31 March 2011

Losses and Lessons: Storage Collapse

VEHICLE(S) COVERED: 1974 BMW 2002

WHAT WENT WRONG: The vehicle was stored in a rural warehouse in the Midwest that hadn’t been inspected in years. The rafters were rotten, the roof couldn’t support the weight of the snow and ice and the building collapsed on several vehicles being stored inside. Our client was fortunate, as only part of the building collapsed and crushed just one of the five cars he was storing inside. The roof of the BMW was nearly flattened, breaking all window glass and bending the door frames. In addition, a beam ripped a large gash in the trunk and blew out the tail lights.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The car was a total loss. Hagerty paid the client $9,000 – the Guaranteed Value of the vehicle.

LESSON: Whenever you store a vehicle, make sure the building you’re storing it in can handle the weight of the snow and that the rafters have been inspected recently to ensure they are sound. If you are paying for storage, never take it for granted that the building owner has insurance to cover the contents. The owner likely carries only enough insurance to cover losses to his structure, not what’s inside. Always insure your vehicle, and make sure it is stored away from objects that could fall on it.

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