Does Car Insurance Cover Property Damages at Home?
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Accidents can happen any time, any place. And your home is no exception.
The answer to whether or not damages caused at home will be covered is yes -- if you have the right coverage.
The different coverages included in car insurance policies are designed to cover different types of losses. So whether or not losses are covered and paid depends on the details of the accident.
To determine if a claim might be covered, we'll take a look at a few scenarios:
You Caused Damage while Pulling In or Out of Your Driveway
As this Liberty Mutual commercial shows, causing property damage while pulling in or out of a driveway is, well, human. Whether the damages will be covered will likely depend on two things: whose property was damaged and the types of coverage on your policy.
Just about every motorist is required to carry liability insurance, so if you are backing out of your driveway and your friend's car just happened to be in your way, your liability coverage will cover repairs, up to your policy limit.
The damage to your own vehicle would be a different story. To pay for those damages, you would need collision insurance and have to pay any applicable deductible.
Like your car, other property that you own also won't be covered by liability-only policy insurance. Liability coverage is designed to only cover other people's damages that you or your vehicle caused.
So if you backed out of your driveway and hit a car that you own, the damage would only be covered if you had collision insurance on each vehicle. If you did, you'd have to file a claim for each and pay the deductibles.
The same concept applies to damage caused to your home. If you're pulling into your garage and you cause damage to it, your auto insurance won't cover it if you're the owner.
However, if you're a tenant renting the property where you live, your liability coverage will pay for the damages. So if you take out the garage door of a house you're renting, property damage liability should take care of fixing it.
Your Car Was Damaged by Factors Outside of Your Control
In some scenarios, your car may get damaged at home without you behind the wheel.
If you park in your driveway or on the street, you run the risk of having your vehicle damaged by a number of things like hail, falling tree limbs, vandals, or thieves. In that case, comprehensive coverage would cover the loss, minus any deductible you have to pay.
If you parked in your garage, comprehensive coverage should also cover falling objects that you may have stored up in the ceiling joists. (Liberty Mutual recreated that very "human" mishap in this commercial.)
If your car's parked outside and you come out to see that it's been damaged by a hit-and-run driver, you would need to have collision coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage to pay for the repairs. And you'll probably have to pay your deductible if you have one.
The coverage options available on auto insurance policies will cover just about any type accident that involves your insured car if you carry them. However, it may not be reasonable or affordable to purchase every option available. When choosing an insurance policy, you have to determine for yourself which risks you should insure against and whether or not it'll fit in your budget.