Parked Auto Property Damage Caused by a Commercial truck

My car was parked at my friend’s house. Bates Exterminating truck hit my car, tore off the bumper while backing up. They then drove to next street over and tried to cover up damage to company vehicle. A neighbor heard the crash and saw them driving away. Police report was made-insurance information was given. Now company is refusing to pay back my deductible which my insurance company says they should by claiming driver is uninsured. Who do I report this to and can they operate without insurance? This is in Florida.

I’m not licensed in Florida and primarily practice in Alabama, but, I’m a former claims adjuster and claims manager. I’ve handled a large number of automobile accident claims and half of that former Claims handling career was spent down in Tampa Florida. As best I can recall uninsured motorist coverage did not cover property damage. Check me out on that to make sure i’m correct by calling a local lawyer who handles automobile accident claims. Assuming I am correct and your uninsured motorist coverage cannot help I would first make sure there is really no coverage! What do I mean by that; there could be several different scenarios. Possibly, there is insurance coverage with the business and vehicle properly covered and the vehicle was on the Policy yet for some reason this driver was not covered. If that is the case, assuming the driver had not stolen the vehicle and in fact was working for the company, then the company would be vicariously liable for his acts and even though he was not covered there’s a possibility the company itself is covered. Obviously, if there’s no coverage for the company or the driver because the policy had lapsed or never had a policy, then there is the outside chance that the driver himself was covered under his own personal automobile policy. If he does not have his own policy, yet he lives with any family member related by blood or marriage he would likely be covered under their policy and under either scenario the vehicle he was using would be considered a temporary substitute. It doesn’t really matter that he was conducting business or working which is not a factor under the personal automobile policy forms.

It may be impossible for you to figure out if any of the above scenarios apply specifically whether he has coverage or access to coverage through relatives, but, I know of and have used a national service that specializes in finding insurance coverage and they do not charge anything if they do not find coverage. They have always done an exceptional job and I can’t think of a business or service I have utilized over the last 25 years more honest and decent to work with. If they do find coverage it is usually less than $200. I know it’s a flat fee but I cannot recall the exact amount but it is very reasonable. I’m hesitant to their name and contact information here I would not want to jeopardize their work. However you could email or call me and I’ll give you the information. Lastly, no I do not own stock in the company. You can have your company agree to pay the bill since locating insurance would benefit them as much as it does you on the reimbursement of your deductible.

If all the above fails and there’s no coverage for the accident whatsoever, then press your insurance carrier to seek subrogation against the other driver and company through an agreement or consent judgment or a lawsuit. Hopefully this will result in you being reimbursed eventually!!! Good luck, sorry for the long-winded answer but I wanted to make sure I gave you every possible scenario I could think of.

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