Well, where did it originate? No one actually knows for sure, so they’re commonly referred to as “ghost ice balls in the sky,” an obvious reference to a song. Right now, he’s likely asking, “Does Chicago renters insurance covers things falling through my roof?”
When I walked into my apartment the chair that is normally against the wall was pushed into the middle of the living room. There was ice everywhere. I could see the sky through the hole in my ceiling.
The ball of ice probably weighed about twenty-five pounds and literally came crashing through his roof. These ice balls are not believed to be weather related, though it could have come from a plane. Otherwise, they’re simply a mystery. But the origin isn’t the question here.
The question is, does Chicago renters insurance cover things falling through your roof like ghost ice balls in the sky? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. To the extent that personal property was damaged, which we can assume is the case based on a hole in his ceiling, the chair that was thrown across the room, and other factors, there would likely be coverage for this event.
Why, you ask? Great question. This is a rare situation where we can find coverage under two perils concurrently, instead of just one. The case for the first is somewhat weaker, but not completely off the wall. Weight of ice and snow is a covered peril. Technically, the weight of the ice is what caused the damage. Actually, the force of the ice, but the physics aren’t important here. Coverage could likely be found under that provision.
The more obvious peril, and probably the better choice for filing a claim, is falling objects. Since Illinois renters insurance covers falling objects generally without much regard to their origin, any personal property damage would be likely to be covered.
The resident, of course, has zero liability to the landlord for this. He didn’t climb up on the roof and throw a ball of ice at the shingles. He wasn’t even home at the time. Damage to the building would be the responsibility of the landlord and/or his insurance, which is likely to cover many of the same perils.
You can learn more about what perils are covered by renters insurance to see why there’s likely coverage.