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Old 03-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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When does hitting Road Debris become an Accident?

A bedroll of some sort flew out the back of some "spring breakers" pickup truck, unfurled itself on the roadway, our choice was to swerve and possibly roll the motorhome do to heavy traffic or run over it dead center. We chose the latter.

We saw that the bedroll exited out of the rear (we thought). Within 5 miles we found out differently, a portion of it had hung around the drive shaft, taking wires, hydraulic lines with it and the transmission ground itself to bits, bringing a 32,000 lb beast to a screeching halt

We called our Road Hazard outfit, they mulled it over--said call your insurance company (office closed)---we deem it an accident. Law enforcement shows up, helps us put out our flares and cones and said "bye bye", we aren't writing anything up or reporting it, you hit road debris---not an accident.

So glad we knew people in the truck maintenence and towing industry and a kind couple from Alberta, or we would still be sitting there beside the roadway while the 2 insurance entities argued who was going to come get us.

I am sure we have a long claim battle ahead of us, any suggestions from any of you veterans out there???. At least wife and I are safe and sound---thats what counts
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
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Same thing happened to me while in my Corvette. My insurance company said it was comprehensive because it flew off the truck. Because it was pouring down rain and was not able to get the truck name or lic. Plate my company had to coverthe cost.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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My understanding is there is a difference if something fell off another vehicle and hit you are it was already laying in the road and you hit it. The difference between the two is if it is covered by collision or comprehensive part of your insurance. Either way you should be covered.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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My understanding is there is a difference if something fell off another vehicle and hit you are it was already laying in the road and you hit it. The difference between the two is if it is covered by collision or comprehensive part of your insurance. Either way you should be covered.

Technically it was lying the in the road, even if it was only a few seconds. What a day, had we not stopped at McDonalds in Quartzite to stretch and take a break..............LOL
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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From my experience, it's whatever the insurance company says it is unless you want to enter the legal system. In my case, I had a motorcycle fall off the center stand while fueling up and scratch up some bodywork. Thinking that this was a comprehensive claim, I continued my trip and called my insurance company once I reached my destination. To my surprise, after a day or two the adjuster wanted to know where my accident investigation report from the local police department was at along with the witness information. When I queried him on this, he said that the event was a chargeable (yep, to me) collision and would go against my record. When I asked how exactly he came to that conclusion, he said, "Well, the motorcycle collided with a fixed object (the service station driveway), didn't it?" Needless to say, I told him to just cancel the claim and took care of the repairs myself.

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Old 03-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you cannot prove where the lost load that hit you came from, its a comprehensive claim. Even if you can prove it, if the other party insurance does not cover, its compreshensive claim.

Your deductable should be the same either way unless the other party is paying. Did not sound that way in the original discription.

I do not understand why it matters if its road hazard or an accident, Its still your insurance company on the line for the loss.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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If you cannot prove where the lost load that hit you came from, its a comprehensive claim. Even if you can prove it, if the other party insurance does not cover, its compreshensive claim.

Your deductable should be the same either way unless the other party is paying. Did not sound that way in the original discription.

I do not understand why it matters if its road hazard or an accident, Its still your insurance company on the line for the loss.

I think the thing that torqued me the most was the comprehensive road hazard/breakdown insurance company deciding to NOT to send anyone to our aid----we were left to contact the coach insurance carrier---which was closed on Sunday. Glad we knew people in the business or we'd be still sitting out there.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:59 PM   #8
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I had something come off the road is a like situation. Did $2000 damage to my pickup. It was a comprensive claim. My deductible was $100, where a collision would have been $500.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:58 AM   #9
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Sounds like you need Coach-Net, Good Sam, AAA, or some kind of road service.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:00 AM   #10
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Sounds like you need Coach-Net, Good Sam, AAA, or some kind of road service.
See paragraph #3

It appears the original question was WHO should have "stepped up to the plate" and provided immediate assistance, his insurance company or his roadside assistance provider (he had BOTH coverages).
I vote the insurance company.
What is strange is that both these type companies should have 24/7 service. I would be looking to replace the one that was "closed".
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:21 AM   #11
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That is the reason I leave ALOT of room between me and the vehicle in front of me and try to have an escape route at all times. I also slow way down when gravel or dump trucks pass as I have been hit by stones too many times to count. But things happen and some things you can't avoid and it is a shame OP didn't get the plate number of the party with the unsecured load.
I survive the road and come home to neighborhood kids who put dents in my cars with tennis/hard balls/golf balls and the cops won't do anything unless I have photo proof. Father wouldn't own up to it either. I have a security system now and they found that out when they were sneaking behind the MH at night... then the cops warned them to stay away and so they shifted to play on the other neighbors side.

Good luck with the insurance companies
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #12
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To the question "When is hitting road debris an accident" the answer is: When there is damage to your vehicle.

Now there is a more important question: When is it a REPORTABLE accident.. the answer here is when said damage exceeds a specific amount of dollars... That amount varies from state to state.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
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If you cannot prove where the lost load that hit you came from, its a comprehensive claim. Even if you can prove it, if the other party insurance does not cover, its comprehensive claim.
Sorry jcthorne, but this is not accurate (not withstanding a very rare legislative interference with the policy contract in a couple states). If it flies off the vehicle in front of you, or is kicked up by the wheels of the vehicles in front of you, it might be a comprehensive claim. The key is, was it in the air when it hit you (defined as a 'missile'). If it's laying on the ground and you run over it, it is a collision claim. Even a dead animal laying in the road would be a collision claim, in most jurisdictions, if run over. The claim representative will consider where the damage is, matched with your report, to determine which coverage is appropriate. The only exception might be any damage to any glass or headlight/tail light lenses. In many policies these will be covered as comprehensive, regardless of the cause. As most of you know, it's important as many have a much lower deductible for comprehensive coverage than they do for collision.

What is disturbing about the OP is the road hazard policy not offering help. These can be sold as a separate endorsement on your RV/auto policy, or, as many of us do, from a third party vendor such as Good Sam or Coach Net. I was not aware that they might deny service if the vehicle's disability was due to an accident.

This clearly meets the definition of an accident, and if your vehicle is rendered unsafe or impossible to drive as the result of an accident your insurance policy should cover towing to 'the closest facility where needed repairs can be effected' (many auto insurance companies will place a max distance or dollar limit). In my opinion you should have double coverage for this. Its unconscionable that neither company would step up to the plate. I'd be shopping after this experience, and letting them know why they lost my business.

And yes, the motor cycle falling over is both a collision claim and 'chargeable'. It is one of the more common causes of motor cycle damage, and can be expensive. A scratched chrome pipe can cost hundreds to replace.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
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I'll toss in my 2 cents. Last year we had a front tire blow-out which we believe was caused by road debris -- not from a vehicle in front of us.

Our insurance included roadside coverage and we have Coach-Net.

We used both -- Coach-Net to get a tire put on (long story, see An RV Life | Full Timing at last if you want the details) and the insurance coverage for the towing.

At the time we had Progressive and with a disappearing deductible, our total out-of-pocket was just the living expenses while the rig was in the shop(s) that exceeded our policy for that item plus the cost of a new tire.
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