If I Crash Into My House, Will My Car Insurance or Homeowners Insurance Pay?
Last Updated on April 1, 2021
Collisions between houses and cars are more common than you think. If you crashed into your house, then you may be wondering if your car insurance or homeowners insurance will pay.
Does car insurance or homeowners insurance pay if you crash into your house? Should you file a claim through your home insurance or auto insurance after a house collision?
Typically, you file a car insurance claim for vehicle damage, then a separate home insurance claim for home damage. If your home and auto insurance are with the same company, then you might pay one deductible because it was one incident. If your policies are with separate companies, then you might pay two separate deductibles.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether car insurance or home insurance pays after crashing into a house.
File a Home Insurance Claim for Home Damage
It’s easy to misjudge the turning radius when entering your garage. Many drivers have accidentally damaged their home while pulling into a driveway, exiting a garage, or driving on their property.
You buy home insurance to cover damage to your home – including damage you caused to your home on your own.
It doesn’t matter if you damaged your home with your car – or if you broke a window with a baseball. If you damaged your home and want insurance to cover the cost of repairs, then you file a claim through your home insurance policy.
File an Auto Insurance Claim for Car Damage
If you scraped your car along the side of your garage while pulling in, then your vehicle may have hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in damage.
If you want insurance to cover the cost of repairing your vehicle, then you need to file an auto insurance claim for car damage.
If your vehicle has thousands of dollars in damage after your collision with your home, then it’s worth it to file an insurance claim. Insurance will cover the cost of repairing your vehicle to pre-loss condition, minus your deductible.
If your vehicle has a minor scrape, then it may not be worth it to file a claim. The damage may be less than your deductible, for example, which means it’s not worth it to file a claim.
Contact your insurer to determine if it’s the right choice to file a claim. It may be the right choice in some situations – but not others – to file an insurance claim.
Do I Pay One or Two Deductibles After a Collision with My Home?
If you collided with your home and caused significant damage, then you file one claim with your home insurance policy and another claim with your auto insurance policy.
Because you’re filing two claims on two separate insurance policies, you would pay two deductibles.
Let’s say your home insurance has a deductible of $1,500 and your car insurance has a comprehensive coverage deductible of $250. You would pay both deductibles to your insurer, and your insurer would cover all remaining damage beyond this deductible, restoring your home and vehicle to pre-loss condition.
However, it’s possible to pay one deductible for two claims, assuming you have insurance with the same company. If you bundle your home and auto insurance with the same company, then you may only pay one deductible for the same incident.
If your house burns down, for example, and destroys your home and vehicle, then you might pay a single deductible, even though you’re making two claims (one through home insurance and one through auto insurance). Some companies offer this as a perk of bundling multiple policies together.
Contact your insurer to determine whether you pay one or two deductibles for this incident.
Who’s At Fault in a Collision with a Building?
What happens if someone else hits your house? What happens if you hit someone else’s property while driving?
To answer that question, we need to determine who is at fault.
In most cases, the driver is at fault for any collision with a building. You hit an object (a building) that was not moving. If you were driving more cautiously, then you may have avoided that collision.
Generally, insurers will determine that the accident was the driver’s fault. That means the accident will be treated like any other at-fault accident. You can expect higher insurance premiums moving forward (assuming you make a claim).
Collisions with buildings are different than collisions with other vehicles. If you hit another vehicle, then multiple parties could be at fault. The other driver might have swerved in front of you, for example. With a building, that’s not the case. The building was standing still, and you hit it.
Ultimately, the at-fault driver pays for any damage from the collision. If you are at-fault after colliding with a building, then your insurance will pay.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Vehicle Damage?
Most home insurance policies specifically avoid covering vehicle damage. If you have a homeowners insurance policy, then it will not cover damage to your vehicle – even if the vehicle was in your garage or parked on your property when the incident occurred.
If you collided with your house, then your home insurance policy will pay for damage you caused to your home, but it will not cover damage to your vehicle.
Confused? Here’s how most home insurance policies cover damage to your home from a vehicle:
- Home insurance policies cover damage to structures. If you damaged your home with your vehicle, then your home insurance will cover the cost of repairing this damage through your structure coverage.
- If you have detached structures on your property (like a garage or outbuilding), then your home insurance policy may have detached structure coverage. This covers damage to other buildings. If you accidentally drove through the front of your garage, for example, then your home insurance’s detached structure coverage will cover the cost of repairing that damage.
- If you damaged possessions in your home during the collision, then you file a claim through home insurance. Home insurance covers your home and the things inside your home. If you drove through your living room and destroyed your new $1,500 TV, for example, then insurance would cover the cost of replacing this TV.
- Any car damage is covered by your car insurance policy. You cannot file vehicle damage claims through your home insurance policy, as most home insurance policies forbid vehicle damage.
What Happens If Someone Else Drives Into My House?
If someone else drives into your house, then the same rules above apply.
The at-fault driver is responsible for covering any damage caused during the incident.
Most states require drivers to have property damage liability coverage. The driver would file a claim through property damage liability coverage, and this coverage covers the cost of repairing your home and your possessions after the incident.
If the driver is uninsured, then things get more complicated. You could file a claim through your own insurance, then sue the other driver for damages. Unfortunately, drivers without insurance typically don’t have many assets to seize, which means you could ultimately pay out of pocket.
Final Word on Crashing Into Your House and Insurance
There are 20,000 accidents per year between buildings and vehicles, or around 54 collisions per day, according to the Storefront Safety Council.
Approximately 500 Americans die every year due to collisions between vehicles and buildings.
If you crash into your home, then you make a claim through your home insurance for home damage and your auto insurance for car damage. If your policies are with the same company (bundled together), then you might pay a single deductible.
If someone else crashes into your home, then that person is at-fault for the accident and is required to pay for any damage.