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Howard helps family caught in insurance squeeze

One morning in early June, Boris Davydov was awakened in his Marine Park home by a sound that became a huge headache.

A guy was driving down his quiet block in a pickup. One of Boris’s neighbors began pulling out of his driveway. The pickup driver clipped the neighbor’s car, hit a parked vehicle, slammed into the back of Boris’ Honda Odyssey parked in the street, went through his fence and smashed into his other car parked in his driveway.

Fortunately, no one was hurt. The police report doesn’t say anything about responsibility and makes no accusations of speeding.

Boris did not have collision insurance and both his cars were totaled. He and his wife needed them to get to work and to take their four kids around Brooklyn. So, he contacted GEICO, the insurance company for the guy driving the pickup.

GEICO’s adjustor agreed the cars were a total loss. Damage – including Boris’ fence – came to around $14,000. Then Boris got a letter from GEICO saying, “we do not believe our insured is legally liable for your damage.”

GEICO blamed Boris’ neighbor for causing the accident. Boris’ wife, Yelena, got in touch with the neighbor’s insurance company, USAA. But it wrote back, “our insured is not legally responsible.” USAA says the accident was all the fault of the guy in the pickup.

So, here was Boris, caught between two dueling insurance companies. They were pointing fingers at each other and he was stuck in the middle without his cars and without reimbursement. And he is the only clearly innocent party. He was asleep, and his cars were parked – one right in his own driveway.

“I’m the victim,” Boris told us. “I was not driving. My both cars were parked.”

Boris contacted us, and we wondered how this could possibly be right. After all, the insurance companies are going to have to duke it out anyway as to who is responsible and for how much. So why shouldn’t the insurer for the pickup truck that hit Boris’ cars – GEICO - pay him and then seek reimbursement or contribution from USAA?

We asked GEICO about that. And a couple of days later we were pleasantly surprised to learn that GEICO reviewed the incident and basically agreed with our analysis. It’s going to reimburse Boris and even provided a rental in the interim.

Boris is happy and so are we. Glad to help. And glad Geico came through.