Who's liable if a car damaged my property?
If a car crashes into your home, mailbox, or fence, or damages anything else on your property, and the driver is found at fault, they're liable for the damage. Almost all states require drivers to have a minimum amount of property damage liability coverage on their auto policy. This coverage may help pay for any damage to your home or property.
However, if their coverage isn't enough to pay for all the necessary repairs, your homeowners insurance may cover damage beyond the coverage limits of the driver's or vehicle owner's auto liability policy. Standard homeowners insurance policies usually list vehicle damage as a type of covered peril.
If the driver is uninsured, who pays for the damage to my property?
If a car crashes into your home and the driver is uninsured, your homeowners insurance may cover the damage; however, you may be responsible for paying your homeowners insurance deductible. Your insurer may choose to seek reimbursement from the driver through the subrogation process and could possibly use some of the proceeds to cover your deductible, either in part or in its entirety. If subrogation fails, you could file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver for any deductible, but you may be stuck with court costs and see no payout for years, even if you win.
Keep in mind that your insurance may not cover the repair costs if they're less than your deductible. Check with your insurer or agent to make sure your policy would cover the damage. You could also get a repair estimate from a qualified professional to make sure the repair cost will exceed your deductible. If the repair cost is higher than your deductible, then it might be worth filing a claim.
If you accidentally hit someone's house or property, your property damage liability coverage on your auto insurance policy will typically cover the damage. You should consider carrying higher liability limits than your state requires so your assets are better protected.
What if I hit my mailbox with my car or back into my garage door?
If you caused the damage, whether it's hitting your mailbox or backing into your garage door, your auto insurance likely won't cover the repairs. If the damage to the property costs more than your homeowners insurance deductible, it might be worth filing a homeowners insurance claim. Consult your insurer or agent to confirm that your homeowners policy will cover the damage.
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