Who's Responsible if Your Neighbor’s Lawnmower Kicks Up a Rock and Shatters Your Windshield?

(Plus which and whose insurance would cover the costs.)

Lawnmower rocks

As a homeowner, it’s one thing to consider the risks your own property might present to others, but when it comes to the threats your neighbors can present to you, that’s another story. So what happens if, while your neighbor’s mowing, their lawnmower kicks up a rock that shatters your car’s windshield? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?

Luckily independent insurance agents are experienced in just these kinds of scenarios. They’ve seen and heard it all, so they know exactly what protection is required for many different catastrophes. Here’s how they’d help get you covered against a neighbor’s lawnmower kicking up a rock that shatters your car’s windshield.

Who’s Responsible if My Neighbor’s Lawnmower Kicks Up a Rock that Shatters My Windshield?

While technically it would be your neighbor’s fault for the incident, it actually most likely wouldn’t be their insurance policy that responded. Though your neighbor certainly could file a claim through their own homeowners insurance, an incident like this one will usually come back to your own policy. In order to avoid some unnecessary back and forth, you’d probably want to just go ahead and file a claim through your own homeowners insurance.

Would Car Insurance or Home Insurance Cover a Shattered Windshield?

To get technical again, both could probably cover it. However, in order for your auto insurance to cover it, you’d need to have purchased comprehensive or “other than collision” coverage. If you didn’t add this to your auto policy, you’d need to go through your homeowners insurance. Otherwise, to decide which insurance to go through, you’d want to check your deductibles on both to see which would cover more of the loss, and leave you paying less out of pocket. 

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance is designed to cover many hazards to the home and its surroundings, not just the building itself. Though you may end up needing to add more types of coverage to your policy, standard homeowners insurance provides the following protections:

  • Structural damage: Covers the dwelling of the home, or the building itself. Damage to or destruction of the dwelling by covered perils such as certain natural disasters and more is reimbursed by this coverage. Detached structures like sheds are often covered, too.
  • Personal property damage: Covers personal belongings like furniture, clothing, electronics, and more from perils such as fire or theft. Items stored within the home as well as external storage units are covered, though property stored off-premises often has a much lower coverage limit. Coverage would also apply to certain incidents affecting your vehicles in the driveway or garage.
  • Additional living expenses: In the event your home gets badly damaged or destroyed and you’re forced to live elsewhere while awaiting repairs, this coverage provides reimbursement for things like hotel rooms, eating out, extra gas mileage, and more. Additional living expenses makes up the difference in spending to maintain your normal lifestyle while living away from the home.
  • Liability: Covers legal expenses such as attorney and court fees in the event you are sued for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. If you’re ordered to pay any settlements from losing the case, they’re covered, too.

Your independent insurance agent can help you get set up with all the homeowners insurance you need to protect your home and everything in/around it.

What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?

An important add-on option to standard auto insurance policies is comprehensive coverage.  Comprehensive coverage reimburses drivers for hazards considered “other than collision,” including:

  • Glass breakage: If your windshield or windows are cracked, chipped, or shattered, such as by a rock kicked up by your neighbor’s lawnmower.
  • Theft and vandalism: If your car is stolen or vandalized by keying, tagging, etc.
  • Riots: If your vehicle is damaged due to shenanigans taking place during a riot.
  • Collision with animals: Including deer and other large animals that could cause vehicular damage. This is the only type of collision not covered under the collision section of standard auto insurance policies.
  • Natural disasters and weather damage: Including fire, hurricanes, hail, tornadoes, and flood damage.

Talk to your independent insurance agent about adding comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy in order to get much fuller picture of protection for your vehicle.

What if I Don’t Have Insurance?

Well, it’s possible that your neighbor’s homeowners insurance would cover the incident if you didn’t have your own policy, but you shouldn’t bet on it. Really, you shouldn’t ever be without homeowners or auto insurance, and certainly never missing both at the same time. So, hopefully you shouldn’t even have to consider a situation like this.

If you were really upset about the incident and wanted to sue your neighbor, you’d have to rely on your homeowners insurance again. Without liability coverage provided by a homeowners insurance policy, the out of pocket fees to hire a lawyer and go to court could be much too expensive.

How Would This Incident Affect My Premium?

Luckily, a single incident such as this one shouldn’t hike your homeowners insurance premium. It’s highly unusual for an insurance company to punish a policyholder for a one-off incident, especially if it wasn’t their fault. That being said, if it became a trend for you to start filing these kinds of claims often, your insurance company may choose to hike your premium, or even decide to not renew your policy past its current term.

Additional Reasons to Consider Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Many perils could damage your vehicle beyond just a rock that was tossed by a lawnmower. Without comprehensive coverage, you might be stuck paying for these repairs out of your own pocket. Here are a few of the most common auto insurance claims that require comprehensive coverage for reimbursement:

  • Hail damage: Damage from hail can severely damage or even destroy a vehicle. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you’ll want to have comprehensive auto insurance to protect you.
  • Vandalism: Cars can be vandalized in many ways, including being keyed, tagged, having the tires slashed, or getting broken into. Comprehensive coverage would pay for the damages.
  • Theft: No matter if your car gets swiped from a parking lot or your own home, having to pay for that loss out of pocket would be tragic. Comprehensive auto insurance reimburses the vehicle’s owner for the replacement value of the car.

Your independent insurance agent can help get you equipped with all the comprehensive coverage you need to protect your vehicle against unforeseen catastrophes.

Additional Protections Provided by Homeowners Insurance

Beyond the perils already mentioned, homeowners insurance provides even more critical protection for your home and property. Standard homeowners insurance covers many common threats to the home outside of the common or obvious.

Homeowners insurance typically provides coverage for the following perils:

  • Theft and vandalism
  • Most explosions
  • Aircraft or vehicle damage
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Water damage
  • Damage from riots and civil commotions
  • Falling objects (and trees)
  • Certain natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)

Your independent agent can help address your concerns about any areas where you feel you may be lacking important protection for your home. They’ll get you set up with all the coverage you could need, long before you ever need it.

Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help

When it comes to protecting your car’s windshield from being shattered and all other unique incidents, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. Independent insurance agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in homeowners and auto insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and help you walk through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.

Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn

TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.

iii.org