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What car insurance covers a rock thrown at my car?


A

Question:   While I was driving, someone threw a rock toward my car and ran away. My right passenger window and windshield cracked. I reported it to police, and they said to contact my car insurance company, but I only have liability, uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage.  Since I don't have collision or comprehensive coverage, will this incident be covered under UMPD even if we couldn't find the person who threw the rock? I am in California.

Answer:   Unfortunately, uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) won’t cover this damage to your windshield and passenger window. You’d need comprehensive coverage for your glass damage to be covered by your car insurance policy.

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You did the right thing by getting a police report about this mischievous act that caused damage to your vehicle’s glass, but unless the culprit is found you are left to pay out of your own pocket.

What happened to you is an act of vandalism, because a person intentionally threw a rock at our vehicle.  In this case, your car's windshield and passenger window were damaged, but if instead the rock had caused dents to your car, it would still be considered a comprehensive insurance claim because both glass damage and vandalism fall under this coverage.

Unfortunately, because you are without comprehensive as part of your auto insurance policy, you cannot make a claim for your vehicle’s damages through any of the car insurance coverages you have.

Your bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverages only cover others that you damage or harm, not yourself or your vehicle. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) covers you if you are injured by a driver who is driving without insurance. These coverages don't actually protect your car in any way.

Uninsured motorist property damage does cover your vehicle, but only for damages suffered in an accident with another vehicle and if the at-fault driver (that is liable for your damages) was driving without insurance.

While collision and comprehensive coverages will pay for damages to your car when the at-fault party is unknown, uninsured motorist property damage does not.  For you to make a claim under UMPD, the property damage you sustained must be due to an auto accident with an identified uninsured driver.

So UMPD does give your car some coverage, but it is very limited (in California, where you live, the limit is $3,500 when you can make a claim) and doesn’t cover your situation.   

Even if the person who threw the rock were known, it wouldn’t help you to make a UMPD claim because another vehicle wasn’t involved. If the culprit were found, the only way it would really help you is that you’d be able to go personally after that individual for the damage.

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