Say you were driving on the highway behind a truck carrying some sort of fruit cases. One of them was loose and flew off right in front of you. You hit the case rather than trying to avoid it on a busy highway where you had no time to check the mirrors and manoeuvre out of the way. Luckily, it hit the bumper and went under. You were told that the bumper and few small scratches could be repaired for $900. The auto insurance company told you that it is a Collision claim and its deductible is $500. So, the settlement would be $400 and may not be worth it.
You think it should be a Comprehensive Coverage claim since it was an accidental damage caused by a flying object hitting the automobile. This is an airborne object knocking the car rather than you crash onto it. The cause of your disappointment is that the deductible is only $200 for it and you can make a claim for $700 and hope that it would go down as small no fault incident.
The truck just disappeared in distance when you slowed down, stopped and checked the car. So, there is not much hope there to make a third party vehicle insurance claim on their liability policy. It is unlikely that the carrier would change mind on the assessment. But you would really want to know the reasoning behind their classification.
So, here it is; Usually Comprehensive Coverage includes moving objects like falling tree branches, bricks off the building or stone rolling off the cliff. These are considered act of God and out of human control. It is hard to consider a wooden case falling off the wagon an act of God or accidental. This is probably the reason why they think it is collision as it has human error in it.
In the same way, you have a convincing argument against it. You wonder what would the insurer’s respond be if you told them that you don’t know where it came from and it just appeared out of nowhere. Frankly, they would have probably blamed the wind and you would have gotten your wish.
It is a hard one but considering these two covers are almost always sold together it may not usually matter, except there is a difference in the size of deductibles. Also, the implications can be different since the former is related to vehicular accident and the latter suggest that there isn’t any driver error.
Considering the respond from the carrier, this should still go down as a sort of hit and run incident where you have no fault. Obviously the final classification is important because the rate increases starting from the next renewal would be different. That is why you should chase it up and try to convince them that it should go down as a no fault crash.
I don’t know if you are implying that car insurance company deliberately pushing you to the type of coverage with higher deductible or not by telling you it is Collision. But, I doubt it would be the reason.
On the other hand, this may be a subjective assessment and could have gone either way. Yet, there is a strong argument against the decision. If hitting an animal is a Comprehensive issue this should be the same purely because it is an object landing on the automobile.
Clearly it matters that the object wasn’t airborne because of strong wind (natural cause) but falling off a truck (human error). Perhaps this is the distinction in this situation that makes this claim a Collision and not Comprehensive coverage matter.
In the same way, if it fell off the top of a building, there wouldn’t be any argument about it regardless of the car being stationary or on the move. It is one of those freak accidents and you would need to grin and accept the outcome and act accordingly.
Even though you have a point about its worthiness, we are talking about the difference of $300 here. The best you can do is perhaps to plead with them. Also, not demanding compensation for an incident you can pay out of pocket may save you enough over the next three years, as they can affect premiums that long.