isn't compensible in a property damage case. If you're without a car for a week, you're entitled to recover the reasonable cost of a rental car from any party whose negligence caused that to occur (and it's worth pointing out that the property owner isn't liable just because this happened -- negligence would have to be proven). If the property owner or its insurer won't pay those costs, then you'll have to sue. If you didn't have rental car coverage, then that's on you (the cost is negligible, so it's a bit foolish not to carry it). I'm not sure what you mean by "my investment, down payment." As noted above, you're entitled to the fair market value of the car. It's common knowledge that a car's most significant depreciation occurs in the first few months and first year after it is driven off the lot. If you paid cash for the car, it won't be surprising that the fair market value is lower than what you paid for it a year ago, but you also got a year's worth of use out of it. If you financed the car, then it's possible that your loan balance exceeds the car's fair market value. That's why gap coverage exists.

    Also, I guarantee that your policy says nothing about "blue book value." More likely, it refers to "fair market value" or "actual cash value." The Kelly Blue Book is but one of many ways of determining those values.

    Quote Quoting rspear70
    View Post
    I feel like I should be put back to the same place I was but that doesn't seem to be their opinion.
    And you will be. You had a one year old car that had a fair market value of $X. You will receive $X (less your deductible). I'm not sure to whom "their" refers, but why do you think "that doesn't seem to be their opinion."

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