Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 3:49 PM
By: By Mary Caldwell - For the AJC
— If it hasn't happened to you, it's probably happened to someone you know: you manage to damage your car before ever leaving your driveway. (Doh!)
Self-inflicted accidents can happen in several ways, from backing out of your driveway and hitting your spouse's car to crashing into the garage door.
Since most auto accidents happen on roads and usually involve another driver, you may wonder who pays if you hit a car in your driveway or damage your own property in some other way.
The following information from veteran car insurance agents helps answer the questions you might have if you find yourself in this situation:
Will insurance cover the damage to your vehicles?
Sure, depending on the type of coverage you have. Your liability coverage – which is legally required – covers damage to the car you hit. If you have collision insurance, the damage to your own car will be covered as well, an Atlanta insurance agent explained.
Does this happen to a lot of other people?
Yes, you're not alone. It probably does happen fairly often, the agent said, but many people don't file a claim with their insurance company.
"You're going so slow that the damage is usually minor," he said. So by the time you pay your deductible – which is often $500 to $1,000 – filing a claim may not be worth it.
Does it matter that the accident occurred on private property?
Not really, said Marcus Bullock from Slater Insurance Agency-Nationwide Insurance in Atlanta. The result is the same whether the accident is in your driveway or on Atlanta's streets.
The only real difference is that you won't need to call the police, as you would if it happened on the road. You won't have a police report, but you won't need it, and (thank goodness!) you won't be issued a ticket.
What about the garage door?
Bullock says this can also be covered if you have comprehensive coverage.