Find out What Happens If Someone Drives Into Your House
What if a vehicle were to hit your house? Does the driver's insurance company pay? Does your homeowner's policy apply? There seems to be plenty of insurance to go around, but just exactly who shells out for what?
The Driver's Vehicle Policy
Let's start with the number one rule concerning vehicle accidents: The party at fault is liable for any damages caused by that accident. So, if a vehicle crashes into your home, and the crash was the driver's fault, then he or she is on the hook for the damages caused to your home (or any other property, for that matter).
This is where the property damage clause of an auto policy comes into play. And it makes sense, doesn't it? Damage to your home is damage to your property, right? So, the property damage coverage in a driver's auto policy will pay for any repairs that need to be done on your house.
That is, up to a point. The "point" in question is the coverage limit for property damage in the driver's policy. For example, let's say that a vehicle crashes into your home and causes $20,000 in damage. The at-fault driver's auto policy has a property damage coverage limit of $25,000. In this case, your damages should be fully paid for through the driver's policy. But what happens if the driver's coverage limit is $25,000 and your home suffers $50,000 in damages?
Your Homeowner's Policy
Have you ever read the fine (or not-so-fine) print of your homeowner's policy? If so, then you probably know that your homeowner's insurance will likely pay for any and all additional damages to your home above and beyond the at-fault driver's auto policy limits.
If you haven't looked closely at what your homeowner's insurance covers, it's time to do so.
A typical standard homeowner's policy protects the policyholder for damages to his or her dwelling and connected structures (like a garage) caused by such hazards as fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, windstorm, and others, including vehicles.
That's right, most standard homeowner's policies explicitly list "vehicles" among those damage-causing hazards covered.
Does this mean that you can breathe a huge sigh of relief and go back to your regular business? Almost. You still need to actually read your homeowner's policy to make sure it specifically covers damages due to vehicles. If you don't see "vehicles" listed or you have any questions regarding the subject, be sure to contact your agent ASAP.
What Happens If the Person Who Drives Into Your House Is You
You might be surprised to learn that, in general, the same rules apply as when someone else crashes into your home. You will have to make a claim on your auto policy for any damages to your vehicle but, in most cases, you'll make a claim on your homeowner's policy for the damages to your dwelling. Again, it's important to read your policy carefully to be sure you are covered in this particular circumstance. Any questions? Call your agent.
One other thing. Because most homeowner's policies come with a relatively high deductible, making a claim can be expensive. It may not be worth it if the damages to your home are minimal. Also, if your vehicle caused the damage to your home, you will likely be making claims on both your auto and homeowner's policies, and that can mean paying two deductibles.
If you have both policies with the same insurance company, however, the insurer may waive one of the deductibles. So, it's definitely worth considering putting all of your policies with one company.