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View Full Version : Does Home Insurance pay for a broken car winshield?



coachdjo
Mar 14, 2008, 02:19 PM
We were at my son's high school baseball game yesterday and one of the players hit a foul ball into the parking lot. It hit my car windshield and smashed it. I do not have coverage to replace it under my auto insurance. The school will not reimburse us either. Someone told us that the homeowners insurance of the player who hit the ball should cover it (we know the player). Is this correct?

tickle
Mar 14, 2008, 02:36 PM
How could he have known the ball would hit your car ? It wasn't done on purpose. Then you don't have comprehensive on your policy. I have never gone without that on my policy; I got my backside covered for broken windshields.

Fr_Chuck
Mar 14, 2008, 05:12 PM
Sorry no, your house insurance may pay for someone else's windshield.

So you either sue the player who hit the ball or you sue the school if you want, Of course the school will refuse, you expected them to get a checkbook out?

But no that is why you had a choice to buy comp insurance for your car, that pays for windshields.

KISS
Mar 14, 2008, 09:54 PM
Comprehensive, not collision usually pays for windshield damage and often there is no deductible for windshield replacement even if there is a deductible for comprehensive.

ballengerb1
Mar 19, 2008, 01:27 PM
Let's back up for a moment. Your home owners insurance won't pay, correct, but I think the players home owner insurance would pay. Also, schools are notorious for saying they don't have insurance but that isn't the end of it. If it is known that foul balls have left the diamond before and hit cars the school is liable, insurance or not. You might have to sue but they would settle before letting it go that far. Insurance companies have deep pockets but short fingers, they could dodge a fast ball.

coachdjo
Mar 20, 2008, 01:49 PM
Thanks for all of the responses. Interesting BallengerB1 response about whether the school knows of a problem with baseballs entering the parking lot. They have a sign posted in the front of the lot stating "Baseball field. Park at your own risk." If that releases them of liability then so be it. If it signifies an ongoing problem then perhaps it should be addressed. My son was the one who parked our car there. He is a player on his school's baseball team and arrived at this away game and hurried to the field to be with his team. I paid for the windshield because of his oversight but would still like to know if we should actually be reimbursed by the school. I do know from past history that the homeowner's insurance of the player who hit the ball has liability but am hesitant to ask them for compensation as they may have to pull the deductible out of their own pocket for what was my son's oversight.

tickle
Mar 20, 2008, 06:35 PM
It the sign says 'park at your own risk', that releases them from liability. If your son didn't see it and parked anyway (heck we have all seen that sign and parked anyway, then maybe the money should come out of allowance. My son learned the hard way once by losing his money like that for not paying attention.

ballengerb1
Mar 21, 2008, 10:51 AM
That sign is like the one in the restaurant coat room that says they are not responsible for lost items. Guess what, they still are responsible but hope you will assume that the sign alleviated them, it does not. The school can put up any signs they want but can't insure you read or saw the sign. Schools do not carry insuance for windows and pay out of their pockets so they put up the sign in hopes you won't ask. They know there is a danger and have not taken action to protect the public or property. One of our high schools had a diamond too close to the street and many fouls went into traffic. They now have a half globe cyclone fence screen that encloses the batters box. Call the Superintendent of the school district and tell him/her what happened and ask the district to reimburse you, they will.

coachdjo
Mar 21, 2008, 07:19 PM
Sounds like very good advice. One drawback (or perhaps not) is that the school is private so there is no district and therefore no Superintendent. You would think, though, that the school would be a little more eager to protect their patrons from possible small claims suits considering the extreme high tuitions they are paying.

ballengerb1
Mar 21, 2008, 07:25 PM
You'd think but schools frequently only fix problems that have repeated many times. One or two balls per year might not be worth the cost of a better cage, cheaper to pay the few who have damaged cars. Somebody gets killed and they will then say act of God.

N0help4u
Mar 27, 2008, 05:57 PM
I have never seen anybody win a case where they parked at a lot with a "park at your own risk" sign.

ballengerb1
Mar 27, 2008, 08:47 PM
No disrespect to you but that sign is not worth the material it is made from once you find yourself in court. To post such a sign admits that you recognize a problem and you did not fix the problem, just warned people to stay away. It is like digging a big hole near a play ground and then putting up a sign that says stay back 10', if a child falls into the hole your sign will not help you in court. You create and attractive nusiance by playing ball in that field and the school and the batter both have liability. The school could have bought insurance to cover this but likely made a choice not to, that does not mean they aren't responsible though. When a golfer hits a ball out of the course and damages a car or house window he is responsible to pay for the damages.

tickle
Mar 28, 2008, 02:56 AM
We have new residential building going up round us by an independent builder. He had to pave his own roadway through part of it. The town won't assume risk for it yet, and there is nothing wring with that, it's the way its done here, but before you use the road it says USE AT OWN RISK. My point is, if you read the sign before proceeding, you know, if you are not stupid, that if something happens to your car or you while doing so, you will have a problem finding the right person to sue.

Sorry, bellanger, I don't agree with your reasoning, but that's just me.

ballengerb1
Mar 28, 2008, 09:25 AM
It is totally OK to not agree. I have a lot of experience with schools and insurance and know how the system works. Seeing a sign is not like signing a document to waive your rights. Also, just because a sign is posted there is not guarantee that you saw the sign. I would have to admit that I do not know if the liability laws differ between Canada and the USA.

tickle
Mar 28, 2008, 02:37 PM
I don't know if the laws are the same or not, what I mean is, if I see USE AT YOUR OWN RISK I will pay attention and make a mental note that it is there as a warning and in this case, the town told them to use that warning because the road is not assumed yet by the township.

