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A Car Hit My House! Who Pays for My Damages?

Jul 4, 2022 | Auto Accident

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Homeowners that suffer damage due to a car hitting their house are understandably frustrated. The damage can disrupt your life immensely. 

But the good news is, if the driver is the negligent party, their auto insurance should cover the damage. Auto insurance policies in Indiana must have a minimum of $25,000 for property damage. 

So how does all this work? Learn more about how to get your house fixed, regardless of whether the driver caused structural damage or simply took out your mailbox.

Liability When a Driver Damages Property

When reviewing an auto insurance policy, most people assume that the property damage coverage is only for repairing other people’s vehicles in the case of a collision. 

And while the property damage aspect of auto insurance does provide damage to other vehicles, it also covers a variety of other types of property. This includes damage to your mailbox, fence, or other property damage. 

However, if the driver causes severe damage to your home, the $25,000 in coverage will be insufficient to fix your home and replace any damaged furniture and housewares. If that happens, you can also pursue a claim on your homeowners’ insurance policy. Most home policies list vehicle damage as a covered peril. 

Of course, that isn’t ideal because you’ll still need to cover your deductible and you might see your homeowners’ insurance rates increase. However, if the cost to fix your home is more than your deductible, it’s often in your best interest to still file a claim.

You should talk to an attorney about your options for how to get reimbursement for your expenses when someone else causes damage to your home. Filing a lawsuit against the driver might also be an option. During the lawsuit, you’ll pursue compensation from the driver’s personal assets, such as savings, the value of their car or the value of their home.

Important Steps to Take if Someone Hits Your Home

In the unfortunate circumstance of someone hitting your home and causing damage, you want to go to work documenting the scene just as you would if you were in another vehicle and collided with the driver.

  1. Call 911. You’ll want to report the incident so you have a police report formally documenting what happened.
  2. Take photos and videos of what happened. Document all damaged property no matter how small.
  3. Get the driver’s contact information and proof of insurance. 
  4. Check to see if any of your neighbors witnessed the event. Or ask around to see if anyone with a video doorbell has a good angle of the incident.

What If the Driver Lives in the Home?

If the driver resides at the property where the accident took place, you likely won’t be able to file a claim against your auto insurance. For many people, that’s a disappointing reality because homeowners insurance deductibles tend to be higher than auto insurance deductibles.

There can be many nuances to a car colliding with a home and getting the financial support you deserve. For example, something might have gone wrong with the car, which could be the fault of the driver’s mechanic or the fault of the manufacturer of the part. 

Getting to the bottom of who is liable for the accident and who should pay is an important step in returning your home and your finances to their original state before someone else’s negligence disrupted them. 

Stewart & Stewart offers a free consultation to guide accident victims toward finding who is liable for their financial damages. Schedule your free consultation now to learn more about how to get your home fixed to its original beauty.

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