Does My Car Insurance Cover Me If I Hit a Pole or Tree?

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  • Am I covered?
  • Deductibles
  • Basic vs. full-coverage
  • Cheap insurance
  • FAQs
Sometimes accidents happen that don’t involve other vehicles—like sideswiping a mailbox or backing into a pole or tree. If you have collision insurance, your policy should cover this type of damage.
If you opt for only the minimum required insurance in your state, you likely won’t have any recourse with your insurance company if your car sustains damage of any kind.
Thankfully, the car insurance comparison shopping and broker app Jerry can help you find the right insurance policy at the right price. So if you do end up in a sticky situation, you know you’ll be covered.
As a licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding the cheapest quotes from the top insurance companies and finalizing your new car insurance. Jerry will even cancel your old policy for you—and it’s always completely free!
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Does my car insurance cover me if I hit a pole or tree?

To cover the damage to your vehicle caused by hitting a pole or a tree, you’ll need to have collision car insurance. Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle (up to your policy’s limit) that happens as a result of a collision with someone else’s vehicle or another object while you’re driving.
Collision insurance is designed to provide you with the money needed to cover the repairs needed to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
Collision insurance isn’t mandated by state laws and it is optional coverage. However, if your vehicle is leased or financed, the dealership or financing company may require you to purchase collision insurance for the duration of the lease or loan term.

Does basic insurance cover damage from a pole or tree?

Basic insurance is what’s legally required by most states and typically only includes liability car insurance.
Liability insurance provides protection to other drivers on the road when you’re at fault in an accident. If you hit another person’s vehicle or property, your liability coverage will help cover the cost of any medical bills and/or property damage (yup, that includes a mailbox pole!).

Understanding deductibles: How much damage will insurance cover?

A deductible is the amount you pay for a claim before your insurance company kicks in to cover the rest. In the event that you hit a pole or tree, your insurer will cover the damage up to your policy limit, minus your deductible.
For example, if you hit a pole causing $2,000 of damage and you have a $500 deductible, you’ll pay $500 and your insurance company will cover the remaining $1,500.
No matter the amount of damage, you’ll always need to pay your deductible if you make a claim. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you set your deductible at a reasonable amount that you can afford.
Key Takeaway If you have collision insurance your insurer will cover the damage up to your policy limit, minus your deductible.

Basic insurance vs. full-coverage insurance

Basic insurance only offers liability coverage—it pays for damages to the other party in an incident.
Full-coverage insurance usually refers to the addition of collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy. This is what you’ll need if you want to cover damages to your vehicle.

3 common full-coverage options

Collision insurance covers your repairs if you get into an accident with another vehicle or object while driving.
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle arising from a source other than a collision with another driver. It covers things like vandalism, theft, or natural disasters.
Uninsured motorist protection reimburses you for your expenses stemming from an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

How to find cheap car insurance

Thankfully, there’s really no reason to leave yourself open to financial repercussions from an accident. With the insurance comparison shopping app Jerry, finding insurance that covers unexpected situations is a breeze.
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app and answer a handful of questions. Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer and in less than a minute presents you with three competitive quotes from the top insurance companies.
Choose your ideal coverage and let Jerry take care of the rest. No long forms, no calling around, no hard work—just savings. The average Jerry user saves $879 a year on car insurance!
Here’s what one happy Jerry customer had to say —
“Super easy and convenient! I just put in a little information about myself and my car and then a short time later, I had several quotes sent straight to the app. They have the “name brand” insurance companies and can match the coverage you currently have.”— Satisfied Jerry User

FAQs

Can I claim car insurance if I hit a pole?

Yes—if you have collision insurance on your policy. If you only have basic liability insurance, your coverage will not apply to damage to your own vehicle and you’ll be on the hook for the repairs out of pocket.

Is hitting a tree covered by insurance?

Yes—if you have collision insurance. If you hit the tree, you can claim the damage through your collision insurance policy.

What happens if I hit a pole and leave?

Hitting a pole is considered a single-car accident. If you hit the pole and drive away, you’re leaving the scene and failing to report an accident, and you can be charged. If you don’t have insurance at the time, you may also have your license suspended and face additional penalties.
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