How does car insurance work if I hit my own car?

While you may be shaking your own head, thinking “No way is this possible!”, I’m here to tell you, yes it happens and more often than you think. I’ve pulled an actual car insurance claim (names changed) from our claim files to demonstrate how an Ohio car insurance policy typically responds.

Here’s the claim- Husband hits wife’s car

Our insured Sam, was backing his car out of the driveway and hit his wife’s (Sally) new Mustang. Obviously, after the screaming and cursing was through, Sally called us with several questions, the most important being “Will our car insurance cover this?”

Great question. We’ll answer it in the next few paragraphs.

Will the liability portion of my car insurance pay for this?

The liability portion of an auto insurance policy pays for bodily injury and property damage… OTHERS. Whoever fits the definition of an INSURED is not an OTHER. Insured would mean the policyholder and spouse, in this situation. Another way to think about it is this….. you can’t be liable to yourself. 

So the liability portion of the auto policy can’t pay for the property damage to Sally’s car. 

So if no liability coverage, what else is available? Let’s try comprehensive coverage.

Will comprehensive coverage pay to fix my vehicle?

So comprehensive and collision pay to fix damage to your vehicle. We’re getting closer.

Comprehensive covers glass breakage, theft, fire, vandalism, hitting an animal and falling objects. The example is none of those. This is a true collision situation.

So, how about collision coverage? Will that pay to fix my vehicle?

Collision coverage pays to fix a vehicle if the cause is a collision. That’s what happened here, so YES we have a winner!

The tricky part about this is that collision has a deductible. And just like collision coverage, the deductible applies PER vehicle. Here’s how that would work:

Let’s go back to our example of Sam hitting Sally’s Mustang. The collision deductible is the same per car, $250. So if Sam’s car and his wife’s car has damage that needs fixed, it will cost him $250 per car ($500 total) out of his own pocket. Can Sam elect to pay out of pocket if the repairs aren’t much higher than the deductible? Of course. Read Top 4 Reasons to File an Insurance Claim for additional tips to help you decide when to turn in a claim.

What if one or neither car had collision coverage? Then you’d pay for the vehicle repairs out of pocket.

When car insurance claims like these occur, they can be very frustrating. By reading this article, we hope you now better understand how Ohio car insurance would respond to a claim like this.

Not sure what your car insurance covers? Or doesn’t? Give us a call at (937) 592-4871 for a review or fill out the form below. We’d love to help!

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