By the way, bellanger, I really do pay attention to your advice and find it quite good. I have learned a lot from you over the last few months.

ballengerb1
Mar 29, 2008, 11:04 AM
Thanks Tickle, I aprreciate the compliment. My major point in my posts is that posting a sign is not a legally binding release of liability or responsibility but companies and school do post them in hopes that you will not file a claim againist them. If your coat ever disappears from a restaurant coat room, and they have a sign that says they aren't responsible, tell them that you know they are responsible and want a replacement coat. Thanks,
Bob

nikosmom
Mar 29, 2008, 04:42 PM
Unfortunately, the way insurance works is that it's sold with lots of different options. It's always just the matter of if you are willing to pay more money up front on the "possibility" of something happening. You did the right thing in just sucking it up. May be worth looking into adding that comprehensive coverage though. Comp coverage protects you from things that are beyond your control- i.e.. Theft, vandalism, deer, rocks flying off construction vehicles, and in this case, foul balls. And making claims on this coverage won't affect your rates since it's no fault of your own. Just be careful, making too many claims could cause your company to drop this coverage. But it's for those occasional mishaps.

JudyKayTee
Mar 30, 2008, 09:23 AM
it the sign says 'park at your own risk', that releases them from liability. If your son didnt see it and parked anyway (heck we have all seen that sign and parked anyway, then maybe the money should come out of allowance. My son learned the hard way once by losing his money like that for not paying attention.


Not correct - you cannot waive your legal rights, including your right to reimbursement if your property is damaged or if you are injured.

Can the Court reduce a verdict if it goes to suit because a person was warned and parked there anyway? Certainly.

tickle
Mar 31, 2008, 05:47 AM
JudyKayTee, why is the use of this 'PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK/USE AT YOUR OWN RISK' sign so widely used in parks, on skating rinks, on walkways if it doesn't mean anything. Certainly, to my way of thinking, it has to carry some impact or it wouldn't be used. I am not talking about waiving legal rights, I mean reducing laibility for the use of by using this sign.

I am not disputing your opinion, or your legal expertise, I respect your opinion. There just has to be a reason why this sign is used in cases like this. Why use it at all if it is of no value whatsoever?

JudyKayTee
Mar 31, 2008, 05:53 AM
JudyKayTee, why is the use of this 'PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK/USE AT YOUR OWN RISK' sign so widely used in parks, on skating rinks, on walkways if it doesnt mean anything. Certainly, to my way of thinking, it has to carry some impact or it wouldnt be used. I am not talking about waiving legal rights, I mean reducing laibility for the use of by using this sign.

I am not disputing your opinion, or your legal expertise, I respect your opinion. There just has to be a reason why this sign is used in cases like this. Why use it at all if it is of no value whatsoever?



Sure - because people read it, believe it and don't even attempt to sue for damages/injuries.

Simple as that.

I didn't say it is of no value - it is IF there is a legitimate risk. Read back over my post about reduced awards - if you do go forward it DOES reduce liability on the part of the property owner - within reason, of course. For example, you couldn't post the notice on your own front door just in case someone trips and falls. You would have to believe there was some danger.

The new thing in my area is a "Beware of Dog, Enter at Your Own Risk" sign. Makes no difference and now you've admitted there could be a problem with your dog and visitors.

And very possibly other States are different - I believe you're in Canada and it could very well be a very different situation there although I still believe you cannot waive your right to sue.

ScottGem
Mar 31, 2008, 06:19 AM
Judy is correct, signs saying use at your own risk do not remove liability for negligence. A lot will depend on the judge and/or jury in a case. They will tend to apply some responsibility to the user, but not relieve the provider. For example, all ski slopes have such signs, but is a trail is poorly groomed or its difficult poorly marked then the slope operator can be held responsible for any accident.

ballengerb1
Mar 31, 2008, 09:29 AM
This has been my point since we started, posting a sign does not make you waive your rights, if anything it shows the property owner was aware of the problem to begin with. School are notorious for reasoning its cheaper to pay an occasional settlement than to buy insurance. I.E. you'd think a school would have insurance for broken windows but they don't. Also, let's not forget the batter, he has some exposure here too.

JudyKayTee
Mar 31, 2008, 10:05 AM
This has been my point since we started, posting a sign does not make you waive your rights, if anything it shows the property owner was aware of the problem to begin with. School are notorious for reasoning its cheaper to pay an ocassional settlement than to buy insurance. I.E. you'd think a school would have insurance for broken windows but they don't. Also, let's not forget the batter, he has some exposure here too.


Absolutely - and whether it is advisable to let the World know you were aware there could be a problem is up to the individual.

When I investigate a dog bite the first thing I look for is a "Beware of Dog" sign. Law in NYS has found the sign Indicates the homeowner was aware there could be a problem.

I have big dogs and I handle it with a sign that says, "I can make it to the fence in 10 seconds. Can you?" and has a drawing of a dog on it.

I know it's a matter of phrasing but the law doesn't always make sense.

(Does this mean when you drive on over to renovate my bathroom and hand me a card that says, "If I blow up your house I'm not responsible" I should figure you really ARE responsible - ?)