What to do if a Car Crashes in to Your Home
While it may seem like a wildly improbable scenario, vehicles actually crash into people’s homes more often than you might imagine. If you ever find yourself as the homeowner in one of these seemingly crazy situations, here’s the answers some basic questions you might have.
- Does the driver’s insurance company pay for the damages? If so, what if they don’t have enough coverage to pay for the damage caused? And at what point would my 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.
- 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.
In the unfortunate event of a car crashing into your home, insurance experts at DPM Insurance Group 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.
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
Your home should be evacuated just in case the accident has compromised the integrity of the building. The most important thing is that you and others in the crash get out of harm’s way.
Once you have taken care of the immediate needs of everyone involved, call 911. The crash 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 criminal charges.
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 certain 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: 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.
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. 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 homeowners’ insurance to cover the difference if the damage exceeds 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 generally 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.
DPM Insurance Group Can Help
It’s important to put yourself in a position where you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Professional advice from DPM’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, our licensed brokers and CSRs will help guide you through the claims process.