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What Happens if an Accident Occurs in Your Own Driveway?

Posted by Allison Ruuska on 2/25/2008 at 1:00 PM

How your auto insurance covers accidents that happen at home

Accidents happen anywhere, anytime. A fair amount of time, accidents happen close to home, too. And, of those times, a respectable number of accidents can happen right at home — in your driveway, in the garage, at the curb, etc.

 

If you're one of the many people who've been involved in an accident that happens at home, do you know how your auto insurance company will handle your claim? Here are a few common scenarios of accidents that happen at home and how they're often handled by insurance companies. Because your policy and coverages may differ from the examples below, refer to your policy for your particular situation.

Hitting a Parked Car

If you're backing out of the garage and you graze your friend's car, most likely the damage to both cars will be covered by your auto policy if you have the proper coverages. Though the accident may happen in your driveway, it's still treated as a regular claim on your policy. Liability coverage should apply to any damage you cause to your friend's car, and if you have collision coverage for your own vehicle, it should apply in this case.

But what happens if you graze your spouse's car in the driveway? Is the damage to both vehicles covered? In short, yes, though some caveats may apply. For instance, if both you and your spouse are on the same auto policy, and both vehicles involved in the accident are listed on that policy, the damage is covered slightly differently than the first scenario given.

In this case, collision coverage likely will apply to both vehicles since you own them and they're both listed on the policy. Remember that you must have collision coverage for both vehicles in order to receive and use the coverage for both vehicles. If only one of your vehicles has collision coverage, your insurer will only pay for the repairs to that vehicle. Your policy lists types of exclusions for each coverage, and often one of the exclusions of liability coverage is that it will not apply to any vehicles you own. That's why collision coverage would be used for both cars involved in this accident. Standard collision deductibles most likely will apply, too.

Backing Into the Mailbox

What happens if you're leaving for work and you hit the mailbox or some other object that isn't a vehicle? Is the damage to the mailbox covered?

If you own your house, the damage to your mailbox likely would not be covered. If you rent your home, the damage would be covered.

Your policy outlines when damage is covered and when it isn't, and most policies state that if you own property, damage you cause to that property would not be covered by your auto insurance. If you rent your home, you probably don't own the mailbox, so it would be covered by your auto policy if you ran over it.

Broken Windows

If someone vandalizes your car and breaks the windows while you're sleeping, comprehensive coverage would apply to your vehicle. If you have comprehensive on your auto policy when the incident occurred, damage to your car would be covered.

Items Falling on Your Car

What if a strong storm blows through and knocks a tree limb on top of your car? Or maybe something in the garage falls on top of your car and dents it. Does your auto insurance apply? In these situations, if you have comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance company would pay for the repairs to your vehicle, minus your deductible, of course.

Keep in mind that insurance policies differ by state, by the company you choose and in the coverages you purchase. Refer to your policy for your particular coverages and exclusions.

For all accidents, it's best to contact your insurance company and report them, after which your company should be able to handle your claim properly according to your policy.

The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.

