Is hitting a wall with my car covered by comprehensive or collision coverage?
If hitting the wall was your fault, such as if you accidentally reversed into a wall, you'll need collision coverage to cover the damage to your car. That's because collision covers incidents when you come into contact with another vehicle or object. Both comprehensive and collision coverages are optional, standard auto insurance coverages — though lenders commonly require comprehensive and collision when providing a car loan or lease. Comprehensive coverage is for when your car is damaged by a non-collision incidents; it won't provide coverage for hitting a wall.
Which insurance covers damage to the wall after I hit it with my car?
If the wall is on your property, you'll need to file a separate claim with your homeowners insurance, which will work with your car insurance to pursue coverage via your auto liability coverage. Before filing a claim, though, consider getting an estimate for the wall repairs to find out if they will cost more than your homeowners insurance deductible. If the repairs will cost less than your deductible, it may make more sense to pay out of pocket than file a claim.
If you don't own the wall that your car bumped into, make sure the owner of the wall gets your auto insurance information so they can file a third-party claim via your liability property damage coverage. Not identifying yourself to the wall's owner could be considered a hit-and-run, resulting in serious legal implications. Remember, your liability coverage will cover only the wall; you'll need collision coverage for damage to your vehicle and either medical payments coverage or personal injury protection to cover bodily injuries.
What if another car causes me to hit a wall?
If your car hits a wall because of another driver, there are a few ways insurance coverage could apply, depending on the scenario and your coverages.
Hit and run
If an unidentifiable vehicle pushes yours into a wall, you may be able to get coverage for damages to your vehicle via your optional uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage depending on your state and the circumstances of your accident. If you don't have these coverages, you may have to pay out of pocket. Learn more about hit-and-run insurance coverage.
The other driver is identified
The other driver's liability coverage should pay for the wall's damages, as well as your car's damages and your or your passengers' bodily injuries, up to their liability coverage limits.
Note: If the other driver did not physically collide with you but you hit a wall while attempting to move away from their vehicle, the claims process may be more complex. The insurers will work together to assess the police report and assign fault for the damage caused. Provide your insurer and the police with all the information you have about the incident, and document evidence of damages and injuries to help the claims process.
What should you do if you hit a wall with your car?
As soon as you've made sure anyone involved is safe and you've called the police, take photos of the incident, including your car and the wall. Note the location, date, time, and any other factors. If you hit someone else's wall and caused damage, contact the owner and give them your auto insurance information.
From there, you can decide if you'd like to pursue a claim via your collision coverage for damage to your car. Even if you decide to not file a claim, reporting the incident to your insurance can help your auto insurer prepare for a third-party liability claim filed by the wall's owner or, if you own the wall, your homeowners insurance.
Is it always necessary to file a claim for hitting a wall?
No, it doesn't always make sense to file a collision claim for hitting a wall with your car, especially if you only lightly scraped your car against the wall. If your car-versus-wall scenario is a single-vehicle accident, you'll typically be found at fault for the damage. So even though any collision coverage you have may cover the repairs, minus your car insurance deductible, you could potentially see a higher insurance premium when your policy renews. Learn more about what can cause your car insurance rate to increase.
Weigh the repair costs again the cost of your collision deductible and the potential impact on your auto insurance rate. If the damage to your car is minimal, you may end up paying less out of pocket without filing a claim.
Note: Even if you don't file a claim through your car insurance, you're still obligated to notify the owner of the wall of the damage, and they may choose to file a liability claim for any property damage via your car insurance.