Using Car Insurance to Cover Breaking Your Own Stuff

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: February 4, 2021

Car insurance is confusing, and it becomes even more complicated when you have to worry about coverage for damage that you do to your own personal property. The liability coverage provided by your policy covers damage to other people’s property. Still, you’ll need comprehensive coverage to make sure you aren’t left paying for all the damages on your own.

If you have an accident that involves your own property, there is the possibility that you can be made whole if your insurance policy covers such contingencies. If you’ve ever seen the series of commercials with the tag line “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two,” you know that restoration is possible.

Let’s take a look at some scenarios where mistakes that you may not want to own up to can be corrected.

Hitting Your Own Vehicle

If you or a family member manages to hit one of your vehicles with another, you’ll have a pretty serious mess to clean up. If you only have liability insurance, you’ll be left paying for all the damage on your own, but if your policy also has collision coverage, you should be able to get that damage taken care of. 

Running into Your Home

Who knows how it happens. Maybe you were racing to get the groceries in before the ice cream melted. Maybe you were just sure the car was in park before stepping out onto the driveway. In either case, the unthinkable has happened—you’ve run your car into your own house. Now you won’t only have a hard time getting to work or school; you may be facing living in a tent for the foreseeable future.

If this costly (and embarrassing) mistake happens to you, what options are available to you? Any damage that occurs to your vehicle will be covered by a collision policy on your auto insurance, but that policy will not cover damage to your home. Those damages will fall under coverage provided under your homeowner’s policy, so make sure to keep that one paid up as well!

Personal Injuries

If you are injured in an accident, medical and other related expenses can be recouped through Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance.

PIP coverage is classified as “no-fault” and is a requirement of insurance policies in 13 states. No-fault means that the coverage can be utilized no matter if it is you are the other party that is responsible for the collision. This is great protection because getting your broken body taken care of is far more significant than repairing your broken car.

After an injury, your medical provider will initiate a claim against your PIP coverage. Your insurer will then process the claim and will remit payment up to the limit of the policy. If your expenses exceed the policy limits, you may be able to remit the balance to your health insurance provider. Hopefully, they will pick up the rest of the tab minus your deductible. If you are concerned that filing these claims will cause inflation to future premiums, you needn’t worry if you were not at fault in the accident. Trust me—your insurance providers will go after the other driver’s insurance policy (or assets) so that they won’t be ultimately bearing the expense. Avoiding a rate hike may require a little follow up on your part, but your insurance company will be most diligent in their efforts to avoid a payout; it’s what they do.

If Your Car Does Damage when You’re Not Around

If you make the mistake of parking on a hill without setting your emergency brake, gravity can bite you. You could return to your car with the nasty surprise of finding it damaged and a long way away from where you left it.

Here is another situation where collision coverage can come to the rescue. With it, your hard learned lesson to always set your parking brake will only put you out the cost of your deductible instead of a full-blown repair bill.

Insurance of any sort is among the strangest purchases people have to make. What else do you spend substantial money on hoping that you’ll never have to use it? When it comes to your car, there are plenty of unorthodox accidents that you could end up having to deal with in the future. Hopefully, now you’ll have a better understanding of how to handle such issues and which types of insurance insurance policies are available to help.

If you have more questions about what to do after a crash, check out our After Accident Guide.