God Works In Mysterious Car Accidents

Did you know that if a guy has a stroke while driving and barrels into four other cars, and no one knows he had a tumor beforehand, it’s considered an Act of God?

And therefore Progressive insurance won’t pay for the other car’s damage?

We didn’t either, until we read ACurmudgeon’s letter, inside.

Good thing the guy’s health insurance has a different definition for holy works.


    “I was involved in an auto accident recently

    Another driver coming in the opposite direction had a stroke while driving.

    Instead of turning, he ran full speed into the other lanes of traffic. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the driver with the stroke seemed like he will live.

    The stroke victim plowed into a big work van that was pushed back into our car. The damage is major, the entire back passenger door is crushed.

    The problem starts when, after a week of waiting, the police report is ready. Seem like a no-brainer to me, guy has stroke, hits cars and has insurance…

    Apparently since the driver did not have a pre-existing condition and did not know he had a tumor, Progressive does not have to pay for any of the 4 other cars involved in an accident. This apparently called an “Act of God”. They don’t pay for those.

    What can the insurance companies use [Act of God] for? What qualifies?”

Comments

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  1. RegularGonzalez says:

    That’s pretty basic tort and criminal law. No preexisting condition precludes liability. This is opposed to people who are prone to seizures, epileptic fits, etc.

  2. Xkeeper says:

    Act of God
    A natural event, not preventable by any human agency, such as flood, storms, or lightning. Forces of nature that a carrier has no control over, and therefore cannot be held accountable.

    I’m no expert, but I’m not so sure “stroke caused by unknown tumor” is covered… but it’d be best to get a legal expert on this one.

  3. Xkeeper says:

    PS: Not mentioning that technically it was preventable. The dude needed to go to a doctor.

  4. Smashville says:

    Yeah – this blatantly doesn’t fall under “Act of God.” Get a lawyer, should be a fairly straightforward case.

  5. econobiker says:

    Progressive is just jerking you around. As long as the police reports that the guy was the cause of the accident you should be able to file a claim with them. Get your insurance carrier involved to go after them if Progressive keeps waffling…

  6. Falconfire says:

    Yep car insurance companies use “Act of God” simply to get out of paying for things they think homeowners insurnace will pay for. Honestly its a cop out clause to begin with because insurance companies are in it for money, not to help people.

    But in this case they are using it because they think you wont hire a lawyer. Even threaten to hire one and they will come back and settle… the last thing they want is to be forced into court, especially when there is absolutly no legal standing on their claim.

  7. I’ll play devil’s advocate on this one, I’m not really sure if that’s really fair to the man who had the stroke to consider him “at fault”. Let’s compare this to a true Act of God ;)

    *BLAMMO*

    Hear that? You’re driving your car when you hear the sound of the the Rapture. God has taken all of his children up to heaven and you– that’s right — you’re left behind. Wow that sucks. You turn on the radio and you hear that all Mormons across the Earth have vanished? Wtf? Aw shit all those Tim LaHaye books you bought were for nothing.

    You spend a few moments musing on this strange predicament before you realize that there is a pilotless car careening towards you.

    *BLAMMO* You just had a car wreck. Car insurance SWAT teams come in, and they determine that this was indeed an “Act of God” and they won’t cover it. What do you do? Why, you thank God that you have comprehensive insurance. That extra three bucks on your insurance every month really goes far, and will go even farther when you have to fight the oncoming battles of the antichrist.

    Review here for details.

    Seriously though, the insurance companies side with the police reports. If the police finds that nobody is at fault then the real issue is with the police report. As stated above, get a lawyer :)

    Oh yeah, and insurance is a dirty scam.

  8. bluegus32 says:

    I’m a California lawyer with plenty of experience litigating car accidents.

    Let’s look at it from a strictly legal perspective. In order to prove liability for a car accident for which an insurance company must pay for damages caused by its insured, you must prove negligence. Negligence is defined as the breach of a legal duty owed another which proximately causes that person’s damages.

    Question: how is the driver negligent? He didn’t know that he had a medical condition. He did not do anything illegal or improper. He was driving his car when seized by a previously-unknown condition. This easily qualifies as a “freak accident.”

    There is no negligence. Since the insurer’s liability is based upon the negligence of its insured, then there is no coverage here. The insured was not negligent. Therefore, his insurance company is not liable.

    I know this sounds like it’s a horrific result but this is textbook tort law.

    That’s not to say that a lawyer can’t get recovery. A seasoned plaintiff’s lawyer will almost certainly be able to squeeze money out of the insurance company. But from a strictly legal perspective, the insurance company has no liability.

    This, my friends, is a wonderful example of why you must always carry full insurance coverage so that YOUR OWN insurance company can cover your damages in such an event.

  9. Another option that people seem to be forgetting is that — whether or not the stroke-victim’s insurance company will cover the damage, the fact remains that HE caused the damage. Sue him personally, now. Get in line first, before other people do so.

    It’s not YOUR problem where the money comes from, whether it’s his insurance company, his bank account, a piggy bank in his son’s bedroom or if he borrows the money from Tony Soprano’s finest. All that is relevant to YOU is that “he caused significant property damage”.

    It’s not entirely uncommon for YOUR insurance company to cover you (under the “underinsured or uninsured driver” coverage) and then they go collect that money back from the other driver the hard way.

  10. Rudy Flyer says:

    Blugus32 is spot on. There’s a reason that Un/underinsured is important – you’d use it in that case…

  11. Xkeeper says:

    Another option that people seem to be forgetting is that — whether or not the stroke-victim’s insurance company will cover the damage, the fact remains that HE caused the damage. Sue him personally, now. Get in line first, before other people do so.

    Speaking from a strictly moralistic perspective, I find this wrong. The poor guy is already suffering from medical bills, I’m sure (strokes aren’t cheap)

    Making him suffer because of, as someone said, a freak accident, isn’t right.

    (However, I’m all for taking the insurance company to court.)

  12. How exactly does “Act of God” work with a “no-fault” state like Illinois?

    Honestly, unless god was driving the vehicle, I can’t see how this was an “Act of God.”

    Lawyers will be necessary, but first you need to document your efforts by writing some letters and be sure to bring up your state’s Department of Insurance and the FTC…there is also another regulatory body out there for insurance companies, but the name escapes me at the moment.

    I’ve gone through a similar problem with a fly-by-night insurance company not paying my insurance company my deductable in an accident where I was rear-ended. It took a year of letters, legal threats, and refusal to pay my insurance company the deductable before they finally resolved it.

  13. xkeeper: I disagree. If I cause damage to, say, your house, but I’m racked with personal debt, is that YOUR problem and a good excuse for me not to have to pay for the damage I caused you?

    ACurmudgeon was not damaged by “the insurance company”, he was damaged by the other driver. And while it may be a convenient shortcut to often deal directly with the “other guy”‘s insurance company, it really is just for speeding up processing on what is a simple matter: The OTHER DRIVER is the one responsible for the damage caused to ACurmudgeon. If the other driver’s insurance company chooses not to cover the other driver’s liabilities, for whatever reason, that’s between the other driver and his insurance carrier.

    Where is “personal responsibility” in the world these days? Is this just a long-dead concept? I understand it’s much easier to try and point the finger at big faceless corporations with deep pockets, but that doesn’t change whose fault the accident really was.