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Insurer Denies Claims for Damage Caused by Fire Engine

Thu Oct 28th, 2010 on     Insurance Claims,    

When a fire engine plowed through his yard this past August, a homeowner in Spring Hill, Fla. figured he’d hear from the fire rescue district’s insurance company. What surprised him was how rude and arrogant the adjusters were; what he absolutely didn’t expect was that the insurance company would deny the claim, saying the district was under no legal obligation to pay because the damage was not the result of the driver’s negligence.

The fire fighter was alone in the truck, practicing fire hydrant maneuvers, when he passed out. The accident report described an incredible series of events. First, when the 29-year-old man lost control of the truck, it rolled over “some bushes.” Then, the truck (the accident report said “he drove”) crossed the street and drove onto someone else’s front yard. He reacted by putting the truck in reverse, backing over a chain link fence belonging to another homeowner.

He wasn’t done yet, though. The truck crossed the street again, struck a plastic fence in yet another yard and, finally, backed into a house. 

According to the homeowners, the bushes the truck rolled over were exotic plants that had cost thousands of dollars. The truck didn’t just back into a house, it smashed into the corner of the building, stripping the gutters, soffit and facia from the façade. The residents, two nuns, have moved out while repairs are pending.

The amount of damage was so extreme that all the homeowners involved were shocked that the insurance company denied the claim. Some homeowners reported that adjusters promised to come but never showed. A follow-up call from one adjuster came the same day the denial letter was delivered.

One couple said they would appeal the denial. They’re not sure what their son, who lives in another of the damaged properties, would do; he’s overseas, with the U.S. Army, right now. Another homeowner said he paid for repairs to one light post himself, but he wasn’t sure what to do about his exotic garden. He didn’t want to submit the claim to his homeowners insurance company because his deductible is high.

The toxicology tests run on the driver after the accident were negative. He was treated and released that same day. And he hasn’t been seen at work since.

Resource: “Insurance Won’t Pay for Damage to Fla. Engine” 10/22/10

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