Collision And Other Than Collision Coverages

Here’s some basic information for insurance lawyers.

“Collision” is defined in the standard policy as “the upset, or collision with another object, of your covered auto.”

As an example, in the 1984, Amarillo Court of Appeals opinion, Nutchey v. Three R’s Trucking Company, Inc., a three-inch depression in a road, which caused damage to a trailer fell under this definition of “collision.”

A person getting auto insurance must select and pay for additional coverage if the insured desires coverage for losses other than collision.  The policy sets forth 10 named perils that can be insured collectively by opting for this additional coverage for perils “other than collision.”  The additional coverage perils includes”

a.  missiles or flying object

b.  fire

c.  theft or larceny

d.  explosion or earthquake

e.  hail, water or flood

f.  malicious mischief or vandalism

g.  riot or civil commotion

h.  contact with bird or animals

i.  breakage of glass

j.  windstorm

Pursuant to the 1970, Tyler Court of Appeals opinion, Allstate Insurance Company v. Dykes, the term “theft” is given the same meaning as it has under criminal law, as “theft” is not defined in the standard policy.  Theft is discussed in chapter 31, Texas Penal Code.

In Dykes, the court noted that theft that can arise out of situations in which the owner of the vehicle gives someone else permission to use the vehicle.  The court permitted theft coverage when an insured permitted a potential buyer to take the vehicle out of state.  The court reasoned that the potential buyer deprived the insured of the vehicle.  Although the buyer may not have had the requisite intent when he took the vehicle, he had certainly acquired such intent when the vehicle was not returned.