Insurance companies are, as a rule, pretty much the worst. It seems they’ll do anything in their power to avoid paying out for claims, even going so far as to drop customers they think might someday need a payout. Case in point: A California resident had his homeowner’s insurance revoked because of a project Chevrolet Corvair on his property.
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CJ Sveen still owns his first car, a 1966 Corvair that he’s in the process of restoring. But Sveen’s home insurer, California State Automobile Association Insurance Group, claimed that the “dilapidated car” was cause for the termination of his policy after apparently seeing it in a drone photo. Then, oddly, the insurer denied ever flying drones over Sveen’s property. From ABC 7:
It came as a shock. At first, he was told he’d lost his insurance because “drone photos” taken over his property showed hazards in his yard. But the company would not show him the pictures. Later he was told there was no drone, just aerial photos. He felt it intruded on his privacy, with no way to reinstate his policy.
His house isn’t in a fire zone, and he’s never filed a single claim in 15 years. Instead, the notice said CSAA found “debris, hazardous conditions, tires or a dilapidated car” in his yard.
But CSAA later told Sveen it did not use a drone, and “the company does not perform surveillance on insured properties using drones.” In a letter, it said it may review “proprietary aerial imagery” to assess risk. The company told 7 On Your Side the images may be captured by “fixed-wing airplane or satellite.”
Whether by drone, airplane, or satellite, the idea of insurers keeping tabs on their customers’ properties is unnerving. So too is the idea of a project car disqualifying someone for home insurance — and of that decision being made unilaterally, without warning or recourse. If you have a project car at your home, maybe throw it under a tarp when you aren’t working on it. You never know who’s watching.