What to do regarding the theft of a trailer on private property?

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What to do regarding the theft of a trailer on private property?

I parked a enclosed 4×8 trailer, that had all of my personal belongings in it, on a friend’s private property. I moved from IL to AZ after an unfortunate personal issue. I had permission to park it there. I then left to go out of town for a new employment training schedule. When I got back, it was gone. I did call the police. Since I basically just bought it, I just packed up and headed for AZ without registering it. I contacted the person who I purchased it from but he was not sure if it had a VIN or not; it was a fold up cheap trailer. However, the contents were basically what was all I owned. Obviously since I had the property owner’s permission, it did have a lock on it, I do have a couple of pictures of

it, I know that somebody’s insurance has to cover it.

Asked on September 4, 2018 under Insurance Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Why does someone's insurance have to cover it? While it is possible that your friend had insurance which would cover the theft of another person's belongings from his land, he was not required to have such insurance: he might have had no insurance, or he might have had insurance that covered only his own belongings, not yours. Again, there is no law that someone has to maintain insurance to cover third parties from thefts occuring on their land or in their property.
If he did not have insurance that would cover the theft of another person's items from his land, then there would be no insurance to cover this, the theft of your possession, unless you had insurance for it--and in the future, that is why you should always maintain your own insurance for your possessions: to cover them when there is no one else who will provide compensation.
Ask your friend if he had insurance (e.g. homeowner's insurance) and, if he did, for his insurer's name and contact information to present a claim: if they deny it, you can consider suing them as a potential 3rd-party beneficiary (someone who believes he is intended to be benefitted by the policy) for compensation, but would only be entitled to compensation is in fact the policy would cover this situation. Therefore, ideally, you'd want to review the policy before suing (your friend could show it to you), to see if you may have a claim...and if you wouldn't, there'd be no point to the time or expense of a lawsuit.
If he has no relevant insurance or won't give the insurer's name, etc., your only option would be to try to sue your friend if you believe he was involved in the theft--but to win, would have to be able to prove that he was involved (e.g. he stole or helped someone steal, etc.) your items, and that might be very difficult to do.


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