I agree, too close to the car in front causes more stone chips.
Mb have clearcoat hard lacquer, I assume the harder the coating the more brittle it will be , a stone at 70mph probably shatters it like glass.
Obsidian black responds well to a touch in but don’t use the brush provided in the...
Badges off is fine, some people take them off to disguise a low spec car and some to disguise an amg car. But I just think it looks better, they are easy to debadge after if you don’t like it. I’ve debadged loads of them.
If it is a W203 you could have a look at the brake light in the boot lid, it may be broken as it takes a lot of shocks from shutting the boot.
If not you need to take stuff out of the boot one by one and test, like the warning triangle and spare wheel etc.
Process of elimination I’m afraid.
All you need is the claim number and any Mb approved repairer can send lv an estimate, lv will try to make it less attractive as they will likely have to pay more at Mb than one of their repairers.
If your chosen repairer wants the work they will help you out.