Bryan Jones’ 1957 Chevrolet station wagon was one of eight classic cars damaged when Terry & Sons Upholstery exploded and caught fire in June.
Now Jones is screwed, because the Idaho shop wasn’t insured.
“All I needed was to put the interior in it, and I’d be driving it this summer,” Jones told the Post Register.
It was a hobby car that shop owner Joseph Harding said would only take a few months to complete, Jones said. Instead, it was there for nearly a year.
Jones invested nearly $30,000 in the Chevy, including $2,400 for the upholstery. The station wagon had a new two-tone paint job and engine.
Although the vehicle isn’t a total loss, most of it will need to be redone.
Jones can’t recoup his losses from an insurance company because the shop was operating without a policy. He could potentially go after Harding or his wife Dani Harding, to whom the business is registered. But if they don’t have the money to pay, he’s out of luck.
In the meantime, Jones hired a lawyer that’s “looking into if I can go after somebody for the money,” he said.
As for the Hardings, it doesn’t look good — especially if the other seven vehicle owners also pursue legal action.
This whole mess could have been avoided if Terry & Sons Upholstery had insurance. Instead, the shop is now facing legal action and their customers are left high and dry. It’s a lose-lose for everyone involved.
If your auto upholstery shop isn’t insured, stop procrastinating and get a policy immediately. It can literally save you from going bankrupt and losing your life’s work.
Read the full story: “Uninsured: Upholstery shop fire damages customers’ property; who will pay for it?“
The big question is why didn’t Jones have his OWN insurance on the car which would cover the damages and let the insurance company go after the shop.
Nadeem Muaddi says
Fair point. Of course, clients should always have their own insurance. In this case, Jones told the Post Register that the vehicle wasn’t ready for the road yet, so he didn’t think to insure it until it would be driven.
Regardless, that’s no excuse for a legitimate business not to have liability insurance. In fact, in many places it’s actually the law.
we keep a copy of our insurance policy available for our clients review, and they are more than welcome to have a copy, they just need to ask… It is stated in our contract as well that they have the option to review our insurance policy, and we highly recommend the cars are insured by the owners as well when they are brought in… I understand being in business and being self-employed is a great challenge, however some of the basic fundamentals Such as basic shop insurance should be the upmost priority in any business as these are quite simply, the repercussions!
Cody Lunning says
I make customers sign a contract that states the owner must have insurance. I do have coverage of my own though. This way it should a a guarantee that it’s covered.
Mark Wood says
In Australia business insurance works like this, if a clients car is inside your shop & something happens to it that is caused by an employee or somehow by fault of the business owner then the business insurance will cover it. If it is damaged by a cause of nature or unforeseen issue such as roof of building collapsed by tree that fell on it or if a thief broke down the door & stole the cars then it is the owner of the cars insurance that has to cover the car not the business owner. In Australia it is illegal to run a business without public liability insurance but sadly business insurance is not compulsory & many shops cant afford it. My insurance 10 years ago was already costing me $10K per year every year & thats money you never get back. Fortunately for me over 20 years nothing ever happened to a clients car in my shop but when a client dropped off their car, even if it arrived on a tow truck & was half completed I would always ask the client if he has insurance.
Many people dont realise that even when building a car you need to have insurance on the car. They just think that nothing can happen while being built but hey it can happen to anyone.
At the end of the day it is the responsibility of both shop owner & car owner to have insurance. I dont know the full story of how the explosion happened at this trim shop but if it wasnt the shop owners doing that caused the explosion then it wouldnt be fair that this guy is being sued for something he had no control over
If the explosion was caused by him or his staff than its a lesson learnt on why you must have insurance.