I say comp loss and they say collision

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Latest post 02-21-2007 11:29 AM by adjuster jack. 5 replies.
  • 02-20-2007 8:18 PM

    Angry [:@] I say comp loss and they say collision

    This weekend I was out camping with our fifth wheel trailer that is pulled by our Chevy pickup. This type of trailer hitch is inside the bed of the pickup. Got to our camp location and parked the truck, ready to unhitch the trailer. Extended the front stanchions of the trailer onto blocks and went back to the pickup to unlock the hitch. (The truck was in "park" and engine off. ) As soon as I unlocked the hitch, the trailer rolled backwards off the hitch and slammed down on the truck bed, damaging the truck bed sides and tailgate.

    I called my insurance company as soon as I got home. Here’s the issue: They say this is a collision claim (which will increase my premiums) and I say it is a comp claim. The language from the insurance policy states:

    “Collision” means the upset of “your covered auto” or its impact with another vehicle or object.
    (My truck did not impact the trailer, the trailer impacted the truck.)

    Loss caused by the following is considered other than “collision:”
    1. Missiles and falling objects. (Falling object...there ya go!)
    2. Fire
    3. Theft or larceny...etc., etc.

    Do I have an argument?
  • 02-20-2007 9:10 PM In reply to

    re: I say comp loss and they say collision

    Sorry, but I would have to vote collision.

    You indicate that the trailer "collided" with the truck resulting in damage to the bed sides and tailgate.
    This suggests that there was lateral movement, which defeats your argument that the damage was caused by a falling object.

    Your contention that the trailer struck the truck similarly doesn't alter the equation. If it did, how would you decide "hittor" vs. "hittee" situations in two car collisions.
  • 02-20-2007 9:53 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: I say comp loss and they say collision

    Keep in mind, this is not a "tow behind" trailer. In a fifth wheel trailer there is a portion of the trailer that sits over the truck bed. When the hitch disengaged, the trailer portion that is over the truck bed fell down on top of the truck bed. Fell down as in "falling object."

    In response to your final paragraph, I would say that "hittor" versus "hittee" depends on the direction of travel and who had right of way.

    I do appreciate your input. This will be an education for me before I deal further with the adjuster.
  • 02-21-2007 12:32 AM In reply to

    re: I say comp loss and they say collision

    "“Collision” means the upset of “your covered auto” or its impact with another vehicle or object.
    (My truck did not impact the trailer, the trailer impacted the truck.)"

    Doesn't matter.

    Your truck is a vehicle and the trailer is a vehicle.

    If you were driving under an overpass and a car, truck, trailer, or boat, fell from the overpass onto your truck, or a plane or the space shuttle fell on your truck, it would be collision not falling object because those all come under the definition of vehicle and it would be a collision claim.

    If a person, rock, suitcase, meteor, etc fell on your truck it would be falling object and a comprehensive claim.

    The key element is vehicle to vehicle impact, not object to vehicle impact.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 02-21-2007 10:05 AM In reply to

    re: I say comp loss and they say collision

    Jack, I'll disagree with you on this one.

    I'd offer that the truck, plane or space shuttle falling from above would be both comp or collision, with the benefit of deductible etc. decided in the policyholder's favor.

    If a wall of a building fell onto a parked car it would meet your definition of falling object, but in the rare event that the policy provided collision, but not comp., then you would need to also consider the loss as a collision claim.

    The mechanism of the damage is the key to deciding comp or collision. A missile is "thrown" thru the air. A falling object is propelled by gravity.

    In the instant case, damage was caused when the 5th wheel somehow parted mate with the king pin.
    The poster describes the trailer "rolling".
    This is clearly only a collision loss.

  • 02-21-2007 11:29 AM In reply to

    re: I say comp loss and they say collision

    "Jack, I'll disagree with you on this one."

    You are always welcome to disagree with me.

    "I'd offer that the truck, plane or space shuttle falling from above would be both comp or collision, with the benefit of deductible etc. decided in the policyholder's favor."

    Here I have the benefit of inside experience. Vehicle to vehicle impact is always ruled collision. I recall checking case law on this before I retired. Unfortunately, I don't have access to that service anymore.

    Vehicles have been adequately defined by case law. I'll admit, however, that the MIR or Spacelab falling on a car may still have to be adjudicated since both are designed to hold people and have some method of propulsion. I would lean toward other than collision since the primary purpose of the items is not transportation of passengers. Dorothy's house falling on the witch's car, however, is definitely other than collision.

    "If a wall of a building fell onto a parked car it would meet your definition of falling object, but in the rare event that the policy provided collision, but not comp., then you would need to also consider the loss as a collision claim. "

    No.

    But let's clear up the coverages first.

    Auto policies typically define Collision as the upset of the covered vehicle or its impact with another vehicle or object.

    I don't think there should be any dispute that vehicle to vehicle is collision.

    Although I admit there could be some ambiguity with regard to impact with an object.

    But it would be rare that the ambiguity would come into play. Impact with a stationary object is collision. Impact with a moving object is likely to be collision unless that moving object is defined by the policy as other than collision.

    Other than collision (the word comprehensive is no longer used in any policy that I know of) is typically defined in the policy as caused by:

    1-Missiles or falling objects
    2-Fire
    3-Theft or larceny
    4-Explosion or earthquake
    5-Windstorm
    6-Hail, water, flood
    7-Malicious mischief, vandalism
    8-Riot, civil commotion
    9-Contact with bird or animal
    10-Breakage of glass (and here the policy holder is given the option of treating glass breakage as collision if the loss was caused by collision.)

    "The mechanism of the damage is the key to deciding comp or collision. A missile is "thrown" thru the air."

    No.

    The key to deciding collision or other than collision is first and always the policy unless the policy fails in some way. Then the mechanism of the damage is considered.

    Doesn't matter if the missile is thrown. Loss caused by missiles is defined as other than collision.

    The phrase "caused by" is also critical in determing which coverage applies. Take the case of a missile (ICBM) stored on Uncle Sam's lot and a car hits it. The loss wasn't caused by the missile (the missile was just sitting there minding its own business) it was caused by the car hitting the missile, hence collision. If the car was sitting near the missile and the missile fell over then the loss is other than collision by definition: 1-missile or falling objects.

    In the case of your falling brick wall, the operative word is falling so the bricks are falling objects as defined by the policy regardless of what made them fall, EXCEPT if the car hit the brick wall and caused the bricks to fall. Then it would be collision.

    "A falling object is propelled by gravity."

    Gravity doesn't "propel" anything. Gravity is a force that attracts. In order to be attracted by gravity an object first has to be exposed to the force of gravity. But that gets us away from the insurance discussion.

    "In the instant case, damage was caused when the 5th wheel somehow parted mate with the king pin.
    The poster describes the trailer "rolling".
    This is clearly only a collision loss."

    Yes.

    That's what I said.


    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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