Why is Object in the Air Considered Comp but Rolling on the Ground It's Collision?

Sep 28, 2015

  1. Volcano13
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    Volcano13 New Member

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    Just looking for a logical explanation here and hoping someone can explain the reasoning behind the classification. I recently had an accident where I was driving in the middle lane of a highway and an object came sliding towards me from the right lane. It passed between my front tires, but it kept moving and I ran over it with my left rear tire. It was big enough to damage not only the tire, but punched right through the rim as well, causing $565 of damage. My insurance company explained that because it was not a flying object it has to be collision and not comprehensive. I found the section of my policy that explains that comp covers objects in the air and that objects on the ground are considered collision. But I don't understand why an object in motion, on the ground, that is unavoidable can be considered a different coverage than one in the air. I brought up with several insurance people that apparently an object thrown through the window of my car would be comp but the same object that bounces once would be collision and they said that is correct.

    I don't want to argue the decision (I've already lost) but I'd like to know if anyone can explain the underlying REASON behind this. In other words, if both objects are coming at my car and I cannot avoid them, why is there a difference between flying and bouncing? Hope someone can give a good explanation - I'm very frustrated that I am going to be over $400 out of pocket on this....

    Thanks!
     
  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Most people have the same deductible for both comp or collision, so how this comes out, doesn't usually matter.

    The 'in the air' or 'on the ground' isn't a hard and fast rule. If you hit a deer, on the ground, its comp. Depends on a lot of other factors, but almost always, if you hit an object on the ground its going to be collision, with a few exceptions. This isn't an exception. The deer is.

    The 'in the air' concept has more to do with the idea of things falling off of higher elevations (such as an overpass), or things blowing out of the back of a truck. Sliding on the ground is what a car does when you lock up the brakes, which is clearly collision. This is similar.

    No good answer for this, just the way it is. The rules are designed to fit large number of things that happen, occasionally, you might scratch your head and say this might be different, but then, the rules will still apply.

    What is your comp deductible? Probably still cost just as much.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 28, 2015
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  3. Volcano13
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    Volcano13 New Member

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    Unfortunately there is a difference in deductibles for us: $100 for comp vs $500 for collision, which is why it makes about a $450 difference for us.

    And one of your examples touched on exactly the point I tried - in vain - to make with my adjuster. If something blows off the back of a truck, which is probably what happened in this case, the only way I could have it hit me in mid-air is if I'm following too close to the truck. So I'm really being penalized by keeping a safe distance. I know that's the way it is, I just wish I understood the why behind it.
    Do you know if adjusters are allowed to make an exception in a case like this? THat's what I was hoping to get but she wouldn't budge.
     
  4. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I know they won't make an exception in this case. If you knew exactly where it came from, how it got there, etc, perhaps. But you are guessing, so there is no way.

    If you hit a pothole and do damage to your car, it is a collision claim. What you are talking about is similar in nature. I've never seen someone get an exception for this type of thing.

    Also, you've apparently never seen something fly out of the back of a truck that has some weight and surface area. Sheets of plywood can fly over several cars and then hit the car 5 cars back, 2 lanes over, without ever touching the ground inbetween.

    As far as explanations go, the only one I can give you is things that come from the 'air' are coming from a direction that a reasonable driver doesn't normally watch. A reasonable driver does watch for things on the ground and moving objects around them. This isn't a perfect explanation, since my deer example doesn't fit exactly (it does if you figure the deer just jumped out of a ditch), but it is the general basis of the reasoning behind it.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 28, 2015
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  5. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I know they won't make an exception in this case. If you knew exactly where it came from, how it got there, etc, perhaps. But you are guessing, so there is no way.

    If you hit a pothole and do damage to your car, it is a collision claim. What you are talking about is similar in nature. I've never seen someone get an exception for this type of thing.

    Also, you've apparently never seen something fly out of the back of a truck that has some weight and surface area. Sheets of plywood can fly over several cars and then hit the car 5 cars back, 2 lanes over, without ever touching the ground inbetween.

    As far as explanations go, the only one I can give you is things that come from the 'air' are coming from a direction that a reasonable driver doesn't normally watch. A reasonable driver does watch for things on the ground and moving objects around them. This isn't a perfect explanation, since my deer example doesn't fit exactly (it does if you figure the deer just jumped out of a ditch), but it is the general basis of the reasoning behind it.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 28, 2015
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  6. Volcano13
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    Volcano13 New Member

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    Thanks for your opinion Dan. The point about objects travelling greater distances through the air is a valid one that I hadn't considered, since I was thinking specifically about a chunk of metal (I found the object last night and picked it up - it was a footrest from a Harley-Davidson!)
    ANd "through the air" being a direction you don't normally watch as opposed to on the surface is a better explanation than what anyone else - agent, adjusters, etc.. - has given, so that helps a little. I guess it just hurts, monetarily and emotionally, to be told "that's just the way it is" by your insurance company, and sorry we can't (won't) help you. For the record, I did talk to an adjuster at my company (I work at one of the top 5 auto insurers) who overheard my conversation and he said he would have used some discretion and called it comp, so I know there are some out there who see it differently. Not sure how the entire insurance world works. I just hate paying $450 for something unavoidable and 100% not my fault.

    Thanks again for your responses!
     
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