Paint damage from car wash

Feb 12, 2019

  1. marandan

    marandan New Member

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    Does anyone know if comprehensive covers damage from a drive through car wash? I think there was ice on the brushes. I only just bought the car, I haven't even made one payment and I have tons of pictures of the before... and the after. The manager said she would work with me, but I am so afraid that they won't fix it. I am just sick.
    marandan, Feb 12, 2019
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Guru

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    Scratches from the brushes? Comprehensive (these days known as "other than collision") is a Named Perils coverage. If it's not on the list it's not covered. Here's the list:

    Loss caused by the following is considered other than "collision":
    1. Missiles or falling objects;
    2. Fire;
    3. Theft or larceny;
    4. Explosion or earthquake;
    5. Windstorm;
    6. Hail, water or flood;
    7. Malicious mischief or vandalism;
    8. Riot or civil commotion;
    9. Contact with bird or animal; or
    10. Breakage of glass.

    However, I think that the definition of collision may apply instead:

    ""Collision" means the upset of "your covered auto" or a "non-owned auto" or their impact with another vehicle or object."

    Seems like it was an impact with another object. No guarantees but run it by your claims department.

    Meantime, it's the manager's job to play dumb and shine you on. I suggest you look up the company and find out the name and address of the owner/president at the following site:

    Secretary of State

    Then write him a letter with the repair estimate and demand compensation for the damaged caused by his machine.

    Waiting for the manager to "work" with you is a good way to get nowhere. If you want proof of that, get a repair estimate, bring a copy to the manager and ask for payment. You'll find out real fast what "work" with you means, though I could be wrong. :yes:
  3. InsCommentary

    InsCommentary Guru

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  4. fed up

    fed up Guru

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    Did the car wash people step up yet and accept the liability?
    fed up, Feb 15, 2019
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Guru

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    At the first link I read the following:

    At the second link I read the following:

    Those comments came as a bit of a shock to me because everything I learned in 35 years in the insurance industry was that Other Than Collision coverage was limited to the Named Perils.

    So, off I went to see what the courts had to say about it. I use Google Scholar for court decisions. I searched all 50 states using the phrase "other than collision" and got 49 cases, 3 of which specifically addressed the definition of "other than collision." The remaining cases involved numerous other issues but happened to list "other than collision" as being part of a policy.

    Here's a link to the 49 cases:

    Google Scholar

    The 3 cases addressed the following policy provisions:

    Which is exactly how the section is written in the ISO (Insurance Services Office) Personal Auto Policy PP 00 01 Edition of 01 05. This is a standard form that is widely used in the industry, even today. Yes, there are companies with propriety policy forms that might be worded differently. Even ISO has later editions. I found a 2006 form with the same wording but also learned that ISO made significant changes in 2013 and 2018. I haven't been able to find freebie samples online so if any of you P&C agents have one I would appreciate it if you would upload a copy to this thread so I can add it to my reference library. Meantime, I've uploaded a copy of the 2005 form.

    InsCommentary, you mentioned a Maine case. I found one from Maine: Mack v. Acadia Ins. Co., 709 A. 2d 1187 - Me: Supreme Judicial Court 1998.

    Mack v. Acadia Ins. Co., 709 A. 2d 1187 - Me: Supreme Judicial Court 1998 - Google Scholar

    Although it's a 1998 case it quotes the same wording I have quoted above. According to the decision "The trial court concluded that the ten causes of loss set out in paragraph B constituted an exclusive list of the causes of damage included in the insurance policy's "other than collision" coverage." The appellate court ruled that "The plain language of the provision supports the court's determination that the listed causes of damage constitutes an exclusive list."

    The court also touched on the unlimited nature of "Comprehensive" coverage when worded differently.

    "Comprehensive coverage traditionally included all aspects of non-collision damage not specifically excluded by the policy. It was not limited to those causes set out in the policy as non-collision. In Hughes v. Great American Ins. Co., 427 S.W.2d 266 (Mo.Ct.App.1968), the Missouri Court of Appeals held that a list of causes that were not considered collision was not meant to be an exclusive list, stating: "[W]e think the [comprehensive] coverage involved is not limited to these particular words which specify `what collision is not.'" Id. at 269. The contract provision in Hughes was different than the provision in the Macks' policy, however. The Hughes provision read: For the purpose of this coverage, breakage of glass and loss caused by missiles, falling objects, fire, theft or larceny, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood, malicious mischief or vandalism, riot or civil commotion, or colliding with a bird or 1189*1189 animal, shall not be deemed to be loss caused by collision."

    Interesting enough, I had a policy with Safeco a few years ago that appears to conform to the unlimited "Comprehensive" coverage rather than the limited "other than collision" coverage.

    "“Comprehensive” means loss, other than collision, to your covered auto or a non-owned auto. Losses caused by the following are not collision losses but are comprehensive losses: Loss caused by missiles or falling objects, fire; theft or larceny; explosion or earthquake; windstorm; hail, water or flood; malicious mischief or vandalism; riot or civil commotion; contact with a bird or animal; or breakage of glass."

    The next case is: GUREGHIAN v. AUTOBAHN MOTOR CARS, 5 Pa. D. & C. 4th 255 - Pa: Court of Common Pleas 1989.

    GUREGHIAN v. AUTOBAHN MOTOR CARS, 5 Pa. D. & C. 4th 255 - Pa: Court of Common Pleas 1989 - Google Scholar

    Again, it's earlier than the 2005 policy referred to earlier but rules on the same wording.

    The insured bought a car that turned out to previously stolen. The police confiscated the car. The insured file a claim under the theft peril. The company denied on the basis that confiscation was not theft and therefore not covered. The court agreed.

    "The policy clearly is not intended to be an all-risk policy but instead, specifically enumerates those perils other than collision which are covered."

    Third case: Cornell v. GRINNELL MUTUAL REINSURANCE COMPANY, Iowa: Court of Appeals 2006.

    Cornell v. GRINNELL MUTUAL REINSURANCE COMPANY, Iowa: Court of Appeals 2006 - Google Scholar

    The insured lost control of his vehicle and landed in a ditch. After several attempts to rock back and forth to get back on the road, a tow truck was able to get him out. The car suffered a transmission malfunction due. The insured attempted to get coverage under "other than collision" but mechanical breakdown was excluded and the trial court jury's verdict was that the malfunction was caused by the collision of the bottom of the car with the side of the ditch.

    "However, The district court held that the list of perils included in the "other than collision" provision was exclusive. The type of loss incurred by Cornell was not on that list; therefore, the district court held the loss was not covered by the "other than collision" provision as a matter of law.'

    Conclusion: We have appellate courts in 3 states ruling that the 10 perils of "other than collision" are exclusive when "other than collision" is written as quoted above.

    While "Comprehensive" coverage may be open perils, "other than collision" appears not to be.

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