Cars crash into buildings more often than you think. If such an event were to happen to your home, you might have the following questions:
- Does the driver’s insurance company pay for the damages?
- What if they don’t have enough coverage to pay for the damage caused?
- Does your homeowner’s insurance apply?
In most cases, the person responsible for the accident is liable for the damages. However, if they don’t have sufficient coverage, your home insurance may be used to cover the costs.
In the unfortunate event of a car crashing into your home, insurance experts at BrokerLink can provide advice on what you should do. Here are some steps you can take to turn an event like this into a manageable one.
Check for injuries
The most important thing to do is check if there are signs of major injuries. Do not move anyone who appears injured in the crash, you may aggravate their injuries. Make sure that no one is in front or behind the vehicle in case it moves and causes additional injuries.
Here is what you should do immediately following a car crashing into your home:
- Check yourself for injuries
- Check the state and well-being of the driver
- Check the state and well-being of the passengers
- Check if there are other people involved in the accident
It’s important to note that your home should be evacuated in the event that the accident has compromised the integrity of the building. It is imperative that you and others in the crash get out of harm's way.
Once you have taken care of the immediate needs of the individuals involved, call 911. The situation will need to be both assessed by the police and reported. This is important for insurance purposes and for legal reasons. The driver could potentially face a criminal charge.
Note: Make sure you ask for a copy of the police report or the file number assigned to the case.
Take the details of the vehicle and the driver
The driver or a passenger of the vehicle will need to provide several pieces of information. If someone refuses to provide this information, make sure you record their license plate number and a description of the vehicle and driver.
What information to collect:
- Offending vehicle’s registration number
- Make, model, and colour of the vehicle
- Driver’s name, address, contact and insurance details
These details are extremely important for both the police and your insurance provider.
Do not move the vehicle before the police arrive. They may need to obtain evidence, so you should not disturb the scene.
Gather as much evidence as possible for your own records by taking notes and photos. Things to include in your own observations:
- Pictures and videos of the incident scene, including the crash site and the building.
- When the police complete their report, if you weren't present at the time the damage was caused, ask them for as much information as possible.
- Gather witness testimonies.
- Medical certificate and police report.
Keep a record of your time involved in cleaning up the property damage or securing it, as well as any other incidental costs related to the incident. These could be included in your claim.
Notify your insurer and start the claims process
Contact your home insurance provider immediately after the accident. It is important to read your homeowner’s policy carefully so you can be sure of what is covered. Keep in mind, the driver’s insurance will only cover what was damaged back to the standard it was in. If your home is in a depreciated state, this won’t be an opportunity for a fancy upgrade. An auto insurance policy also has limits on what it will pay out for a claim. You may need to rely on your homeowner’s to cover the difference if the damages exceed these limits. That’s why it’s important to contact your home insurance company right away; they will help guide you through the process.
Other reasons to contact your insurance company and report a claim:
- Based on the limits of a driver’s policy, auto insurance typically covers property and bodily injury up to a certain dollar amount. This is where it can get tricky since the insurance might not be enough to cover the damage.
- To ensure that all damage is fully assessed as soon as possible, so that repair work may start without unnecessary delays.
- The insurance company of the driver involved may have to communicate with your home insurance provider.
If you find it hard to wrap your head around who is liable for what, contact your insurance broker - they will help make sense of everything. Together, you can come up with a plan of action. You may also want to consider seeking the advice of a lawyer if there is substantial damage to your property.
Get in touch with BrokerLink today!
It’s important to put yourself in a position where you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Professional advice from BrokerLink's experienced insurance brokers can help guide you through an unexpected event like this. Whether it's a fender bender or someone crashing into your home, BrokerLink will help guide you through the claims process.
It’s easy to get in touch with a BrokerLink insurance advisor!
What to do if a car crashes into your home FAQs
If someone is hurt on my property by a driver, will my insurance policy cover the damages?
If an individual is hurt on your property due someone driving a vehicle onto your property, their auto policy should cover the damages.
If the driver does not have enough insurance, will the damage be covered by my homeowner’s policy or by my auto policy?
Your homeowner’s insurance policy can help with the cost of damages caused to your property if they exceed the limits of the driver’s auto policy. Make sure you are aware of what your policy includes and seek advice from your insurance advisor. Every policy is different.
What would happen if I hit my own property with my car?
You would submit a claim under your auto insurance policy. This would be considered an at-fault claim.