Car on Fire, No Insurance

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:16 pm   Post subject: Car on Fire, No Insurance  

Hi everyone. I have a serious problem. I'm a student and can barely afford my car. Thus, I was selling it. I had insurance on it while I was driving it, but cancelled the policy when someone confirmed to buy the car. Unfortunately, on the same day, the car somehow caught on fire from within the dashboard. I did though reinstate the policy after the accident. Is there any way I can get any help? I won't be able to afford to fix the car and will be in serious debt if I don't get help from the insurance company. Thank you for your time and help.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:28 pm   Post subject:   

If your policy was not active on the date of the loss, no, it will not be covered. it's pretty black and white.



Keep in mind that a few days worth of coverage would only cost a couple of dollars. Also, every policy I've seen transfers all coverage over to a new vehicle for 30 days. It really would have been a simple matter to sell the car and then call your carrier the following day and cancel the insurance. Also, some carriers will even back date the coverage to when you sold the vehicle (if it's a short time) as technically it could not legally be insured by you if you did not own it.



I'm assuming if you could barely afford it, that you financed it? If so, you also need to call your lien holder and report the total loss. If it's a buy her/pay here place that sold and financed the vehicle, they may have a Garage Keepers policy that would provide coverage for the vehicle is your insurance company won't pay. In any case, you should call your lien holder and report the loss and let them know your policy lapsed during the loss.



I'm assuming that no one else is responsible for the fire to your vehicle?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:27 pm   Post subject: Car on Fire, No Insurance  

I had insurance on the DATE of the loss as I reinstated it after the vehicle fire. However, the time is the problem factor. A fire inspector came and made a report stating that the electrical wiring in the dashboard of the car is at fault for the fire. Also, the car is paid off. Unfortunately, all the money I had went into this car as I had to replace its engine last week. The shop that worked on it states that they didn't touch any electrical wiring. I'm very shocked, lost and depressed. I thank you for your kind help and concerns. Hopefully, I can get some help somewhere.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:05 pm   Post subject:   

understood. What i can say is that it's almost a certainty that a claim under your policy would be "red flagged" indicating that coverage was obtained on the DOL and they would then obtain the fire dept report and look at the time stamp of you payment. Did you obtain another policy completly? Or is their a possiblity that your old policy was reinstaed with no lapse in coverage? If it was reinstated, I've usually seen it be done only once a waiver of coverage is signed (which would be for the time of loss). You may want to review or look into this.



It is rather strange that your vehicle caught on fire just after your engine was worked on. Even if they did not fiddle with the wires in the dash, I can see how grounding a wire elsewhere could cause a short someplace else on the wire. I'm guess you've not done anything else under the dash? I can of course see the repair company stating they did not do anything under the dash... they don't want to pay for the loss or have a claim against them. Do you trust them 100%? If not, I'd certainly look really hard at them as being at fault.



My recommendation would be to preserve your vehicle at this time (take _good_ photos and plenty of them. Also don't change anything. See if you can determine what happen without altering anything. You may want to file a claim with the shops insurance company and have them investigate (it can't hurt... they can only deny the claim... and don't be surprised if they do).



Kudo's on reinstating your coverage right away. This certainlly shows you just made a mistake and are not seeking to have someone else pay for something they are not responsible for. You may want to submit the claim to your carrier if it appears they reinstated your policy and you did not sign a waiver. Again, won't cost anything.



Oh, I went back and read that the shop replace the engine and "didn't touch any electrical wiring". This is just not possible. There are wiring harnesses and the like that need to be changed. Also, they could have damaged a wire in the process of replacing the engine. It would be difficult for you to prove but it seems odd that this happen right after they worked on the vehicle.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:51 pm   Post subject: Car on Fire, No Insurance  

Thank you tcope for your detailed and helpful reply. I went ahead and contacted my vehicle's (Mercedes..yes I bought it with all the money I had, thought it was my DREAM car..turned out to be a nightmare Rolling Eyes ) customer care department and they sent over a 'technical rep' to check out what was wrong and take pictures. He came over and informed me after 2 hours of research that it was most probably from the fuse compartment in the dashboard. He said Mercedes may help, but the fact that the car has a rebuilt title doesn't help the cause any. I checked on the policy and I guess from the looks of it, seems as though its a new policy. Unfortunately I guess that would mean the DOL rule applies to me. I guess I could try contacting the shop's (the one that worked on the engine) insurance. The vehicle is preserved at current. Anyways, what is your suggestion now? Should I go ahead and file the claim with the insurance company and see what happens? Should I wait for Mercedes' response on Monday? Even the Mercedes 'tech' states that I should go ahead and contact my insurance, but obviously he's going to say that. Once again, thank you all for your help and guidance. One thing I can say is that I definitely learned from my mistake.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:40 pm   Post subject: Thanx!  

Yes, that was quite bad to realise of late...but to take things as they are...do you know your policy well enuff ??

sometimes it so happens...that the benefits are cancelled or activated at a later date than when you've applied for it to be activated or deactivated!

Now its upto you and the rules!

Thanx, ArindamSenIndies

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