Tree Hitting a Car, Is This Comp or Collision Coverage?
After the recent storms a video surfaced from the Atlanta area that has gone viral. One car was following another and had a dash cam recording. As the car was going down the road, a tree fell and it appeared as though the tree fell on the front of the hood as it came crashing to the ground. This looks evident because at it fell, the front end of the car was thrown up into the air.
First of all, thank god that it appeared that no one was seriously hurt in the incident. This appears because the driver stepped out of the car and looked to be OK.
Second of all, it sparked a debate on an online forum as to what coverage under the auto insurance policy would pay for the damage to the vehicle, comprehensive or collision?
If it happened as it appears to have, with the tree falling on the front end of the car, then most likely it would be covered under the comprehensive coverage on the car insurance policy, if the insured had elected and paid for this coverage. Comprehensive (Other Than Collision) coverage covers damage to your vehicle caused by falling objects. And the tree that is blown over in a storm and falls onto your vehicle would qualify as a falling object. Comprehensive coverage will also cover other things like fire, theft, vandalism, flood, contact with an animal, and glass breakage.
Then someone asked: Since the car was moving, wouldn’t collision coverage pay and not comprehensive? The answer is no. Damage caused by a falling object is covered by comprehensive coverage whether the car is moving or not moving. There is not a provision in the auto insurance policy which states that the car must be stationary for it to be comprehensive coverage. A falling object is a falling object.
Now let’s change the scenario by 30 seconds. What if the tree falls down in front of the car and then the car hits the tree after it has fallen to the ground? How would the auto insurance policy cover the damage in this scenario?
In this scenario the coverage on the auto insurance policy that would most likely come into play is the collision coverage, if the insured purchased the coverage prior to the accident.
You may be asking yourself: Why collision, it is still a tree that fell to the ground?
The answer falls into the details. Since the car made contact with the tree after it has fallen to the ground, it is no longer considered a falling object by definition. It is technically a fallen object at that point, so therefore the vehicle collided with the object in the roadway and most likely will be considered a collision.
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