Is the insurance of a car that catches fire responsible for damages to other cars?

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Is the insurance of a car that catches fire responsible for damages to other cars?

Hello,

A neighbor’s Prius caught fire a week ago and their insurance is not wanting to
accept the claim and pay for the damages caused to the surrounding cars in the
parking lot… Are they not liable to also pay for damages?

Thank you

Asked on November 21, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

His liability insurer would be responsible to pay (subject to the policy limits) IF he (the insured) was at fault in some way, such as by leaving a lit cigarette on the upholstry in the car, which caused the fire. The issue is, liability (an obligation to pay for another's damages or losses) is based on fault, so he (and therefore his insurer) would have to pay ONLY if was at fault. If he was not at fault, he is not liable; and if he is not liable, neither he nor his insurer has to pay. You'd have to look to your own insurance (assuming you have the appropriate or relevant insurance) for compensation.


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