Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Curb?
Last Updated on January 4, 2020
We’ve all been there – you’re going to make a tight turn and all of a sudden you bump into the curb. The bottom of your car has sustained some damage that you’d like to get repaired, but will your insurance cover it? The answer is sometimes – it depends entirely on what type of policy you have. Here’s what you need to know about hitting a curb and getting insurance coverage.
Liability Insurance Won’t Cover It
If you have standard liability coverage, it’s important to note that they won’t cover any damage from hitting a curb. Liability coverage is what is required in most states, and it’s designed to cover the costs of property damage or medical payments for the other party if you are found at fault in an accident. Standard liability coverage doesn’t pay for any damages to your own car, so it won’t cover you if you hit a curb.
Collision Insurance Will Cover It
If you have collision insurance, it will cover damage if you hit a curb. Collision insurance pays to repair any damages to your car that happen as the result of a collision. This can be a collision with another car, but it can also be a collision with an object like a curb or signpost, or even a collision with an animal or person. Collision insurance is not mandatory and costs extra to add to your policy. However, collision insurance provides invaluable coverage if you do get into an accident, which is why it’s so important to add to your policy. Even if you get into an accident with another person, you can’t always count on them being found at fault. If you don’t have collision insurance, you’ll have to pay for all of your own repairs if you hit anything.
What Should I Do After Hitting a Curb?
Hitting a curb isn’t the most serious type of collision, but you should still stop to check out the damage before moving on. If you weren’t going very fast or the curb isn’t very high, you may not sustain any damage. However, if you were moving quickly then the impact can be much more serious and require extensive repairs. After you get out of the car, use your phone to take photos of the damage from as many different angles as possible. You’ll need these if you want to file an insurance claim later. Hitting a curb can damage more than just the exterior of your car – it can damage the tires, the suspension, and other small but integral pieces that connect your car’s system together. Depending on how serious the damage is, you may not want to drive your car home. This is a particularly important consideration if you think the suspension may be damaged because this can sometimes affect the car’s steering. You will likely need an alignment check before you can drive the car again. Many car insurance companies offer emergency roadside assistance, which can cover the cost of a tow truck in this instance.
When you get home, you’ll need to write down your account of the accident. The insurance company will want to know what happened that caused you to hit the curb. Did you slip on a patch of ice? Were you distracted by something else on the road? These small details can be pertinent later. You will also want to get a quote from an auto mechanic to determine how much the repairs will cost, as insurers usually want this information as well.
How Can I Avoid Hitting a Curb?
There are times when it’s difficult to avoid hitting a curb. This happens particularly often in the winter when roads are slippery. It can also happen if you’re driving on old roads that are unfamiliar to you – older roads are often narrower and can be difficult to navigate at first. Many people also hit the curb when they are parking in tight spaces. If you’re not used to parallel parking, it can be very easy to make this mistake.
There are some things you can do to avoid hitting the curb while driving or parking. Keep these tips in mind to avoid unnecessary damage to your car.
- Don’t speed. If you’re going too fast, you might end up hitting the curb when making a tight turn. It’s much harder to control the car’s turning radius when you’re traveling at high speeds. This is particularly important if you’re driving in an area you’re not familiar with. Even if everyone around you is speeding, try to stick to the speed limit so you can stay safe.
- Don’t park in tight spaces. It’s very easy to hit the curb when you’re trying to parallel park in a space that’s too small. If you struggle with parallel parking, it may be worth it to drive an extra block or two to find a space where you’ll fit.
- Keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions. It’s easy to hit the curb when you’re fiddling with your phone or the stereo system. If you have passengers in the car, make sure they understand that your primary focus needs to be on the road.
- Don’t drive while inebriated. While this should be a given, there are still many people who drive while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs. These things can have a significant negative impact on your reaction time, and even if you think you are in control, you’re still putting others in danger – plus you’ll increase your chances of small collisions.