Vehicle next to mine catches fire and damages my vehicle.

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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: Jan 7, 2013

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Insurance Question from Clarksville, TN

Asked on 01/07/2013

Vehicle next to mine catches fire and damages my vehicle. My vehicle was sitting next to an SUV that caught fire and the fire damaged the passenger side of my truck. The other person's insurance company is saying that unless they can find that either he caused the fire or there was a manufacturer's defect that I am basically on my own for my damages and that they will not cover my damages. How can this be?

Answer given on January 15, 2013

Auto insurance for a driver protects them from liability if they cause an accident or damage to another vehicle. If the other driver’s car caught fire through no fault of the driver, they are not legally liable for the damages to your car. While this may seem unfair, it is similar to a tree falling on a car. The property owner was not responsible for the damages that were caused.Your auto insurance should cover the damage to your car under the comprehensive portion of the policy. The deductible will apply for the damages, but usually the deductible for comprehensive is lower than that for collision. Call your insurance company and file a claim for the damages. This will not affect your rates. The insurance company will determine the amount of damage to your car and will arrange for repairs with a body shop that you approve of. Again your deductible will apply.


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