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How an Unrelated Part Can Void Your Insurance Claim

MVS Forums member mrbrian200 sees his insurance claim voided after his Volvo got hit… because of his parking brake.

Good Rules to Know When Dealing With Insurance Claims

Just so you know. Modern insurance companies are in the business to *collect money*. Claims are not viewed as a normal course of business, but treated as a liability against revenue. I’ve been fighting with the insurer/adjuster (State Farm) for nearly 4 months in an attempt to get them to address/repair the alignment issue resulting from a collision with their at fault driver. At this point it looks more likely that I will end up getting the car back, not repaired, covering the repair myself and pursuing the matter through small claims. I’ve been complaining about poor quality Bosch components since I purchased the vehicle. And this one may end up costing me big, both by having to cover the cost of the repair (I may or may not win in small claims), as well as the nightmare 4 month squabble with insurance co. and having to pursue the matter in court.

Insurance Claim Voided

Now here’s where you can get into trouble: Though I had not taken to wheel/rotor off to inspect (yet), I had noticed damage to the backing plate while I was under the car to secure a rattling heat shield over the muffler. The backing plate was bent sort of ‘from the inside out’. This would have happened when the brake mechanism failed, likely broke off the boss (circled in picture) while the car was moving the the entire brake mechanism would have spun around with the cable still attached, bending the backing plate in the manner I observed. A previous owner removed the parking brake hardware instead of fixing it.

I’m also researching/looking up relevant private attorneys in the area. I am figuratively 10 minutes away from getting a professional involved (We’ll say, if that car isn’t fixed and back in my driveway pretty darn soon, I’m thinking Friday (4 days from now) I’ll be knocking on that door.

I plan on notifying/filing complaints with 2 separate states’ Attorneys General. (Collision in IL puts the primary matter under Illinois insurance law, Body shop through a business agreement an agent of State Farm operating/handling the claim physically within the state of Indiana).


A word of warning if you’re driving around with a disabled parking brake with regard to insurance claims

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