So you damaged your own vehicle. Fortunately, you have insurance. But will car insurance really pay if you hit your own car? Or are you out of luck?
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not insurance pays if you hit your own car.
Yes, Insurance Should Pay (If You Have Collision Coverage)
There are multiple situations where you could hit your own car. You might smash into your car while driving someone else’s car, for example. You might scrape one of your cars against the other car pulling into your garage.
You file a claim for hitting your own vehicle just as you would file any claim: you call up your insurance company, file a claim, and your insurance company agrees to cover the damage.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Collision Coverage?
If you don’t have collision coverage, then you may not be able to make a claim for damage to your own vehicle.
If you have full coverage car insurance, then you have collision coverage. If you only have basic liability insurance, however, which is the lowest amount legally required in any state, then you will not have collision coverage:
Liability Coverage: Covers damages you cause to other drivers, people, or property. If you collide with someone else’s vehicle and the accident was your fault, then the other driver may be able to make a claim through your liability coverage for vehicle repairs, medical bills, etc.
Collision Coverage: Covers collision-related damage to your vehicle. If you collide with another vehicle and the accident was your fault, then you can make a claim through your collision coverage to repair damage to your vehicle.
Whether you can make a claim or not after a colliding with your own vehicle depends on the situation. Below, we’ll talk about some of the common situations where you may have hit your own vehicle.
Hitting Your Own Car At your House
Let’s say you’re pulling into your garage after work. Your husband’s car is already in the garage, and you accidentally strike his car pulling in.
Assuming both vehicles are insured, you’ll be able to make a claim under each vehicle’s collision coverage policies. You pay a deductible, then insurance will cover the remaining damages.
In this situation, it’s unlikely there are injuries to anyone in either vehicle. Since this is just a property damage situation, the claims process should be easier.
Driving Into your Garage, Mailbox, Fence, or Other Property
You might also damage your own vehicle by accidentally driving into a wall of your home, your mailbox, your fence, or other property.
Yes, it’s a stupid mistake – but car insurance can still cover these damages. As in the situation above, you can make a claim through your collision coverage. Your car insurance company should cover the cost of repairing your vehicle to its pre-loss condition.
What about the damage to your home or property? If you own the home and only damaged your own property, then your car insurance will not cover this damage. However, you may be able to make a claim through your homeowner’s insurance.
If you rent your home or apartment, then you are not the owner: the landlord owns the property. In this case, your auto insurance will cover the damage because all auto insurance comes with property damage liability coverage.
Similarly, if you crash into a friend’s house or neighbor’s fence, your car insurance will cover the cost of repairing this damage. Your friend or neighbor would make a claim through your car insurance liability damage, then receive payment to cover the damage.
Colliding with your Own Car on the Road
Let’s say you and your husband are leaving the house on two separate errands. At the end of your street, your husband stops unexpectedly, causing you to smash into his bumper. Can you still make a claim in this situation?
If you collide with your own vehicle on the road, then your collision coverage should cover the claim. You would make a claim through each vehicle’s collision coverage, and insurance would pay to repair the damage to either vehicle.
What about if there are injuries involved? If injuries are involved, then this situation gets more complicated. The at-fault car’s liability policy will cover injuries to the other party. If the driver or passengers in the at-fault vehicle are injured, then they will be covered by their personal injury protection (PIP) policy (if they have one). If there’s no PIP coverage, then the injured person’s health insurance will cover the injuries.
Should You Report Every Claim to Insurance?
If you hit your own vehicle, you may be tempted to avoid reporting the claim to insurance – especially if the damage is minor.
Generally, it’s a good idea to report all incidents to your insurance company – even if you don’t ultimately plan to file a claim. In fact, your car insurance policy may require you to report all incidents or you could risk having future claims denied.
It may not be in your best financial interest to file a claim. Let’s say you collide with another vehicle and it’s going to cost $300 to repair the damage. Your collision coverage deductible is $500, which means you’re better off just paying for repairs out of pocket and skipping the claims process.
It may not be worth it to make a claim even if the damage is more than your deductible. A single collision coverage claim could cause your premiums to rise for years. You could lose your safe driving discount.
Ultimately, it’s still a good idea to talk to your insurance company about making the claim. Your insurance company can advise you on the best path forward – including whether or not it’s worth it to make a claim.
If you have collision coverage, then insurance should pay if you hit your own vehicle. Your collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle during a collision or other incident – say, colliding with your garage door or smashing through your fence.
Talk to your insurance company to determine your options after you hit your own car.