There can be many reasons why you might need warehouse insurance, but there’s a recent tale from the US which could give owners a few sleepless nights.

And it concerns not just a warehouse insurance policy, but the FBI and a stolen Ferrari.

This is how the story goes.

Way back in 2003 a F50 Ferrari was stolen from a dealer in Pennsylvania. The car was worth in the region of $750,000 and not unsurprisingly, the Ferrari dealership made a claim on their insurance policy. The insurance company paid up and therefore became owner of the missing car.

Some five years later, and the F50 is found by the FBI in Kentucky. All good so far and the car was stored in a warehouse, ready to be used at a later date when the case against the criminal stealing the car was brought.

Now the problems start and although the owner’s warehouse insurance is not directly involved, there could be problems later, because when people get litigious, a lot of muck tends to get thrown about.

When the FBI took the car out of the warehouse ready for the investigation to charge the criminal with grand theft auto, the agent doing the driving lost control of the Ferrari and crashed it into the tree, Notwithstanding there were some red faces all around, the motor insurance company was a little irked to say the least. The F50, now their property, had been effectively written off and was worth a fraction of the original three quarters of a million dollars.

The insurance company sent a $750,000 bill for the car to the FBI and American Justice Department. This was rejected by both parties, on the grounds that the car was damaged whilst it was being detained by the FBI. In other words, normal procedures don’t apply, because the car was evidence in a forthcoming criminal trial.

The insurance company didn’t like that excuse and filed yet another claim against the FBI and the Justice Department. This was rejected in September last year (some seven years after the original theft mind you).

But the insurance company was not going to give up on $750,000 so easily and disputed the official reasoning from the FBI of “federal exceptions” which means they were not liable. So they filed a request to receive full disclosure about the crash through the Freedom of Information Act. This tactic didn’t work either, but it did transpire that an Assistant US Attorney did in fact send an email to the insurance company on the day of the original crash.

This stated that a FBI Special Agent had in fact taken the car out of the warehouse for what he described as a “short drive” during which he lost control of the supercar and “fishtailed and slid sideways” into a tree.

A slightly different story to the one which originally was used to try and keep the insurers happy.

But the point is, that whilst this case continues to be investigated by all parties, let’s hope that the storage facility owner has warehouse insurance, otherwise he might find himself in the dock for letting the car out for a “short drive.”

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