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Damaging Your Own Property and Car Insurance Coverage

Damaging Your Own Property and Car Insurance Coverage

If multiple cars are insured on one policy and one of these cars hits another, who pays? Will your insurance company pay the claim? When it comes to accidents that involve solely your property, the insurance considerations can be confusing.

Let's look at 5 scenarios to determine how you might be covered if you were to damage your own property. Note, though, that the outcomes of the below scenarios may vary from insurance company to insurance company, and from state to state.

Scenario 1: Hitting Your Own Car

A family member backs out of the garage and hits another car covered by the same car insurance policy.

Q: Will liability insurance pay?

A: NO. Liability coverage ONLY pays for damages and/or bodily injury you cause to another person(s) in an accident. You cannot use it to pay on a claim for your own property.

Q: Will collision insurance cover the damages?

A. YES. Collision insurance will pay for the damages to both vehicles. If both cars are on the same policy, some insurance companies will waive one deductible; others will waive both, and another may not waive any.

In some cases, state laws sometimes govern deductible waivers; if your state does this, your insurance company may not be able to waive your deductible.

Q: What if both cars had the same owner but are covered by different insurance companies?

A: Whether both cars are covered will depend upon your coverage and your insurance policy. Typically, if you have collision coverage for both vehicles, both cars will be covered under that insurance.

Remember, liability coverage pays for damages to someone else's property, so it will generally not apply.

Scenario 2: Causing Damage to Your Home

A family member pulls into the driveway, crashes into the garage door, and wrecks it.

Q: Will collision insurance cover all the damage?

A: NO. Collision coverage on your car insurance policy will cover the damage to the car, and homeowner's insurance will cover damage to the garage door. Remember, liability insurance on any type of insurance policy does not cover damage you cause to your own property, and collision insurance only covers your car.

Scenario 3: When You Get Hurt

You sustain serious injuries to your hand as you close your car door.

Q: Should you file a bodily injury claim?

A: YES. If your state offers Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and/or medical payments coverage for your own and your passenger's injuries, and you hold this coverage, you can use it, irrespective of who is at fault. Visit our Coverages section for more information.

With the Affordable Care Act, using your health insurance in an auto-related injury simply results in the clinic filing the claim with your car insurance carrier. If an injury exhausts your PIP and/or medical coverage, then you may file with your health insurance.

Scenario 4: Auto Theft Due to Negligence

Someone steals your car because you left your keys in it with the engine running.

Q: Will your car insurance pay the claim?

A: YES. Comprehensive coverage will payafter the owner (you) pays the deductible. If you get your car back in a damaged state, your comprehensive insurance will also pay to fix it. Remember, comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage; if you don't have it, you'll be responsible for the costs.

Scenario 5: Damage from a Driverless Car

You failed to use your emergency brake, and your car rolled out of the driveway and crossed the street. It stopped after crashing into a tree on your neighbor's lawn.

Q: Will your car insurance pay for the damage to your car? What about the tree that the car knocked down?

A: In this case, the collision coverage, less the deductible, will pay for car damages. The tree has coverage too, up to the limits of the car owner'sproperty damage liability coverage limits.

It's smart to understand how your car insurance coverage will be utilized in the event of an accident. Check your declaration page or talk to your insurance agent or company.

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