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Q

My wife hit a pedestrian who was drunk. He died. She did not get charged for this incident as it was not her fault. She damaged her car. Her policy has comprehensive coverage but no collision coverage. The insurance company does not want to pay for the damages. What can we do?


A

By definition, Comprehensive physical damage covers your vehicle, and sometimes other vehicles you may be driving for losses resulting from incidents other than collision. For example, Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car if it is stolen; or damaged by flood, fire, or animals. Unfortunately, it does not cover losses such as the one you described wherein your wife hit a drunk pedestrian.

Since your wife collided with the individual this would normally go under Collision coverage and thus without it she is unable to make a claim for the damages her vehicle sustained.

Collision covers your vehicle in such cases as:

  • your car strikes or is struck by another auto
  • you hit a pedestrian, damaging your auto (the pedestrian's injuries are covered under Liability coverage if you are found at-fault]
  • your car hits debris lying in the road
  • your car collides with a tree or fence

Comprehensive covers your vehicle in such cases as:

  • your car is struck by debris that falls from an overpass or flies off of a vehicle into your vehicle
  • your car is damaged by a tree or branch falling on it
  • your car is partly or totally submerged in water
  • your car is maliciously scratched or otherwise damaged by vandals
  • your car's windshield is hit and cracked by a rock
  • your car is stolen
  • your car hits an animal such as a deer
  • your car is damaged by hail

Without having Collision coverage unfortunately your insurance company is right that they cannot accept your claim under the Comprehensive coverage and since the pedestrian died you and your wife will likely have to pay personally for the damages to your vehicle. If you believe that you want to go after the at-fault pedestrian's remaining assets than you should contact a lawyer to see what your legal options are. 

You can comparison shop your policy here by getting a car insurance quote.


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