NEW YORK (
) -- Amid the drama over Tiger Woods, his car
and revelations of "transgressions," one important detail has been overlooked.
The police chief in Windermere, Fla., reported that Elin Woods, Tiger Woods' wife, had smashed the windows of his 2009 Cadillac Escalade to help her husband crawl out of the vehicle after he crashed into a neighbor's tree. It raises the question: Does an auto-insurance policy cover damage that was deliberately caused?
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According to Jim Brandt, president of Sun Insurance Services, an independent Orlando, Fla.-based insurance broker representing
, among other insurers, the answer is "maybe." Most policies with comprehensive coverage would pay for damage if there was the intention of helping someone, Brandt said. A malicious act, such as a golf-club-wielding wife hitting a car driven by her fleeing husband, wouldn't be covered.
Based on police reports, the damage to Woods' Cadillac SUV was caused by a deliberate action to help him crawl out of his vehicle. That would mean that, assuming the Woods family's auto-insurance policy followed the industry norm and he had comprehensive coverage, the damage caused by Elin Woods would be covered. Details of the affair depend on how Tiger Woods files the insurance claim.
Reported by Gavin Magor in Jupiter, Fla.
Gavin Magor is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial-strength ratings to insurance companies. He conducts industry analysis and supports consumer products. Magor has more than 22 years of international experience in operations and credit-risk management, commercial lending and analysis. His experience includes international assignments in Sweden, Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. He holds a master's degree in business administration from The Open University in the U.K.