Recently the ceiling of my rented house's carport collapsed partly onto the bonnet of my car causing quite some damage to the car.
Whose insurance – if any – covers this situation?
Mac Hawkswood, Phuket.
Monday, February 10, 2014 8:20:53 AM
The major rights and obligations of a landlord in private rented accommodation are stated in Chapter III of the Civil and Commercial Code. Tenant and landlord are also free to stipulate specific details in their lease agreement, either verbally or in written form.
Chapter III does not obligate landlords to carry insurance for tenants’ belongings. However, tenant and landlord may negotiate their own agreement on this point before the lease is signed.
In this case, whether the landlord is responsible for the damage to the car depends largely on the private agreement made between the parties since Chapter III is silent on this issue.
Assuming that there is no such agreement, then the liability of the landlord for damage that occurs on leased property will be governed by general negligence principles.
A judge will look to see whether a landlord has fulfilled his duty of care to a tenant to provide and maintain safe conditions of the leased premises. This determination is subjective and depends on the facts particular to each case.
Another option to consider is car insurance. Typical compulsory car insurance will not cover the damage to the insured car in this case. However, additional insurance, if the tenant has it, may do so. The best approach is to call your insurance company to check your coverage levels.