What Does Collision Coverage Cover?

Aledo attorneys might want to know this 1955 case from the Waco Court of Appeals. The style of the case is, Home Service Casualty Co. v. Barry. It’s opinion discusses some of the coverage under the collision portion of a Texas auto policy.
Here is some of the relevant information.
This case is grounded on the collision provisions in a policy of insurance covering a truck.
The Statement of Facts shows certain stipulations of the parties. The stipulations pertinent here are stated:
4. That on April 22, 1954, at about 1:30 P.M., plaintiff was operating the above described G.M.C. truck at a point located about four miles east of Morgan in Bosque County, Texas. That the insured was hauling gravel on said truck and had a load of about five yards of gravel and was traveling in a westerly direction. That as plaintiff started down the banks of a dry creek to cross the bridge at the bottom of said dry creek, and while the plaintiff was traveling about twenty miles per hour, the plaintiff heard a noise and his truck became difficult to steer, and plaintiff had difficulty keeping the truck from running off the end of the bridge; that plaintiff attempted to apply his brakes, but they had no effect on the truck. That the right rear wheels of the truck came off of said truck and rolled into the creek, thereby causing the axle housing and brake drum on the right rear side of said truck to drop to the ground and drag on the ground and on across said concrete bridge, and said truck came to a stop on the opposite end of said bridge.
5. That said truck did not strike any other vehicles or any other object than the road and concrete bridge which were struck when the right rear wheels came off of said truck and before said truck could be brought to a stop, the right end of the rear axle housing and right rear brake drum of said truck drug on the ground and on across said concrete bridge.
6. That the damage to the truck above mentioned by virtue of the occasion in question is the sum of $950.00.

The Court found in favor of Barry.
At the request of the insurer the Court filed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The pertinent parts are:
1. On April 22, 1954, plaintiff, H. D. Barry was the owner of a 1952 GMC dump truck.
2. That on April 22, 1954 said GMC dump truck was covered by policy of Home Service Casualty Insurance Company covering the hazards of collision or upset, among other coverages; said collision or upset being $50.00 deductible collision or upset.
3. That said insurance policy was a standard Texas form policy as approved by the Insurance Commission of the State of Texas.
4. That on April 22, 1954, said GMC dump truck was in a collision with the roadbed in Bosque County, Texas.
5. That on April 22, 1954, said GMC dump truck was in a collision with a concrete bridge or slab in Bosque County, Texas.
6. Damage to said GMC dump truck as a result of said collision amounted to $950.00.
7. That plaintiff, H. D. Barry, incurred a reasonable charge of $272.00 in protecting said GMC dump truck from any further loss following said collision on April 22, 1954.
8. That said $272.00 was a reasonable expense.
9. That said $272.00 expense incurred by H. D. Barry following said collision on April 22, 1954 was incurred at the request of Home Service Casualty Insurance Company.
10. A. That H. D. Barry became personally liable for said sum of $272.00 for moving said truck from Bosque County to Waco, Texas where said truck was stored.

B. That it was reasonably necessary to move said truck to Waco, Texas in order to protect the same.
C. That C. H. (Clarence) Hunter was the duly authorized agent of the defendant on and after April 22, 1954.
D. That H. D. Barry did not pay said sum of $272.00 but became personally liable therefor and personally owed said sum of $272.00 at the date of trial.
11. That the insured, H. D. Barry, plaintiff complied with all the conditions and provisions of the above described insurance policy.
12. That the damage to said truck of $950.00 was a direct result of a collision of said truck with the ground and with a concrete slab or bridge and that such damage was not caused by mechanical breakdown or failure.
13. That the plaintiff, H. D. Barry, proved that the collision was not due to wear and tear or mechanical breakdown or failure.
Here are the relevant policy provisions:
Coverage D-Comprehensive Loss of or Damage to the Automobile, Except by Collision or Upset To pay for any direct and accidental loss of or damage to the automobile, hereinafter called loss, except loss caused by collision of the automobile with another object or by upset of the automobile or by collision of the automobile with a vehicle to which it is attached. Breakage of glass and loss caused by missiles, falling objects, fire, theft, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood, vandalism, riot or civil commotion shall not be deemed loss caused by collision or upset.
Coverage E-1-Collision or Upset To pay for direct and accidental loss of or damage to the automobile, hereinafter called loss, caused by collision of the automobile with another object or by upset of the automobile, but, only for the amount of each such loss in excess of the deductible amount, if any, stated in the declarations as applicable hereto.
Coverage E-2-Convertible Collision or Upset To pay for direct and accidental loss of or damage to the automobile, hereinafter called loss, caused by collision of the automobile with another object or by upset of the automobile. Upon the occurrence of the first loss for which payment is sought hereunder the insured shall pay to the company the additional payment stated in the declaration. Loss caused by collision or upset occurring prior to the first loss for which payment is sought hereunder is not covered.
Exception ‘(j) under coverages D, E-1, E-2, F, G-1, G-2, H, I and J, to any damage to the automobile which is due and confined to wear and tear, freezing, mechanical or electrical breakdown or failure, unless such damage is the result of other loss covered by this policy.

Here was the court’s conclusion:
“Any insurance policy is a contract and the intention of the parties as manifested in it is determinative of the risks it covers. Where the coverage is based upon loss due to a certain cause, the principles which in legal concept determine causation will ordinarily be applied in carrying out the intention of the parties. But the situation is not entirely like that present in cases of torts and the like. A person taking out insurance bargains for a certain protection, and for a consideration the insurer agrees to furnish that protection. The usual principles of causation should not be so closely applied as to defeat the intent of the parties. Justice Story, after reviewing a number of cases, states: ‘Illustrations of this sort might be pursued much further, but it seems unnecessary. Those which have been already suggested sufficiently establish that the maxim, causa proxima non remota spectatur, is not without limitations; and has never been applied, in matters of insurance, to the extent contended for; but that it has been constantly qualified and constantly applied only in a modified practical sense, to the perils insured against. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.”