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Old 07-29-2012, 06:07 PM
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Default Home insurance question?

A little while ago, we had a storm here.

My neighbors have a very heavy trampoline. In the storm, the wind kicked up to 60 MPH, and threw the trampoline over my truck. It has damaged it pretty badly.

Now the owners are saying that their home owners insurance doesn't cover it due to the "Act Of God" clause. That doesn't make any sense, to me. An Act of God is when something happens that is unpreventable. Their trampoline flying into and damaging my vehicle is preventable, as they should have had their trampoline secured somehow.

I was under the impression that if you have things outside of your home that could possibly become airborne in a storm and damage someone's property, that you were supposed to have it tied down, and if you didn't, your home owners insurance would be responsible for the damage.

It doesn't make sense to me how my truck can suffer $3,400 in damages due to their negligence and I have to pay for it out of MY pocket.

If anyone can clear this up for me, that would be great. What should I do?
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:27 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Can you talk to *your* insurance agent? They usually are pretty happy to make sure they don't have to pay for damage if at all possible and thus may be more able to get some satisfaction from your neighbor's company.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:30 PM
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Truck insurance is liability. They don't cover it. ):
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:11 PM
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You may have to file suit against them, naming the neighbors and their insurance company, being sure to note that their trampoline was NOT secured, which is definitely what a person of reasonable care would have done. Talk to an attorney. The costs should be part of the judgment/settlement.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:14 PM
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OH! And if you haven't already, TAKE PHOTOS.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:18 PM
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A tree coming down (or its branches) is an "act of nature". Damage from the trampoline is indeed covered. I know this for a fact seeing as how I've been through many hurricanes down here with trampolines involved in damage.

However, they may have that trampoline "illegally". By that I mean there insurance company may have a ban on trampolines or the trampoline is something that had to have been discolsed for the insurance company to cover damages caused by it. Trampolines are add-ons, like pools and pets, for many insurance companies.

You can definitely go after your neighbor though. Take them to small claims if you have to. Down here, everyone knows to turn a trampoline upside down and stake it down, or just stake it down where it stands, in the event of a storm.

During Gustav, our neighbors trampoline cleared our shared 8 ft privacy fence, and caused damage to the siding of our house and broke a kitchen window. Their insurance paid that part of our home repair (our insurance covered the rest).
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:24 PM
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I don't think my boyfriend really wants to take them to court. We have taken a good bit of pictures, video included. I think my boyfriend feels that it's rude...and well, yeah, it is...

But we have two vehicles. My car, his truck. My car has a good bit of body damage but his truck doesn't. They are both old, "get from point a to point b" type of vehicles and we live in a house that isn't much better than a trailer. Our neighbors live over a creek from us, in a separate, much more wealthy neighborhood. They have a huge house, brand new vehicles (one of which they JUST purchased) and are obviously VERY well off financially. We went to ask them about it all after it happened, and it took them days to get back to us. She simply said "our insurance doesn't cover it because of the act of God clause". She didn't offer to help, or anything. Ya know, if I was well off, and my trampoline crashed into some poor people's meager means of getting around and one of few valuable things they own, I would offer to help.

Is it wrong that I'm slightly mad at these people? I mean, they haven't been rude, just short with us. And it sucks. I get to look at their big awesome house everyday and day dream about it while I have money issues and they get to walk away when their trampoline causes $3,400 in damages to my boyfriends truck.

We don't have a whole lot of money... UGH.

If it was you guys, what would YOU do? These people aren't mean, they aren't rude, they're just...nothing. Lol. Just our neighbors who had their trampoline crash into our truck. They apologized, but that's about it.

Is small claims court expensive? We would probably win, and that would be great.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:40 PM
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What I would do is call my auto insurance company, explain the situation to them, and let the insurance companies fight it out. They're not going to want to pay out if they don't have to, and they are far better prepared to hash it out with your neighbor's homeowner's company than you are.

Then if that doesn't work out, I would file the court paperwork. The notice of a lawsuit alone is often enough to get people to offer to settle out of court.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:42 PM
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Honestly, I would go after them. And how do you really know if their insurance company will not cover it? They might just be lieing so their insurance does not increase. I would also call your car insurance and see what advice they could give you.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miakoda View Post
A tree coming down (or its branches) is an "act of nature". Damage from the trampoline is indeed covered. I know this for a fact seeing as how I've been through many hurricanes down here with trampolines involved in damage.
This. Absolutely. I researched this quite a bit during a bad storm we had here - one of our neighbors trees came down and took out our fence. That was technically an "act of nature" - there's nothing anyone could have done (short of cutting it down) to ensure it didn't fall down. However...someone's property (trampolines, picnic tables, etc) flying into someone else's property could have absolutely been prevented.
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