A Hit and Run Caused Damage to the Transformer Box of My House; Am I Financially Responsible for Ensuing Power Outage?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I am a homeowner. My property has a transformer unit/box on my ground property. On June 2, 2012 an unknown auto hit the box and caused a power outage. The outage was repaired and now the utility company is billing me for the damages because the transformer is on my property. Can they hold me liable to it if it was not me or any family member who caused the damage? The person who did the damage is unknown because it happened overnight while the entire street was asleep. If I am liable, is this something that my homeowner’s insurance should cover?”

Whether you can be held liable to the utility company is probably a matter of the terms of the easement or other agreement under which they placed their equipment on your property.  That warrants review, but for the moment let’s assume the answer is yes. This is the sort of thing that ought to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance (and if it’s not, you may have been sold the wrong policy).  However, you might not want to make the claim anyway.  Most homeowner’s policies have fairly large deductible amounts, and a history of claims can raise your premiums or even get you canceled. So depending on how much the utility is asking for, and how much that exceeds your deductible amount, you would need to decide if it’s even worth making an insurance claim.