Car accidents are unfortunately quite common nowadays. According to Statista, there are 4.7 million passenger car accidents in the United States annually.
Car owners have to deal with law enforcement, insurance carriers, and service stations each time after an accident to sort things out. But what if the car owner accidentally damages their vehicle? Are there insurance payouts available in such cases?
Experts at the American Reia agency have prepared a guide to answer these questions:
- Does car insurance cover self-inflicted damage?
- How to claim car insurance for own damage?
What Types of Car Insurance Cover Self-Inflicted Damage?
Driving a car comes with certain risks, including self-inflicted damage. Naturally, scenarios may differ. But eventually, you may find yourself in a situation where your vehicle suffers structural damage of your own creation. In that case, you’ll probably ask yourself, “Does car insurance cover self-damage?” Well, we have good news! There are insurance policies that compensate for such losses.
There are two types:
- Comprehensive coverage: This is an optional type of auto insurance that protects your vehicle from damage inflicted by natural disasters, vandalism, theft, or animal collisions. The policy also covers the expenses for repairing damages caused by accidental collisions with stationary objects. For example, if you’re wondering, “Can I claim on my car insurance if I hit a wall?” the answer would be affirmative.
- Collision coverage: Another type of auto insurance, which is also not mandatory, covers damage to your vehicle resulting from collisions with other vehicles. It also includes accidents involving immovable objects such as curbs, trees, etc. This policy compensates for your vehicle’s repair or replacement costs, regardless of who is at fault for the damage.
It’s important to note that the rates and conditions of insurance policies may vary. We recommend reviewing offers from multiple insurers and consulting with an insurance agent to understand which type of coverage is best for reimbursing damage accidentally caused by you.
How To Claim Car Insurance for Own Damage
If, for any reason, you have caused damage to your vehicle, the question arises: “Does insurance cover accidental damage?” and “How can you receive insurance payouts?”
By having comprehensive coverage or collision coverage, you can file a claim following these steps:
|Assess the damage
|First, you need to understand the extent of the damage to your vehicle. Take photographs and gather any evidence that can help you prove the incurred damage and calculate the compensation amount.
|Notify insurance provider
|Let your insurance provider know about the damage unintentionally caused to your vehicle. Contact your insurance agent within the specified timeframe stated in the policy after the incident. Explain the occurrence of the insurance event and ask any necessary questions regarding the claims process.
|Prepare the documents
|Collect all the documentation required for filing the claim. Typically, the document package includes the insurance policy, proof of vehicle ownership, the police report (if you called the police), and photographs of the damage.
|Fill out the claim form
|Provide all the details about the incident and accurate information about the damages.
|Submit the documents
|Submit all the necessary documentation, including the completed claim form. Ensure you have assembled a complete package and that the claim form describes the insurance event thoroughly.
Follow your insurance company’s instructions carefully and respond to any additional requests or inquiries that may arise while reviewing your claim.
The insurer will evaluate the damage and specify the cost of restoring the car. You will then be paid a reimbursement amount in accordance with the insurance policy and coverage terms and conditions.
It is important to remember that each insurer has a different policy and procedure regarding self-inflicted damage insurance. It is advisable to contact your insurance company to confirm all details and requirements of accidental damage car insurance.
Pros and Cons of Seeking a Car Insurance Claim for Own Damage
We’ve already answered the question, “Does car insurance cover accidental damage?” We want to discuss further the advantages and disadvantages of filing a claim for insurance payouts when you have caused damage to your vehicle.
Among the benefits, the following are worth noting:
- Financial protection: You won’t have to bear all the expenses alone. The insurance payout for damage caused to your vehicle by the owner covers repair or replacement costs. This is particularly beneficial if the damages are significant.
- Confidence in restoration: After receiving insurance compensation, you can repair your car, continue using it as before, and put an end to all the sleepless nights you have endured.
As for the downsides:
- Possible increase in insurance premiums: If you file multiple claims for self-inflicted damage, insurance premiums can increase. Such drivers are seen as posing an increased risk to other road users. Insurance companies consider this as an additional risk.
- Loss of discounts: Receiving insurance payouts for self-inflicted damage may result in the loss of a no-claims discount that rewards accident-free driving.
- Coverage limitations: Payments for self-inflicted damage may be excluded from your insurance policy, especially if it happens too frequently.
When deciding whether to file a claim for insurance compensation for damage caused by you, weighing all the pros and cons is important. We recommend consulting with your insurance company to get full information about your policy’s coverage options and limitations.
Is Making a Car Insurance Claim for Own Damage Worth it?
Are you looking for an answer to the question: “What happens if I hit my own car?” and “How best to act in this situation?” Making an insurance claim for damage to your car caused by your fault has its peculiarities and requires careful thought.
Various factors should be considered to determine whether filing a self-inflicted damage claim is worth it. A key aspect is the damage’s extent and the recovery cost. If the damage is minor, such as a small dent or scratch, paying for the repairs yourself is better without involving the insurance company. This way, you can avoid higher insurance premiums.
However, if the damage is extensive and the cost of repairs is high, filing a personal injury claim can provide financial relief. In such cases, it is advisable to review the terms of your insurance policy and determine the amount of deductible you will have to pay. If the expected recovery cost exceeds the deductible, filing a claim will make more sense.
Many insurance companies offer bonuses and discounts for policyholders who have not filed a claim within a certain period. By refraining from filing a claim, you may receive these benefits, lowering your insurance premiums in the future.
Tips for Making an Insurance Claim for Self-Inflicted Car Damage
If you have accidentally caused damage to your vehicle, follow these recommendations to help you receive insurance payouts:
- Carefully review your insurance policy and find out the deductible amount.
- Assess the extent of the damage you have caused to your car and take photos.
- Contact your insurance company and ask whether insurance covers if you hit your car and under what conditions.
- Strictly follow the procedure for filing a claim for insurance compensation.
- Cooperate with the insurance adjuster by granting them access to inspect your auto and provide any other requested information.
- Obtain repair estimates from reputable auto repair shops and submit them to your insurer for review and approval.
- Keep all documents, estimates, and receipts you submit to the insurer. These will serve as evidence in case of any disputes.
Remember that each situation is unique. We recommend consulting with your insurance agent or representative before filing claims for compensation for damages.
It is not uncommon for car owners to accidentally damage their vehicles. Does car insurance cover self-damage? Yes, but you need to have Comprehensive or Collision Coverage.
It is advisable to consult with your insurance company to accurately determine what types of damages and situations your policy covers. If you encounter difficulties filing insurance claims or have questions such as “If I damage my own car, can I claim on my insurance?” feel free to contact the specialists at American REIA.
We know all the intricacies and nuances of auto insurance and can provide valuable assistance in policy enrollment and obtaining compensation.
Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to American REIA. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At American REIA, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.