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Comments

I have rented a car. I accidentally hit the wall at the front while i was parking in the parking lot of my apartment. A very small piece of the front part of the car broke out. Can you please let me know will this be covered by the insurance company and how to negotiate with it? Thank you.
Posted on 1/30/2010 at 7:58 PM by pratik dhruv
@pratik dhruv Most of the coverages listed on the declarations page of an insurance policy transfer to acceptable rental/non-owned vehicles (as long as the vehicle is used only occasionally for a short-term period and with permission of the owner). However, coverage varies by state and is impacted by some limitations, so please call us at 800-274-4641 for specifics.
Posted on 2/1/2010 at 1:22 PM by Brittany R.
I was driving my daughter-in-laws car and backed out of the driveway and hit the neighbors car parked across the street. My son is telling me that their deductible does not apply because there was only damage on the neighbors car. I think he is just being nice, so I will not pay them for the deductible. Can you answer this question for me. Thank you Cathy collins
Posted on 7/19/2011 at 1:20 PM by cathy collins
@Cathy, Please call us at 1-800-776-4737. We need a few more details in order to accurately answer your question. Thanks!
Posted on 8/9/2011 at 9:18 AM by Progressive
DEAR SIR OR MADAM PARKED MY MOTOR HOME ON MY DAUGHTERS DRIVE TO UNLOAD AFTER WE HAD BEEN ON HOLIDAY . WHEN TURNING LEFT TO COME OUT OF DRIVE I DAMAGED HER CAR, MY BUMPER CAME OF BUT I CAN FIX THAT, WILL I BE ABLE TO CLAIM TO HAVE HER CAR REPAIRED THANK YOU TERRY PALMER
Posted on 8/23/2011 at 7:28 AM by TERRY PALMER
@Terry, Ultimately, you can work with your claims adjustor to determine what damage on your motor home will be claimed. Regardless, you will need to file a claim to have all damage (both vehicles) assessed before that determination can be made. You can file online at http://www.progressive.com/claims/ or call 1-800-925-2886.
Posted on 9/12/2011 at 12:30 PM by Progressive
Though the accident may happen in your driveway, it's still treated as a regular claim on your policy. __________ Kelvin
Posted on 9/27/2011 at 8:41 AM by Motorhome Insurance
@Kelvin, Yes. As long as you have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your policy, you can file a claim for damage to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle, the ground or an object. You can also file a claim for collision with an animal, theft or vandalism.
Posted on 10/19/2011 at 8:21 AM by Progressive
As I as reversing out of my driveway, checked both ways for a clear path, halfway out of my driveway, and halfway into the alley, an on coming car had hit me. Damage on my car is the rear end, damage on his car is the rear driver quarter panel.. Who's at fault? Another issue with this is. The driver is unregistiered(no license, minor). I called the police they didn't come out, felt as if I should just file a claim. Now my question is, who would be at fault, and this minor driving without a license, if he wasn't on the road nothing like this would have happened? Thank you, Jayson.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 7:32 PM by Jayson Albanna
@Jayson: We're sorry to hear that happened to you. Fault will be determined by the claims adjuster who handles your claim. While the driver may have been unlicensed, that should not affect the claim. Please call 1-800-274-4499 to file your claim.
Posted on 12/21/2011 at 2:39 PM by Progressive
In my driveway with no other cars present, I secured my son in his car seat and got into my car to prepare to back up and leave. Upon releasing my foot from the brake and backing up slowly no more than 2 feet, I collided with my landlord who pulled into the driveway just prior to my backing up and entered my blindspot providing no space to maneuver around him. My brake lights and reverse lights were on as he pulled in behind me and entered my blindspot. I feel he is at fault as I already exhibited intent on my direction. I now have scratches and possibly minor cracks on the rear bumper of my new vehicle and want repairs to be done but strongly feel I am not at fault. How should proceed here?
Posted on 1/13/2012 at 12:23 AM by Britt
my car was hit by a drunk driver while it was parked in my driveway. The damage is extensive but they didnt claim my car to be totaled. How can i get that re-evaluated because damage is on all sides of the vehicle and the hit was serious.
Posted on 1/16/2012 at 1:17 PM by valerie diaz
@Britt: Since your question is about a claim, please call our Claims Department for clarification at 1-800-274-4499. In the event of a claim, the adjuster assigned would work with the other person's company to determine how your coverage, or the other person's coverage, would pay out.
Posted on 1/17/2012 at 2:16 PM by Progressive
@Valerie: We're sorry to hear that and hope everyone is Ok. To have this re-evaluated, you'll need to contact your claims adjuster directly.
Posted on 1/17/2012 at 2:20 PM by Progressive
I was parked at the mall watching a movie when I came out some one had thrown a piece of wood threw my back window And took a few things out of my truck I have minimum full coverage I have to have because I am financing my truck. Would my window get fixed or do I have to pay my 500 dollar deductible to get my 300 dollar window fixed or do they just cover it ? I really just want my window fixed the stuff inside is a loss cuz I don't have receipt I don't even know if they would cover it with the receipt ? I really just want my window fixed
Posted on 1/22/2012 at 3:39 PM by Bruce
@Bruce: Generally when the glass needs to be replaced, your deductible would apply. If the glass can be repaired, the deductible would be waived. If it would only cost $300 to replace the glass, you would only have to pay the $300. If you had items that were permanently attached to your vehicle that were stolen, they could be covered under your comprehensive coverage. Any items that weren't permanently attached would be covered under a residence policy.
Posted on 1/24/2012 at 10:38 AM by Progressive
I was backing out of my garage and scratched my right fender, got too close. Then I backed into a tree on our acreage on our lot. No other cars were involved just mine. Is that considered comphrensive? Thanks!
Posted on 7/10/2012 at 5:08 PM by Jill
While backing out of the driveway i ran into my dad's truck. The hitch of his truck dented in my back bumper, but caused no harm to his truck. since the same situation happened a couple years ago, but with my moms van, my dad is afraid that if we put it on insurance it will raise our bill alot.
Posted on 8/6/2012 at 2:41 PM by Ryan
I backed into my friends car in my driveway can I just file a claim or do the police need to be involved
Posted on 9/8/2012 at 3:53 PM by Brandon
my son was on a side walk riding his bike a car was approching he saw here she stopped suddleny in the middle of the road which startled him and he came off the sidewalk and grazed the car. the driver rolled her window down and asked him if he scratched her car, then asked him if he was alright, he said he thinks so and no he didnt scratch her car, that evening she came to the house and showed us damage that his bicicle could have not done. hes 14 isnt she at fault 1st she is the one whom stopped suddely which strartled him sohe wasnt sure what she was doing and she stuck a pedestrian whom's in the wrong?
Posted on 10/3/2012 at 4:29 PM by Marsha
I backed into my own car coming out of the garage I put a small dent in the front bumper and the car I was driving there is a scratch and bumper is pushed out and cracked. The car I hit has liability the car I was driving has full coverage. Do I have to pay for both deductibles if both under my name and is it possible to get waived to get fixed.
Posted on 11/14/2012 at 10:44 AM by Drea
I was backing my car into my garage and hit the corner the side of the garage door frame. Will I have to make both an auto insurance and home owners claim or will the comprehensive auto insurance cover the damage to my home?
Posted on 11/26/2012 at 8:51 PM by Hoss
My girlfriend was driving my truck and a woman failed to yield on a green light. And my girlfriend tboned the woman. The woman didnt own the car nor did she have license and the car does have insurance. But I have full coverage on my truck. My girlfriend isn't on my policy. My truck should be covered shouldn't it since I do have full coverage!
Posted on 12/9/2012 at 2:46 PM by David smith
I was leaving for work and driving down a two way street the car on the other side was driving a little to close to the middle of the road we both moved over to avoid hitting each other but i hit a mailbox. The mailbox is okay but my side view passanger mirror is not. I have Liability is my mirror covered?
Posted on 12/22/2012 at 11:18 AM by Angelica
I scratched my moms front bumber while backing out and turning to early. I ended up scratching the front corner of the car because the curb was higher then usual. Am I covered for that?
Posted on 1/16/2013 at 10:57 PM by luna still
While backing out of the driveway i ran into my dad's caravan. The hitch of his caravan dented in my back bumper, but caused no harm to his caravan. since the same situation happened a couple years ago, but with my moms van, my dad is afraid that if we put it on insurance it will raise our bill alot. Is there any way around this? Cara
Posted on 1/21/2013 at 8:17 AM by Cara Van Cruckley

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