Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 18, 2011

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Insurance Question from Belleville, IL

Asked on 05/18/2011

What shall I do?? The girl that lives next door to me car caught on fire and burned down to the metal my car was parked next to her's and my whole right side is burned so bad that i cant even Change my back tire, its mealted on the car.Her insurance said they will not pay for it and my car is not paid off. police would not let me move my car as her was burning the flames were to big. What should I do? No car?

Answer given on May 20, 2011

It sounds like the girl whose car caught fire next to your car didn’t do anything negligent to cause the fire and the damage to your car.  That is why her insurance company is denying any liability for the damage to your car.  Insurance protects her for negligence, so if there is none, her insurance company will not pay.

You say your car is not paid for, so you must have insurance coverage, called comprehensive, on your car.  This would cover the fire damage to your car.  You probably have a deductible, but then your insurance company will pay for the damages, or if the car is a total loss, they will pay you the actual cash value of the car.

You need to call your insurance agent and report the claim.  The insurance company will arrange to have the car towed and the adjuster will determine if the car can be repaired or not.  If it can be repaired, they will work with you on the best way to do so.  Again, you will be responsible for the deductible.  This claim will not increase your rates, so do not hesitate to report this to your insurance agent.


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