What happens if my car was flooded in the employee’s parking lot and I do not have comprehensive insurance?

My employer says that it is not liable. Meanwhile I had to pay for towing, lost wages etc. The car is still in shop and may be OK. I will have to get it cleaned and detailed and again it is coming out of my pocket. It’s not my fault either. Is there anything I can do or is it a waste of time?

Asked on June 17, 2014 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The employer may be liable IF it was at fault in causing the flood: for example, if it was an indoor/underground lot in a building owned by the employer, and due to lack of maintenance or some other construction work being done, a water pipe burst or was accidentally cut and that caused the flood. However, if the employer did not cause the flood, they would not be liable: a person or business is not responsible simply because someone's car is damaged on property they own or rent. Rather there must be fault. Consider: suppose a friend parked his car at a house you owned, and due to a hurricane or nor'easter, it was flooded--would you be liable for the weather? No. The same rule applies to your employer: only if the employer was at fault might they be liable.


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