Have you ever made a mistake and backed into a street sign when leaving a parking spot? Have you ever misjudged your clearance and hit your mailbox? If your car sustains damage, even if it is just cosmetic, it still might not be nice to look at. Therefore, you might want to repair the damage and wonder if your car insurance can help. While it can, you will face various conditions to receive a settlement. Here’s how your policy might help.
Car Insurance for Object Collisions
If you collide with a stationary object, then the accident is often your fault. Therefore, the responsibility to pay for the damage often falls on your shoulders. This includes damage to both your car and to the property itself. Your car insurance might apply to the damage:
· Damage to your car will likely have coverage under collision insurance. This coverage will pay for the physical damage to the vehicle. Many policies don’t automatically include this coverage. However, your insurer will likely recommend you carry it.
· One thing you might think of as a collision is if you hit an animal. Yet, most insurers don’t cover this damage under collision coverage. Instead, they cover it under comprehensive damage insurance. This coverage pays for damage not related to collisions, like weather, fire and theft.
· If the object you hit belongs to someone else, then property damage liability insurance pays for the damage. Most states require drivers to carry this coverage.
If you hit an object belonging to you, then your homeowners insurance, rather than your car insurance, might pay for the repairs to that item. Car insurance won’t apply, since the damage you caused was your fault.
Limits for Vehicle Damage from Object Collisions
Your car insurance will typically have limits on how much it will pay for all collision damage:
· Collision coverage often includes deductibles. Your insurer will subtract the deductible from the total cost of the vehicle damage. They will then pay you the difference as a settlement. If the cost of the deductible is more than the cost of the collision damage, then your policy won’t pay.
· If the collision totals your car, then you will likely receive a settlement towards a new car. Most policies pay a vehicle’s depreciated cash value at the time of the wreck.
· If someone makes a claim against your liability coverage, then deductibles won’t apply.
If you collide with an object, the first thing to do is to get help. Have the police take a damage report and take pictures of the damage. Then, call your auto insurer. They can help you determine whether you qualify for a claim on your policy.