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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

I saw tornado coverage with cars flipped on other vehicles. I wondered, if a car landed on top of my car, would the car owner be responsible to pay for my car's damages?

No, the car owner would not normally be held responsible in this situation.  A tornado is considered an “act of nature” or “act of God” for which an individual could not be held liable for the damages that resulted from it – unless he or she were negligent in some way. 

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This type of accident would be akin to a storm that causes a branch to fall off a neighbor’s tree and land on your vehicle.  Unless the neighbor knew that the tree was weak or sick and should have had branches cut down, that homeowner wouldn’t be held liable for the branch damaging your car.

So, unless you can prove the car owner was negligent before the storm picked up the vehicle, neither he nor his car insurance company would be liable to pay for your damaged vehicle.

If you have physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, you would be able to make a claim for the damage it received. 

Most car insurance companies would consider this to be a comprehensive claim since it was caused by tornado winds. However, it all depends upon the exact terms of your policy; some auto insurers could consider it a collision claim because the flipped car did “collide” with your vehicle.  With either coverage, your deductible would be due -- even though you were no way at fault for the incident. 

The car that was flipped onto your vehicle would have to look to its physical damage coverage as well for the vehicle to be repaired or replaced by its car insurance company.

Last updated: May. 8, 2014
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