Okay, so you have a bit of a situation. You, umm, accidentally drove over the curb and into your neighbor’s fence. (Yes, the grumpy neighbor, worst luck.) Yikes. So, now you’re wondering what happens now, but you have two main questions. First, will your car insurance foot the bill for repairing your neighbor’s fence? Next, will your car insurance repair the damage to your car? We’re going to answer both of those questions.
If I hit a fence, will my car insurance repair it?
To answer, let’s explain a bit about how car insurance works. Georgia requires drivers to purchase bodily injury liability and property damage liability in order to legally drive on the road. This is to protect other drivers from, well, you. It helps you cover your legal obligation to other drivers if you injure them in an accident or damage their property with your car. It helps you cover your legal expenses if you get sued, too.
Bodily injury liability covers the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering if you’re at-fault in an accident and injure someone.
Property damage liability helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing the other driver’s car if you’re at-fault in an accident. It can also help you repair other property that you happen to damage with your car – for example, your neighbor’s fence.
So, to answer the question, yes – generally, your car insurance can help bail you out in this cringe-worthy situation. Hopefully, that helps you explain the unfortunate incident to your undoubtedly irate neighbor.
Is my car covered if I accidentally drive into a fence?
So, the question is whether your car insurance covers your vehicle if you accidentally run into a fence. You could be facing a significant amount of damage, after all, if your car gets a little banged up by its run-in with the fence.
Now, the answer to the question is it depends.
If you have collision coverage, yes – you should be covered for hitting that darned fence. Collision coverage helps you repair or replace your own car if it’s damaged in an accident or if you crash into something – like a pole or fence or something. So, you should be covered for your fence-hitting misadventure.
If you only carry liability insurance, no – you would not be covered. That’s because liability insurance is only intended to cover your legal responsibility to the other driver in an accident (or your responsibility to a person whose property you’ve damaged.) It’s not intended to cover your car.
Georgia does not require drivers to carry collision coverage (or its buddy, comprehensive coverage), but it’s still an important coverage to consider if you want to protect your investment in your vehicle. And if you have a lienholder or lender, they may require you to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage.
Anyways, what we’re saying is that cars are expensive. Give some thought to getting collision coverage so that you’re covered in case you hit something.
Side note: What is comprehensive coverage?
We have to take a slight (but still related) detour to talk a little bit about collision coverage’s best friend: comprehensive coverage.
This is another coverage designed to protect your vehicle in case it’s damaged. It covers losses that aren’t caused by an accident or collision.
For example, it generally covers:
- Falling things (i.e. if a tree crashes onto your car)
- Animal strikes (i.e. if you hit a deer with your car)
Once again, liability insurance doesn’t cover your car, so it won’t help you if you ever face one of the above losses. That’s why comprehensive coverage is also something to think about.
The “oops” factor of hitting someone’s fence might be softened slightly since insurance can indeed help you out. Your property damage liability insurance can help you with the cost of repairing the fence. And if you have collision coverage, your car should be covered if it was damaged. So, there you have it – car insurance to the rescue!
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