Does insurance cover hitting a curb?

7 minute read Published on Apr 19, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Close-up of a parked car with the tire turned into the curb.

Car insurance is designed to cover a wide range of damages and losses related to your vehicle. But does full coverage protect you if you hit a curb? That is the question we answer today.

Car insurance coverage and curb damage

Let’s begin by answering the question of whether car insurance covers curb damage. Ultimately, it depends on the coverage included in your policy. For example, if you have a young driver's insurance policy that includes collision coverage, then you may be covered.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage is a type of car insurance that covers property damage to your car, even when you are at fault for the damage. It can cover damage caused by colliding with another vehicle and single-vehicle collisions, such as those with animals or even with grounded objects, like medians, lamp posts, and curbs.

Please note that collision coverage, like comprehensive car coverage, is optional. This means that your policy will not contain it unless you specifically choose to add it to your plan. Your policy premium will likely increase by adding more coverage, including collision coverage. You can find out how much it will cost to add collision insurance to your policy and receive a free insurance quote by contacting BrokerLink.

If you do not have collision coverage as part of your car insurance plan, then you will likely not be covered for curb damage. The same goes for other types of non-collision-related damage, such as if a pothole damages a car.

What kind of damage can result from hitting a curb?

A few types of damage may result from hitting a curb with your car. We outline the most common types below:

Transmission damage

First, transmission issues are common after hitting a curb and might require you to fix OEM auto parts in your car, which can be costly.

Exhaust issues

When you hit a curb, it’s possible for the impact to sever fuel lines or damage the muffler or catalytic converter. This can lead to exhaust issues, from losing gasoline at higher rates to the “check oil” dashboard light being turned on.

Suspension damage

Hitting a curb often results in car suspension damage. This may translate to the car veering or swerving when you drive, making it difficult to steer. You may also hear a rattling noise coming from the vehicle. In cases of severe damage, hitting a curb could even impact your brakes.

Undercarriage damage

If your car hits an exceptionally high or sharp curb, it could cause damage to the cooling cables, lines, oil pan, axles, and shafts. Specifically, it could cause the cables and lines to become disconnected and leak.

What to do after hitting a curb with your car

So you hit the curb with your car. Now what? First off, don’t panic. Assuming you didn’t hit the curb at a high speed, then the odds are high that everyone in the car is safe and sound. If this isn’t the case and you know that hitting a curb caused serious damage to your car and possibly the passengers inside the car, then call emergency services as quickly as possible. In any emergency situation, it’s always best to call 9-1-1 and be checked out by a medical professional. If and when it is safe to do so, go through the following steps:

Pull over safely

After hitting a curb, even if you suspect that the damage is minor, find a safe place to pull over and come to a complete stop.

Get out and take photos of the damage

When it is safe to do so, exit your vehicle and visually inspect the damage. Walk around the perimeter of your car and take photos of any damage that you see. We recommend taking pictures of the car from a variety of angles. This will come in handy if you need to file an insurance claim.

Decide if it’s safe to drive your car home

Based on the visible damage, you will need to make a call to see whether driving your car home is safe. If you think it’s safe to proceed, drive slowly and consider taking smaller roads with lower speed limits and less traffic home. You may also wish to take a test drive around a parking lot before entering a major road.

Call for assistance if required

If driving your car home is unsafe, call for assistance. Get in touch with a friend, family member, or neighbour to see if they can pick you up. You could also call a tow truck or your roadside assistance provider if applicable.

Take your car to an auto body shop

Even if your car is not damaged, it’s best to have the alignment checked. You can take your car to an auto body shop or dealership. If your car suffered more significant damage than you think, a licensed mechanic can also inform you of this and provide you with a quote. This will also be helpful information if you file an insurance claim.

Contact your insurance provider

Finally, if it is clear that your vehicle is damaged and will need to be repaired, contact your insurance provider. They can let you know if your insurance policy covers this type of damage, and if so, they will give you further instructions on how to file an insurance claim.

File an insurance claim with your provider

Lastly, if your car is damaged after hitting the curb and your insurer has confirmed that your policy covers you for curb damage, it’s time to file a claim. You will need to submit evidence to go with your claim and fill out a claims form. Once submitted, an insurance adjuster will investigate your claim, which could take a few weeks. You should receive an update from your insurance provider within 30 days of filing the claim. If it’s approved, you will be required to pay your deductible before they issue a payout to cover the cost of repairs.

Car insurance rates and curb damage

Hitting a curb could impact your insurance rates in some scenarios. If you hit a curb but do not file an insurance claim, then your insurance rates will not be impacted. However, if you have curb damage coverage and decide to file an insurance claim, it could affect your rates:

Generally speaking, any claim you file will end up on your claims history, and the more claims on your record, the higher your rates could be. In addition, since hitting a curb is considered an at-fault collision and at-fault collisions raise premiums, you can expect to pay more for insurance after filing a curb damage-related claim.

A few factors that will determine whether your car insurance rates will go up and by how much after hitting a curb are as follows:

  • The size of the insurance claim.
  • Small claims are less likely to influence rates than large claims. So, if the damage to your car is minor and results in a small payout, your rates may not increase by much.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your driving record may also come into play. If this is your first infraction and you otherwise have a clean record, then your premium may not be impacted or at least not significantly.

Contact BrokerLink to find out if you are covered by your insurance policy for curb damage

If you want to find out if your insurance policy covers you for hitting a curb, contact BrokerLink today. Our entire team is made up of fully licensed brokers, any of whom would be happy to review your policy and let you know if you are covered for curb damage. We can explain what types of auto insurance coverage generally protect against curb damage and ensure you have them.

Here at BrokerLink, we are all about tailor-made insurance coverage. Whether you like to go off-roading or spend your time driving in a major city, we will find the right coverage to match your needs. A few types of insurance coverage that a BrokerLink advisor can help you find include:

If you’re ready to learn more about the world of car insurance, reach out to BrokerLink today. One of our auto experts can send you a free quote within minutes. All BrokerLink quotes are accurate, reliable, and convenient. Request yours today by giving us a call, visiting us at one of our branches across Canada, or logging onto our website and using our online quote tool.

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FAQs on car insurance and curb damage

Can hitting a curb total your car?

Yes, it is possible to total your car by hitting a curb. That said, you must usually travel at high speeds for this to occur.

Does car insurance cover scratched or damaged rims?

Your car insurance coverage may protect you against rim damage, depending on your policy. Typically, collision coverage covers rim damage. However, not all policies contain this type of coverage, and not all collision insurance covers this type of damage. Thus, you will need to carefully review the terms and conditions of your policy to check that you are covered.

What can I do to avoid hitting a curb with my car?

Practicing defensive driving skills is the best way to avoid hitting a curb - or anything, for that matter - with your car. Since drivers may be more likely to hit curbs while reversing, be sure to do so slowly and with caution. Take advantage of safe driving features, like backup cameras, mirrors and sensors, and be mindful of your car’s proximity to its surroundings. In addition, never drive while fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can increase your odds of getting into an accident. The same goes for driving while distracted. Remember that it is illegal to text and drive.

Does hitting a curb count as a car accident?

Typically, hitting a curb does count as a car accident. It is considered a single-vehicle collision. In addition, when a driver hits a grounded object, the driver is almost always determined to be at fault. However, unlike at-fault accidents that involve other drivers, you cannot claim liability car insurance. Instead, you would need to file a collision car insurance claim if your policy contains this type of coverage.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.