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How is your insurance handling "autonomy"?

gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,232
2,747
Seattle, WA
I've never had any kind of insurance policy that I could make sense of. In your example above, I have no idea how FSD would fit in.
Read it again. It starts with:
“Custom parts or equipment” means equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements and changes, other than those offered by the manufacturer specifically for that auto model....
Hence FSD is not "custom parts or equipment." Given only custom parts or equipment are excluded in my policy, it's covered. This is not hard legal-ease. It's just simple English.

That's why I never shop for insurance based on price.
I don't think I have "replacement cost" coverage. I probably just have market value coverage.
Not to be a snot, but I'm not sure what you're shopping on if you're not using price, you don't know what coverage you have, and you aren't reading the contract....
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,030
3,863
Kihei, HI
Read it again. It starts with:

Hence FSD is not "custom parts or equipment." Given only custom parts or equipment are excluded in my policy, it's covered. This is not hard legal-ease. It's just simple English.



Not to be a snot, but I'm not sure what you're shopping on if you're not using price, you don't know what coverage you have, and you aren't reading the contract....

Does the contract say that only "custom parts or equipment" will be excluded? Does it actually say that a firmware package that is not needed for the basic operation of the vehicle will be included? I wouldn't trust anybody but a lawyer to tell me what a contract actually means, and I don't trust lawyers generally. You never know until a court makes a decision , and their reasoning can be arcane in the extreme. If the contract says this or that will be excluded, it doesn't mean that other things may not be excluded also, if they can make an argument a court accepts.

I shop for insurance based on the reputation of the insurance company, and/or maybe the agent, and my personal experience if I have relevant experience. Thus when I moved here I insured my car with State Farm, because of my experience with them. I switched companies, based on the recommendation of the agent by a friend of mine who I trust, because SF wouldn't insure my home and I wanted to keep all my insurance with a single company.
 

gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,232
2,747
Seattle, WA
I wouldn't trust anybody but a lawyer to tell me what a contract actually means, and I don't trust lawyers generally.
Got it. So you don't trust contracts, or lawyers. Anything can happen, written things are irrelevant.

So instead, you trust some local agent, who doesn't even work for State Farm (they are independent contractors), can't impact State Farm's decisions at all, and make more commission the more they sell you.

Does the contract say that only "custom parts or equipment" will be excluded?
You need to be aware of the legal concept of Contra Proferentem- The idea that the author of a contract is responsible for covering everything they need to to protect themselves. In a dispute, if the contract leaves a question open, the preferred meaning is the one that goes against the author.

Insurance contracts cover specific exclusions. Things not excluded are included, because they had the chance to exclude them. Here's my exclusion list. Feel free to find a place where FSD is excluded (given FSD is clearly an item offered by the manufacturer of the vehicle specifically for my vehicle, and is thus not a custom part):

We don’t provide coverage under Part IV – Damage to Your Auto for any of the following vehicles or types of loss: 1. We don’t cover any vehicle while it’s being used to transport persons or deliver property for compensation of any kind, or while the operator is responding to a request for, or returning from, such transport or delivery. This doesn’t apply to a share-the-expense car pool. 2. We don’t cover any vehicle while it’s used to participate in, prepare for, or practice for any prearranged or organized racing, stunting, or speed contest or demonstration. 3. We don’t cover any vehicle, other than an auto shown on the declarations , while it’s being operated in autonomous or self-driving mode. This exclusion doesn’t apply to the brief operation of active safety systems such as automatic emergency braking or adaptive cruise control. 4. We don’t cover any non-owned auto while it’s being maintained or used by a person employed or otherwise engaged in an auto business . 5. We don’t cover loss caused intentionally by or at the direction of any insured . 6. We don’t cover damage accumulated over time or resulting from common road hazards such as pebbles, dust, oil, fresh asphalt, and so on. 7. We don’t cover loss due to war or warlike action. 8. We don’t cover loss caused by or consisting of radioactive or pathogenic contamination. 9. We don’t cover loss from wear and tear, freezing, or mechanical or electrical breakdown, other than burning of wiring, unless this damage results from a loss otherwise covered by this policy. 10. We don’t cover loss caused by or consisting of wet or dry rot, rust, corrosion, mold, deterioration, delamination, long-term exposure to water, or other progressive damage. 14-95 05 21 Page 16 of 21 11. We don’t cover loss caused by household pets owned by you , a family member , or a rated resident . 12. We don’t cover tires unless they’re stolen or damaged by fire, malicious mischief, or vandalism. This exclusion doesn’t apply to tires damaged in connection with another loss covered under Collision or Comprehensive coverage. 13. We don’t cover loss if the vehicle is or at any time becomes subject to any bailment lease, conditional sale, purchase agreement, mortgage, or other encumbrance not specifically declared or described in this policy. 14. We don’t cover loss due to conversion, embezzlement or secretion by any person who possesses the vehicle under a bailment lease, conditional sale, purchase agreement, mortgage, or other encumbrance. 15. We don’t cover more than $500 of the cost of repairing or replacing any camper unit, canopy, or tonneau cover you own that’s designed for mounting on an auto (after application of deductible to entire loss) unless the item has been reported to us, is shown on the declarations , and a charge is made for it.* 16. We don’t cover any equipment or accessories contained in a motor home, recreational vehicle, camper unit, or trailer unless that equipment is built in and forms a permanent part of the vehicle.* 17. We don’t cover more than $500 of the cost of repairing or replacing custom parts or equipment (after application of deductible to entire loss).* We don’t cover any increased cost of repair or replacement caused by such custom parts or equipment . This doesn’t apply to wheelchair lift equipment that is permanently installed in the vehicle. Coverage for loss to permanently installed wheelchair lift equipment is limited to $15,000. *NOTE: You may purchase coverage for these items for an additional charge. Contact us for details.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,833
5,762
What is State Farm's exact language on customizations?
State Farm says nothing about customizations.
You can look through the policy yourself (this is exactly the same as the one I received for my Model 3):
https://therideshareguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SF-policy-1.pdf
There is additionally 6126MD (3 pages talking about extra coverage for ridesharing) and 6128AC (5 pages of some amendments), but they don't talk about customizations either.
I've never seen a policy without it, but you seem to be saying they won't cover AP added after the original purchase, but this would need to be clearly indicated in a policy, otherwise they are not making you whole.
No, that is not what I'm saying. I'm saying this was the case for other policies (likely from a different company than State Farm), not my own. In fact I linked a specific example, which I'll just quote directly in case you missed the link:
This may or may not be helpful to you (or others reading), but here goes.

