Mitdac@dm200 wrote:: it took a while for me to understand their arguments. Their driver had to be liable for the accident, i.e. he had to do or fail to do something for the accident to happen, in order for them to pay. They suggested that some mechanical failure happened suddenly and such failure was beyond what their driver could anticipate. They had to investigate to find out the mechanical failure, and they could not accept the liability until they were done with the investigation. I wouldn't be surprise if the Nationwide adjuster I talked to was really an attorney based on the kind of language he used, no straight answer on pretty much anything -- and my understanding may not be exactly what he told me...
Wow, that's an interesting position for an insurance company to take. It sure seems to me that if a drive has "mechanical failure" in his car and that mechanical failure causes damage to me and or my car, that this is "liability". I wonder if this is some new kind of "insurance theory"?
Are you dealing with the lowest level representative at Nationwide? Many years ago, when I had an issue with my insurance company, I got the results I wanted by asking/demanding to speak with the regional representative (or some title like that). My "story" relates to the (sometimes fine line) distinction between "collision" and "comprehensive". At the time, I had different deductibles for collision and comprehensive, with the deductible on the comprehensive lower. At the time, before I was married, I shared a house with several other guys and I went on vacation for a week. One of the other residents was doing something in the driveway when I left (did not take my car), so I asked him to move my car (left the keys) into the driveway when he was finished doing whatever he was doing. The next day, I received a somewhat frantic call from him. Before he had a chance to move my car, he noticed the street was collapsing. So, he got into my car, with the intent of moving it, but before he moved it, the street collapsed and the front of my car fell in. Then, to ensure the future safety of my car, he had a tow truck pull my car down the street to a safe place. The collapsing street was caused by a broken water main.
So, I told him that I would deal with all the details when I got back, but please call my insurance company to notify them and that I would be in contact in about a week.
When I got back, I drive the car (could barely drive it) to the State farm place for an "estimate" and authorization. They estimated the damage and repair costs, but used the collision deductible. No, I said, comprehensive - the car fell into the hole. No, they said, the car was driven into the hole. Then, they looked at the damage again, and said the car was moving forward when the damage was done. Of course, I said, the car was falling forward. The rep I dealt with was a summer law school intern, and she knew I was right (I could tell by demeanor and body language), BUT she had to go with the party line. I asked/demanded to escalate to the regional director (or some title like that) and the local decision was overridden. After the local rep told me the new decision (comprehensive), she then said, very "off the record" that she knew I was right, was happy that I was persistent, but that her hands were tied by company rules and procedures. I learned more than I ever wanted to learn about the difference between collision and comprehensive. The example is that if your car falls into a hole (or similar) - it is comprehensive, BUT if you drive into a hole (or something similar) it is collision. My guess, then, is that if a tree falls on your car, it is comprehensive, but if you drive into a (falling) tree, it is collision. Now, I have the same deductible for both.