Author Topic: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?  (Read 3290 times)

Lifeblood

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$850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:27:37 PM »
My general contractor was doing work at my unoccupied house and stored some tools overnight in the locked house. A thief in the night made her way through a partially-open window, had a look around, and left with 3 nail guns that cost about $850 to replace. We filed a police report. There is a $2,500 deductible on our home insurance (higher than may be normal in the spirit of self-insuring for smaller losses). The contractor did not have insurance covering theft of tools, and since they were in my locked house, I assume I am responsible. Is there any reason at all for me to notify the home insurance company, or should I just reimburse the contractor and move on?

forumname123

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 11:44:50 PM »
There is a $2,500 deductible on our home insurance (higher than may be normal in the spirit of self-insuring for smaller losses).

Doesn't this answer your question?

I'm no expert, but I really don't see how you should be liable just because they were taken from your house. If that's the law, it's stupid.
He's more than welcome to store his nail-guns somewhere else if he doesn't want to risk leaving them in an uninhabited house.

Feivel2000

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 12:46:18 AM »
I can't see why it's your liability. Don't pay him, call your insurance, they know exactly who has to pay. (no need for a claim, just ask them)

Polaria

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 04:39:06 AM »
Who left the window open?

frugaliknowit

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 05:26:39 AM »
I don't see how you are liable unless his contract with you says so.  If you are really tight with this contractor and have a big important job ahead of you, you might offer him a percentage of the loss in good faith...?

Imma

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2017, 08:15:48 AM »
It's hard to see why you would be liable. He left his valuable posessions in an unoccupied house instead of taking them home with you. Everyone knows there's a risk a house gets broken into and you either insure or self-insure for that. Was he also the one who left the window open? If you left the window open after he had locked up, that makes you at least morally partially responsible imo, but it's mainly his fault that he left his tools somewhere. Personally, I'd reimburse him if I was the one to leave the windows open, but I wouldn't otherwise.

NeonPegasus

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2017, 09:26:20 AM »
Husband and I have a welding fabrication business. We added a rider to our insurance policy to cover the loss/theft of our tools while onsite at a customer's location. Your contractor should have had the same.

Miss Piggy

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 10:12:08 AM »
Is the house empty? If not...somebody "broke in" and only stole nail guns? That simply doesn't smell right to me.

Lifeblood

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 10:26:55 AM »
Yes, house is empty except for a few heavier tools that were touched, but perhaps deemed too heavy.

Miss Piggy

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2017, 10:35:40 AM »
Oh, Okay. That smells better, then.

But this:
The contractor did not have insurance covering theft of tools, and since they were in my locked house, I assume I am responsible.

I'm not so sure it's your responsibility. The guy should be insuring his tools...don'tcha think?

Could you call your insurance company and explain it as if it's hypothetical? "I have a contractor working on my house, and he wants to leave his tools overnight. If anything happens to his tools, would this be covered by my insurance, or does he need his own insurance?"  Something like that?

tralfamadorian

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2017, 10:36:37 AM »
Do you have an otherwise good relationship with this contractor and you would plan on using them in the future?  If not, then this is on them for leaving tools without proper insurance.  If so, then paying a portion may be best to preserve the relationship. 

nwhiker

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 09:24:32 PM »
You would not be liable for a criminal act of another (typically). In this case you would be fine as the co tractor left his tools there and I assume locked up the house before they left. Most contractors that have a lot of tools, especially more expensive ones have an inland marine policy that covers tools on jobsite. Seems like they chose to bear the risk.

Also the deductible only applies to the structure and personal property coverages. To the extent the loss is covered under the liability coverage then there is no deductible. But again it is not your fault.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 09:27:41 PM by rbuck »

Laura33

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 08:15:02 AM »
Wait -- why would you make a claim for $850 in tools with a $2500 deductible?  The insurance wouldn't pay anything anyway, so why would you even consider this?  All you'd accomplish would be to create a record of a claim, which (a) would jack your rates, and (b) could be used to deny coverage later if you have another claim or two.  You would be shooting yourself in the foot and not even getting anything for the pain.  I'm also not sure the tools are even covered, since they were the contractor's and not yours.

The flip side of having a high deductible is understanding that you are paying out of pocket for anything less than that.*  If you're not prepared to do that, then it's time to lower the deductible. 

*I also agree with others that you're probably not legally responsible for the tools, unless you opened the window after the contractor left, and so should evaluate this as a moral/relationship decision.

J Boogie

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 02:37:11 PM »
Like everyone else is saying, you're not liable.

I wouldn't leave my festools in an uninhabited building unless it was fort knox.

aperture

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 05:35:35 PM »
Like everyone else is saying, you're not liable.

I wouldn't leave my festools in an uninhabited building unless it was fort knox.

Festool............. sorry had to wipe the drool from the side of my mouth.

Lifeblood

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 06:23:52 PM »
I wasn't sure if the insurance deductible was cumulative or not; I now know it is not. I did not make a claim. I am very comfortable with paying out for losses below the deductible, so I definitely won't be lowering it; I have saved much more than that by being somewhat self-insured. In recognition of the relationship, we agreed to share responsibility, spreading the loss between us. I feel comfortable with that, even though I probably could have passed off responsibility entirely from a legal perspective. Thanks to all who provided feedback; always helpful!

Feivel2000

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2017, 01:38:17 AM »
I wasn't sure if the insurance deductible was cumulative or not; I now know it is not. I did not make a claim. I am very comfortable with paying out for losses below the deductible, so I definitely won't be lowering it; I have saved much more than that by being somewhat self-insured. In recognition of the relationship, we agreed to share responsibility, spreading the loss between us. I feel comfortable with that, even though I probably could have passed off responsibility entirely from a legal perspective. Thanks to all who provided feedback; always helpful!
Have you told him that this is a one time thing and that he has to insure his tools from now on or remove them from your property when ever he is leaving the scene?


Dee18

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2017, 07:13:51 AM »
Sounds like you reached a good resolution, one that considered more than just money.

Lifeblood

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2017, 08:30:06 AM »
Definitely a one-time thing. He no longer stores tools there.

forumname123

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Re: $850 nail guns stolen - Should I file a claim?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2017, 08:33:08 PM »
Definitely a one-time thing. He no longer stores tools there.

Sounds like a good outcome, nicely handled.