My insurance company considers anything on the original purchase order to be covered. So if your car is totaled, the insurance company should consider the value of anything, software included, on the original bill of sale.

If you purchased after the fact, like I did, I got a rider to cover aftermarket equipment. The policy included $5000 in aftermarket equipment, and they added a rider to add I think $8000 in additional aftermarket coverage. So, if my car is totaled, I have appropriate coverage for the entire FSD purchase price.

I do not know how they 'value' this in a payout in the event of a total.

Do you believe you can go put $15K carbon fiber wheels on your Mustang and they will be covered since they are sold by Ford, just only included on a different one? Why not cover a $15K stereo install?
First they will try to fix it, presuming it is fixable. If instead the car was totaled or it was stolen and not found, then you obviously have to provide at minimum proof of the existence (if not value) of whatever equipment you have in your vehicle. That's why I mention MVPA, as that is the common document organizations look for to determine what came with Teslas (there was discussions in other threads talking about the Monroney sticker and how there are commonly mistakes that don't match the actual configuration of the vehicle). They certainly did not ask for this detailed info when I signed up for the policy, so obviously they will have to do so when it comes time for a claim and they have to appraise the value of the car.

As for other aftermarket equipment, you would have to prove it was installed in the subject vehicle at the time of loss. Aftermarket equipment is unlike OEM equipment (which is tied to your VIN), so just having a receipt of a purchase is not necessarily enough proof that it was installed in the specific vehicle. Put if there is such proof, I don't see exclusions for it in my policy (unlike yours).
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,833
5,762
We're way off subject here for sure, but I have a buddy that runs an auto body shop and he doesn't put State Farm in the top 10 most fair/easy to work with insurers. That sure matches my experience too of having to sue someone that hit me that had State Farm because they treated me so badly. There's such varied experiences. State Farm is pretty famous for forcing insureds to use non-OEM parts and even lost a $1B class action over it, and their response was to make their use of non-OEM parts more clear in the contract language, not stop doing it.
I guess it depends on what state and what time you are talking about (that article is from 1999). In California (presumably by law) State Farm can not force you to accept using non-OEM parts. You can insist on using OEM parts, although you may have to pay out of pocket for the difference.
https://static1.st8fm.com/en_US/downloads/sf/non-oem-recycled-parts-California-only.pdf
What I find interesting is that nobody else seems to have their actual auto policy language handy. They just kind of go "yeah, State Farm will treat me well" or "it matters if it was on the MVPA" or "of course it's covered."
I take you were referring to me, but I actually do have a copy of my actual policy language (which I linked in other comment) and I did look at it before making my comments.
 
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daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,030
3,863
Kihei, HI
Got it. So you don't trust contracts, or lawyers. Anything can happen, written things are irrelevant.

So instead, you trust some local agent, who doesn't even work for State Farm (they are independent contractors), can't impact State Farm's decisions at all, and make more commission the more they sell you.


You need to be aware of the legal concept of Contra Proferentem- The idea that the author of a contract is responsible for covering everything they need to to protect themselves. In a dispute, if the contract leaves a question open, the preferred meaning is the one that goes against the author.

Insurance contracts cover specific exclusions. Things not excluded are included, because they had the chance to exclude them. Here's my exclusion list. Feel free to find a place where FSD is excluded (given FSD is clearly an item offered by the manufacturer of the vehicle specifically for my vehicle, and is thus not a custom part):

It's not that I don't trust contracts. It's that I don't trust my own ability to understand arcane legalistic language. Many kinds of contracts (including insurance policies) are written in a way that favors the company while appearing to favor the customer. What I do trust is the reputation of the company. Some companies have a reputation for fair dealing because they believe that satisfied customers are good for business. Other companies have a reputation for screwing the customer because they believe that pinching pennies is the way to succeed.

I think that if you have not studied law you are very likely to interpret a contract differently than a court will. If you have studied law, you have a 50/50 chance of anticipating how the court will rule. And if you're a really good lawyer, you can convince the court of whatever interpretation benefits your client. And if FSD is not defined in the contract, it's open season for the lawyers on both sides to argue what category of thing it is. I could see a lawyer arguing, and the court accepting, that since Full Self Driving does not actually exist, the insurer should not have to reimburse you for the cost of it.

If you have renter's insurance that covers the value of your possessions, and you had paid someone $10,000 for an invisible unicorn, and your apartment building burned down, the insurer would not reimburse you the ten Gs for the unicorn. A good lawyer, or even just a competent lawyer, could argue that FSD is an invisible unicorn.
 

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