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Question
Tire tread flew off my son's 3/4T truck and damaged the wheel well and side panel. His comprehensive insurance company is willing to pay for repair after subtracting the deductible. He contacted tire manufacturer and they said the tire distributor put improperly rated tire on truck. The insurance company said they have no obligation to collect the damages from the tire distributor or manufacturer in order to recover the deductible. Does Comprehensive require a "make whole" obligation on the insurance company where I am not at fault and the faulty party is known?

Answer
Hello Gerald,

Quite frankly, you are fortunate that the terms of your policy cover this type of loss.  Not always the case.

But to your question.  This is not about making whole again.  You are entitled to payment for you damages, minus the deductible.  Assuming the offer is a fair one, that is making you "whole again".  And, comprehensive does not depend on "fault". Simply stated, it is for losses not caused by collision.

Now, as to collecting damages from the distributor, that is a tall order.  Insurance companies collect from one another via a process called subrogation.  If an adjuster were to contact the carrier for the distributor, it is possible that they might accept liability and agree to pay for your repairs.  That would include a refund for the deductible.

But this case is probably not as basic as you might think.  It is entirely possible that the distributor might not pay, or might blame the defect on the manufacturer.  The point is, this is potentially a very complicated process - and it is unlikely that neither the distributor nor the manufacturer is going to eagerly accept responsibility.

From the standpoint of your carrier, they must feel that the process would be more costly and time consuming than simply paying for your damages.  And, no, they are not obligated to seek subrogation.  In simple cases, insurance companies will subrogate to cover payments made to their insured that should be assessed to another carrier or party.  But this is much more complicated.

Other than accepting payment minus your deductible, your only other option would be to contact the insurance carrier for the distributor and file a claim.  If they accept responsibility, you could receive compensation for your full damages.  But I would not recommend this.  That is, in my opinion, an unlikely scenario.  You might consider consulting with an attorney.  But that is probably not a cost-effective approach either.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Jane Pytel
http://InsuranceExpertAdvice.com  

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Jane Pytel

Expertise

I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.

Experience

12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

Education/Credentials
B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

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