Kevin Cronin was just finishing his day last Friday afternoon and was about to lock the door at Cronin Insurance. The next few moments would change his life forever. As he walked toward the door, he watched helplessly as a late model Hyundai drove straight at our window. He recoiled as the car jumped the curb, and hurtled toward him. His young life passed before his mind as he shouted, "Mommy!".
He ducked behind a desk as the Hyundai carreened into the steel trash bin which rested against the concrete facade holding up the building. He waited for the shattered glass and the wall to come crashing down, when miracle among miracles, the trash bin held.
A lucky escape from serious damage
The emergency continued as he spied that the young driver was unconscious behind the wheel- and the car was still running. With the help of other passersby, they formed a group determined to get the driver out of the car. With the doors locked solidly, they tried using one of those hammer-type devices that are supposed to break the car's glass, if you ever drive into a canal, but no matter how many times they hammered, it would not break the glass from the outside. (Got to wonder if it would work from the inside).
Meanwhile, the driver remained inside the car, unconscious. While the rescue group continued hammering at the window, someone had the presence of mind to call 911. The EMS responded within minutes and, using a device they had on board, immediately opened the car door and started treating the driver. Kevin helped push the car off the sidewalk and into a parking spot while the EMS took the driver to the hospital. A lucky escape for all.
What if the car crashed through the wall?
Afterwards, we wondered what would have happened if the trash bin hadn't held. And, how would Cronin Insurance Agency have paid for it?
There probably would have been structural damage to the exterior wall of our building. The landlord would probably have to pay for that damage as we are renting a space inside the building.
Our glass would have been shattered and we would be responsible for that. If the car actually went through the window, it would have damaged our desks, computers and our improvements to the unit. We would need to pay for these too.
How many days would we need to be closed while we repaired the damage? We would bear the cost of this too.
And what if the car had actually struck Kevin? There would be medical bills and possibly rehabilitation. How long would it be before Kevin was able to return to work? Also, how would losing a key person like Kevin affect our business?
Could we sue the driver?
Many of you are thinking that you could simply sue the driver for the damage they had done by crashing into the building. Good point, but many people- especially young drivers- carry very low limits of insurance. What if this driver only carried the PIP/PD coverage required by Florida law? That would result in only $10,000 of Property Damage Liability- to be split by the landlord and Cronin Insurance Agency!
An no Bodily Injury Liability for any injuries to Kevin.
Even if the driver had adequate limits, how long would it take for their insurance company to admit liability and actually pay the damages- weeks, maybe months that we could not afford to wait. So suing the driver is not the best solution.
The Best Solution
The best solution is to have your own insurance policy with adequate limits to cover the damages. And we were glad we did.
Our Business Owner Policy covers damage to our property, including the glass, the improvements and the personal property like desks, phones and computers. It also covers us for Business Interruption when we can't open because of damage to our office.
Our Workers Compensation would have covered Kevin for his injuries as well as paid him a benefit for any time he may have been out of work due to these injuries.
Would the driver be liable for these damages? Sure. But by having a Business Owners Policy in force, we would be able to collect immediately from our own policy and our Insurance Company can pursue reimbursement from the liable party. And if they don't carry enough insurance to cover our losses, we are only responsible for our deductible.
Our hero, the Trash Bin
We salute the Trash Bin that saved our store and we thank the good lord that no one was seriously injured. We feel secure in the knowledge that, if the worst had happened, our Business Owners Policy would have us back in business.
Are you covered for a scenario like this one? Contact us and we'll get you a quote for your own Business Owners Policy.
Cronin Insurance, low rates, choice of companies and personal advice from local agents.