According to What Car?, three out of 10 accidents happen within a mile of home, with reversing into a vehicle, hitting a wall, and crashing while driving out of a minor road at the top of the list of reasons for an accident. What exactly happens when your car, or somebody else’s, suffers damage from an accident that happens in your driveway?
In this article, Part 1 gives the basics on what happens when an accident occurs in your driveway, Part 2 covers what happens if you hit an object, Part 3 details what happens in an accident between two different cars, and Part 4 talks about how your insurance covers other events that cause damage to a vehicle in your driveway.
Part 1 of 4: Does your car insurance cover accidents that happen in your driveway?
Regardless of where a car accident happens, your car insurance should cover any damages or injuries as long as you have the appropriate comprehensive and collision coverage. If the other driver is at fault, then their liability insurance should cover any damage and injuries — up to the limits of their coverage.
Part 2 of 4: Hitting an object
In a collision with an object on or along your driveway, such as a mailbox or fence, coverage depends on whether you rent or own your home. If you rent, any damage done to an object, like a mailbox, with your car would be covered by your car liability insurance coverage.
If you own the home, then your car insurance would not pay for any damages done to your own property. In this case, your homeowners insurance would most likely cover these damages.
Part 3 of 4: Hitting a parked car
Hitting a parked car, either by you or another driver, would be handled just like any other accident claim. The at-fault driver’s liability insurance would cover any damage done to the other car, while their collision coverage, if they have it, would pay to repair the damage to their car.
If both vehicles belong to you, then you must have collision insurance on both cars in order for both to be covered. If only one car has collision coverage, then your insurance would pay to repair that car, but not the other.
Part 4 of 4: Other damage
In addition to an accident, some other scenarios can cause damage to your car, requiring your car insurance to pay for any damage — as long as you have comprehensive coverage in place and not liability coverage only. The two most common types of damage other than an accident include acts of nature and vandalism, as detailed below.
- Acts of nature: A tree branch falling on your car, hail damage, and other acts of nature all represent instances when a vehicle’s comprehensive coverage would pay for any damage done to your car. You would need to pay your deductible amount first before the comprehensive coverage would pay for anything, but once that was taken care of, your car insurance should pay for the repair to your car up to the covered amount.
- Vandalism: Vandalism represents another event that could happen in your driveway, especially at night while you sleep. In this case, your comprehensive car insurance coverage should pay for any damage done. This could include broken windows, a damage paint job, and slashed tires, among other damaging acts of vandalism. If someone vandalizes someone else’s car while parked in your driveway, then their comprehensive car insurance coverage, if they have it, should pay for any damages.
By knowing your coverage details, you can determine who pays in the case of an accident in your driveway. By making sure to keep your coverage up to date, you can ensure that all of your vehicles are covered properly so that you do not end up paying for any damage out-of-pocket. In addition, make sure you have the right kind of coverage to cover your vehicle if it suffers damage from an act of nature or vandalism while sitting outside your home.