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Will car insurance cover falling, frozen iguana damage?


Editor’s Notice: This short article was encouraged by a query submitted from Miami Herald reader Liz Portal by way of Curious305, our local community-driven reporting sequence that solicits queries from visitors about Miami-Dade, Broward, the Florida Keys and the rest of the Sunshine Point out. Post your query below or scroll down to fill out our sort.

Hey, Curious305: How quite a few insurance statements have there been in South Florida thanks to “frozen iguanas” that drop from trees/structures?

In South Florida, we really do not just have the hazard of fowl poop landing on our vehicle anytime we park underneath a tree. We have iguanas, way too.

Although iguanas are solid climbers — Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill claims climbing is “an instinct” iguanas have to avoid predators although they snooze at night — the critters have a tendency to freeze and slide out of trees every time temperatures dip into the 40s. And you could possibly wake up to an iguana popsicle on your windshield.

Point out Farm states it has seen a large array of auto hurt brought about by animals in the U.S. around the a long time, like crashes involving chickens, alligators, cows, even bats. The most popular animal included in crashes, not remarkably, is deer (no matter if they are caught in the headlights or not).

But when it arrives to falling iguanas damaging your hood or windshield, very well, which is a new a person.

“Auto injury from animals in fact is not unusual (while falling iguanas may perhaps be only a South Florida phenomenon!),” Michal Brower, a spokeswoman for Condition Farm in Florida, wrote in an e mail to the Miami Herald.

Florida saw about 50,800 animal collision claims involving July 2020 and June 2021, according to a Condition Farm investigation released in October. State Farm says it doesn’t have assert-particular details on slipping iguanas.

Nonetheless, sometimes freak incidents occur, like in 2017, when a Area10 photojournalist driving his mini-van in Davie had a large iguana drop from a tree and land on his windshield, cracking it.

Iguanas, by the way, can get rather large. The invasive species can develop to extra than 5 feet in size and weigh up to 17 lbs .. That is more than a bowling ball, which normally weighs 6 to 16 kilos.

Iguanas consume vegetation and are recognised to result in infrastructure damage, which includes to seawalls and sidewalks. From time to time they get operate more than or result in incidents.

In 2020, for instance, an iguana crossing U.S. 1 in close proximity to Marathon prompted a crash that still left a Boynton Beach front hearth captain and his daughter seriously wounded. A bicyclist in the Keys also collided with an iguana that jumped in entrance of his bicycle.

Nonetheless, it seems like automobile damage prompted by slipping iguanas is unusual. The insurance corporations we spoke with explained they didn’t have any slipping iguana assert details.

But if it had been to come about, would your insurance policy protect it?

Would coverage address slipping iguana harm?

Brower, the State Farm spokeswoman, explained harm induced by falling objects — even an animal these types of as a frozen iguana — would be coated below Condition Farm’s Comprehensive protection, which contains glass claims and windshield maintenance.

“Comprehensive Coverage is the coverage that kicks in to repair or replace a covered motor vehicle ruined by a little something other than collision or rolling above,” she wrote.

Equally, Nationwide says it does not have any experiences that especially point out falling iguanas, nevertheless if an incident did occur, it could be shown as a fallen item. Liberty Mutual, Progressive and Estrella Insurance did not reply to the Miami Herald’s inquiry.

“In a circumstance exactly where an iguana damages your motor vehicle, this could be dealt with as a fallen object. Insurance policy carriers appraise every single assert on its very own deserves, and automobile problems brought about by an animal would ordinarily be included beneath the vehicle’s detailed coverage,” Nationwide said. “No make any difference how exceptional the bring about of decline, Nationwide stands completely ready to company the demands of our buyers in the celebration of a protected decline.”

Allstate also hasn’t had any falling iguana claims. Neither has Geico, while the company has found instances when iguanas identified their way under the hood of a auto and prompted mechanical damage or chewed wiring.

“On a handful of occasions, iguanas have also triggered a crash just after motorists swerved to keep away from them in the road,” Geico mentioned. “Speaking of reptiles, we’re thankful there seems to be no proof geckos have ever been included. Which is a enormous reduction!”

Seems like just a further day in Florida, the place iguanas pop out of bathrooms, gators crack into houses and escaped cow herds roam the streets.

This story was originally printed March 17, 2022 6:00 AM.

Profile Image of Michelle Marchante

There is hardly ever a dull minute in Florida — and Michelle covers it as a Actual Time/Breaking News Reporter for the Miami Herald. She graduated with honors from Florida Intercontinental University, where she served as the editor-in-chief of College student Media PantherNOW. Previously, she worked as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7 and was a 2020-2021 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism fellow.





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