You are sitting at home when you suddenly hear a tremendous crash and feel a shudder. You rush outside to see that a car has crashed into the side of your home. It has damaged brickwork, the walls and multiple possessions. And, obviously, it has left a hole in the wall. What do you do now? How will you pay for the damage?
The good news is, you usually have insurance options to help you recover from these losses. How these apply will vary, however. Work with your insurer and all other parties to determine the right course of action.
After the Accident, Take Action
A car in your living room might leave you stunned and perplexed. However, you must jump into action immediately. Here are a few of the steps you should take.
- Make sure everyone in the house is safe. This includes pets. It’s often a good idea to take everyone outside until the authorities can inspect the structural damage.
- Check on the driver of the vehicle. Most home/vehicle collisions involve a severe mistake or health crisis on the part of the driver. They might need immediate help. Do not accuse the driver of any wrongdoing. Everyone needs help in this moment.
- Call 9-1-1 and describe the damage. The police and the fire department will need to come immediately.
Do not try to clean up any damage or make any changes in the scene. Don't try to move the car, either, as this might increase damage. However, if you see smoke or flames, smell gas or see running water, you might need to shut off the home’s utilities. That can help cut any damage risks from broken pipes or wires.
Call Your Insurer
When the police arrive, ask them to make a report of the scene. They will write up the details of the accident, usually including statements from both you and the driver. They might even take photos of the scene. You will likely need proof of these items to file an insurance claim.
In most cases, the driver of the vehicle is at-fault for the accident. So, their auto liability insurance will likely pay for some or all the damage costs. However, your own homeowners coverage can play a role here too. If the auto insurance’s limits don’t fully cover the damage costs, your homeowners insurance can usually cover most or all the remaining costs.
Most home policies will explicitly cover the damage a vehicle causes to the home. But, make sure you collect all evidence of damage before you call your insurer for a claim.
Also Read: Falling Trees: An Avoidable Claim