17 September 2015

Losses and Lessons: Umbrella takes flight at show, crash-lands on classics

VEHICLES INVOLVED: 1965 Ford Mustang coupe, 1937 Dodge pickup truck, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Most classic car owners carefully gauge the weather before going for a cruise or attending a show, but sometimes a simple gust of wind can result in a claim. A 1965 Ford Mustang coupe, 1937 Dodge pickup truck and 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible were parked side by side at a car show, and their owners had just settled in for the day when the Mustang owner’s sun umbrella caught some air and clipped all three before falling to the ground.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The umbrella scratched the hood of the Mustang, damaged the fender and hood of the Dodge and tore a hole in the Chevy’s canvas top. Since Hagerty insured the Chevy, they paid $1,220.57 for the repairs and then attempted to recover their loss through the umbrella owner’s homeowners insurance policy.

LESSON: It’s always better to be overly cautious than under prepared, so think “worst-case scenario” before placing objects near your classic. Is it securely fastened? What if it fell or tipped over? If you choose to relax under an umbrella at a car show, put plenty of space between yourself and other cars, and make sure the umbrella is firmly fastened down.

5 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Noel Illinois September 23, 2015 at 18:54
    Was at Chicagoland Mopar Connections' Belvidere Happening about 4 summers ago. Temp in the 90s and parched ground. Three typical car show tents in an "L" formation staked in the dry ground. Wind gust upends all 3 of them, with the tent stakes flying onto a spectacular black and red '56 Windsor Newport coupe. Luckily missed the trim and glass, but dents and paint damage on the black roof, trunk and fender, and red fender two-tone paint.
  • 2
    C Drake Potomac MD September 23, 2015 at 20:25
    " and then attempted to recover their loss through the umbrella owner’s homeowners insurance policy." How could damage to an auto caused by an "act of God" be covered by his homeowner's policy?.And not even on his own property... Not sure how that could pass muster...but then , I'm not in the insurance business.Thought that this would be covered under "comprehensive" on the auto policy ; uh oh,now I had better check that fine print! I just gotta' ask: was the umbrella owner's homeowner policy an umbrella one? (Ha ha.)
  • 3
    markmcbx Lake Havasu City, AZ September 24, 2015 at 20:54
    Maybe an umbrella policy might be better? Sorry, couldn't resist......still sucks that vehicles got damaged by what could be classified as an act of God. Any chance of wind and my car or classic bike won't be anywhere near an ez-up, canopy or portable awning of any kind.
  • 4
    D Combs Kent, WA September 24, 2015 at 09:56
    To C Drake: I work in a field of insurance known as subrogation. I can assure you that this is not necessarily an "act of God". If the day was breezy, and/or the umbrella was not properly secured to prevent its flying away, then the umbrella owner could be held liable. And yes, his or her homeowner's insurance would be the correct policy to pursue. Your homeowner's policy general includes a general liability provision. But check your own policy or consult your agent.
  • 5
    Jared Syracuse, UT September 24, 2015 at 10:33
    I had a very similar thing happen at a show a couple of years ago. The pop-up canopy I had set up next to my car was ripped out of my hands while holding it down when a big gust of wind came out of nowhere. It flew over my car and landed on the guy's car next to mine, denting his trunk and rear quarter panel. My auto insurance wouldn't pay for the damage. The guy ended up filing a claim with his auto insurance and I agreed to pay $500 towards his deductible. I refuse to bring or park near someone with a canopy.

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