A heavy tree limb crashed down on the hood of my 2001 Subaru Forester smashing the hood. Under the hood components now leak extensively . The Hartford is refusing to pay for damages cited by a mechan

Asked by Aug 15, 2017 at 06:17 AM about the 2001 Subaru Forester S

Question type: General

What can I do? I've already paid out $250 for the deductible.  The car was driven to a mechanic from the body shop without checking for damage.  There were no leaks before, no smell of burning oil once after the impact, no overheating. Now the head gasket is leaking, the valve cover is leaking, something about the transmission.  All are new leaks.  The Hartford is refusing to pay because the mechanic isn't 100% certain the new leaks were caused by the impact of the tree's limb heard from a half block away and rushing neighbors.  What can I do?  Cost is over $2000 to fix plus machine shop labor and parts.  Subaru says the car is not safe to drive.  The Hartford refuses to pay, refuses to ask the mechanic to inspect for all damage and photograph it, refuses to insert dye which my mechanic did and found new leaks.  What can I do?

2 Answers

I wrote the question above. The Hartford continues to assert that their mechanic said the leaks are old even though he didn't. Mine said the leaks are new. The Hartford is demanding 100% proof that the leaks are new. The cv boot was not torn in April when I had new brakes put on. Now what?


Wow! I've seen a lot of Subies with new hoods, but can NOT say that concussions could ever cause a head gasket failure. Regardless: did the unibody suffer sufficient damage to require straightening? (I'd doubt it as Hartford would have "totaled" this oldie immediately.) Sixteen winters is a LONG time on this fragile head gasket design, so I'd probably push for totaling this F and moving on rather than putting $1.6k into gaskets. Use NADA.com to determine retail value and push Hartford for a full settlement...especially if there is ANY transmission issue too! There is a slight chance that if the unibody is damaged that the rear main seal between the moitor and trans was damaged by shock and misalignment. In that case there's no question that Hartford should eat the car. So check that small possibility too. I'd move on, and see this as a silver lining someday, as this F was aging out anyway.

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