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Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA

An old Driveway is damaged by a tree, insurance?

Say you have a driveway that is indeed old, but not cracked nor holes nor chunks missing / cracked. A tree then falls onto the driveway from an adjacent property cracking the asphalt, putting 4 holes about 4" diamater. Is it acceptable would you say for the insurance company to just offer to pay to patch the holes or should the driveway be replaced?

What's your opinions, I've already had multiple people in the industry say the insurance company should pay for a replacement.
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StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL

Homeowner's insurance should pay for patching.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to Edrick

Typically your homeowners will cover your damage (Patch(s)) even if the damage was caused by a tree from an adjacent property.



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to Edrick

said by Edrick:

What's your opinions, I've already had multiple people in the industry say the insurance company should pay for a replacement.

I'm curious about the rationale for replacement rather than repair.

It's not as though you can replace part of a car's windshield if it gets cracked by a rock. Likewise if a concrete driveway were cracked by a tree you wouldn't just fill the crack with caulk. However you might cut out the damaged part of the slab, pour new concrete and finish to match.

When streets are damaged due to utility work or erosion, they usually cut out the bad section of asphalt, and the bad section of concrete underneath, replace missing/unstable soil, and then pour new concrete and lay new asphalt. They don't repave the entire street.

I am guessing that the industry has guidelines or language in the policy for determining the extent of damage required before the entire driveway is resurfaced.
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dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to Edrick

Only the insurance company can say whether they will replace or patch, everyone else is just whistling in the wind. And what some other insurance company may have done in the case of somebody's brother-in-law's neighbor's sister has no bearing on what this insurance company will do. It's up to the adjuster.

Now, all that said, I once had a company redo an old worn and cracked asphalt driveway with a complete tearout and repave cheaper than the typical pave over from other bidders. They came in with a substantial backhoe/front loader and the old driveway was gone, in the dump truck within 20 minutes. Some additional stone filler, tamped it down with roller for awhile, and then a load of asphalt. They were done in less than 2 hours, brand new driveway. A few years later, my neighbor did a more typical 2" overlay that took all day screwing around with this and that, and he paid more than I did.

dw



leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
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reply to Edrick

In your situation (driveway is old but was undamaged prior to the incident; insurance company only offers to patch/repair) I would get quotes (in writing) from several companies. Then tell the insurance company that due to the age of the driveway you will do a complete replacement and ask them to pay for the claim in the amount of the highest patch/repair quote.

Insurance laws and regulations differ from state to state but generally you have the option to dispute the findings of the insurance adjuster by providing quotes from professionals of your own choice.

This will not get you a free driveway replacement but hopefully a reasonable contribution to the replacement cost from the insurance company. More importantly you won't have to deal with any of the issues associated with a patched driveway (somehow patches never seem to last very long).
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Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
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reply to Edrick

Insurance should cover repair or partial replacement of it but the real question will be is it worth using. Normally the deductible is like $1,000 and since you have a claim would lose your no claims discount for the next 3-5 years so in the end it could cost you $1,500-2,000 to use insurance. If the driveway will cost more then that I'd use it otherwise do it on your own.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Edrick

As mentioned, it all depends as to if repairs are possible. I'd think at most that a section could be removed and installed and then perhaps the drive way can be sealed. If this can be done, then this is what they will pay for.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Critsmcgee

said by Critsmcgee:

Insurance should cover repair or partial replacement of it but the real question will be is it worth using. Normally the deductible is like $1,000 and since you have a claim would lose your no claims discount for the next 3-5 years so in the end it could cost you $1,500-2,000 to use insurance. If the driveway will cost more then that I'd use it otherwise do it on your own.

That's true if the tree was alive before it fell. If the tree was already dead, the responsibility goes to the insurance of the homeowner whose property the tree was on (in most areas). This is because the tree would have been considered a hazard and should have been removed prior to falling. If that's the case, there will be no deductible involved for the OP.


Edrick
I aspire to tell the story of a lifetime
Premium
join:2004-09-11
Woburn, MA
reply to Edrick

The tree on the other owners property was dead and should of been removed, a short week later the other half of the tree fell onto her property.

The problem with patching is there's 4 or 5 holes from limbs and cracking along the whole length of the driveway now where parts of the pavement are coming up now.



Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
reply to Edrick

As mentioned by another poster, this thread is a lot of wind - none of us are the adjuster.

Photos would be very helpful though...
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tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

That's true if the tree was alive before it fell. If the tree was already dead, the responsibility goes to the insurance of the homeowner whose property the tree was on (in most areas). This is because the tree would have been considered a hazard and should have been removed prior to falling. If that's the case, there will be no deductible involved for the OP.

It's still true. The OP can file a claim under his own homeowners insurance policy. If there is coverage they will pay less the deductible (the deductible is not waived) and then seek recovery from the negligent party. If they collect, they will refund the OP's deductible.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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said by tcope:

said by Msradell:

That's true if the tree was alive before it fell. If the tree was already dead, the responsibility goes to the insurance of the homeowner whose property the tree was on (in most areas). This is because the tree would have been considered a hazard and should have been removed prior to falling. If that's the case, there will be no deductible involved for the OP.

It's still true. The OP can file a claim under his own homeowners insurance policy. If there is coverage they will pay less the deductible (the deductible is not waived) and then seek recovery from the negligent party. If they collect, they will refund the OP's deductible.

Subrogation Procedure

The exact procedure will depend on your specific insurance company. Subrogation may occur after the claims adjuster has completed the claim or it may happen during the claims process. An inhouse subrogation department will try to contact the responsible party or the party's insurance company to collect the amount due. While many cases are settled through a negotiation process, some subrogation cases may end up in court. If that happens, you may have to make a court appearance.

Subrogation Advantages

Subrogation has the effect of keeping your costs down in two ways: recovery of your deductible and stopping unnecessary rate increases. If your insurance company sues the responsible party for the costs incurred during the claims process, you will be able to get your deductible refunded from the other party. Even if your insurance company chooses not to pursue subrogation, you can still try to recover the deductible from the other party on your own -- perhaps through small claims court. In addition, because someone else has reimbursed your insurance company for the claim, your rates won't be increased.

Requirements

Your insurance company must inform you if it plans to pursue subrogation and if the insurance company collects from the other party, it is required to reimburse your deductible to you. You are in turn required to cooperate with the insurance company's subrogation efforts as stated in the insurance policy. Legally, you can't do anything that would prevent your insurance company from collecting funds from the other company. For example, you cannot sign an agreement releasing the other party from blame.

tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

Not sure where that was quote from (or why it pertains to my post) but, " Even if your insurance company chooses not to pursue subrogation, you can still try to recover the deductible from the other party on your own -- perhaps through small claims court" is incorrect.

As an insured, you cannot settle with the other party if your carrier has paid your loss. If you were to sue for $500 and either obtained a judgement or the other party settled with you, your carrier would no longer have a right of recovery for the amount they paid (as their right in inherited only from their insured's right of recovery). This is why 1st party polices specifically state that the insured cannot settle the claim without the insurer's permission (if the insurer pays a claim).



Jack_in_VA
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join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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It's still true. The OP can file a claim under his own homeowners insurance policy. If there is coverage they will pay less the deductible (the deductible is not waived) and then seek recovery from the negligent party. If they collect, they will refund the OP's deductible.

Subrogation is the process for this.