Wreck a Ferrari, get off scot-free
Here's what happened when an FBI special agent got behind the wheel of a supercar.
This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.
Maybe that's why they call them special agents.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the feds in the 2009 wreck of a rare F50 supercar, valued by its owner at $750,000. That owner: an insurance company that paid a theft claim for it in 2003, then saw the vehicle seized five years later and "detained" as part of a drug prosecution.
An FBI agent -- with a federal prosecutor riding shotgun -- wrapped the car around a tree while moving the 513-horsepower exotic from a warehouse. Neither was seriously hurt, but the car was totaled.
Judge Avern Cohn last month dismissed the insurance company's claim for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The government is, in general, immune from lawsuits, but exceptions are allowed if the government, or one of its employees, commits an act within the scope of its official duties for which a private citizen ordinarily would be liable.
The owner, Motors Insurance, had argued that the car wasn't detained, but instead that the insurance company had given the FBI permission to keep the car as evidence. It also hinted that the agent was joyriding at the time. Post continues after video.
Cohn didn't buy either argument. The first is mere semantics, he wrote, and the second irrelevant: an agent may very well have been joyriding, but that wasn't part of his G-man duties.
The lesson? Only this: Don't try this at home.
Laws change from state to state, and procedures vary from insurance company to insurance company, but coverage usually follows the car. If you lend your car to a friend who wrecks it, it's your insurance that pays first, and it's your premiums that will rise. (See "Totaled on the test drive" for a look at the liability issues involved when car shopping.)
If you borrow a car and wreck it, your insurance pays what the owner's coverage doesn't.
Either way, there will be paperwork. There will be grim-faced claims adjusters. And there will be a moment of reckoning.
Because you are not a special agent.
More on CarInsurance.com and MSN Money:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Saving just a single month of expenses may take longer than you think. See how your savings rate affects how quickly you can build a solid emergency fund.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'