Imagine waking up one morning, and finding your car vandalized, or having been crushed by a tree at the night during a particularly bad storm. You might be tempted to think that since your car is a possession that has been damaged on your property, your homeowners insurance would cover the cost of its damage. Think again: your homeowners insurance is very unlikely to cover damage to your car in any capacity.
In fact, your homeowners insurance is likely to explicitly list motor vehicles as being uncovered. While the specific rules can vary, many insurance companies will have clauses that exclude motor vehicles whose speed exceeds a certain threshold, typically 35mph. In the event that your car gets damaged while sitting on your driveway, it will likely be covered by your auto insurance rather than your homeowners insurance.
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Homeowners Insurance Will Cover a Lot, but Cars Are Excluded
Since anyone driving a car is almost guaranteed to have auto insurance, your homeowners insurance does not go out of its way to cover cars including damage to other people’s cars. Your homeowners insurance is designed to protect the homeowner, and when it comes to cars a homeowner with a car will already likely be protected.
Within your homeowner’s insurance, different parts of your property will fall under different sections. For example, dwelling coverage is the part of your homeowners insurance that covers damages and repairs to your main living unit. Other structures coverage will cover things like sheds, porches, and driveways. The specifics of the coverage will change from policy to policy, however, what all policies have in common is that they evaluate claims on a per-peril basis.
A Peril is Any Event Which Causes Damage to Your Property
Your insurance evaluates claims in terms of covered and uncovered perils. How exactly your insurance determines whether or not a peril is covered depends on the type of policy you have, as well as which category the claim falls under. The two most common types of homeowner insurance policies are the HO-3 and HO-5.
An HO-3 policy is the cheapest of the two, and it, therefore, offers less coverage. With an HO-3 policy, all perils that damage your house will be covered except for those explicitly named in a list. These are known as unnamed and named perils, respectively. Named perils often include wide-ranging events, such as earthquakes or floods, and unnamed perils cover everything else. This makes sure that you have wide coverage of your house, even if the events surrounding some damage are peculiar. It’s another story with your personal property: in an HO-3 policy, damage to your personal property will only be covered if the cause is an explicitly covered peril.
With an HO-5 policy, on the other hand, your personal property will receive the same coverage as your house. The main caveat to an HO-5 is that the policy will be more expensive.
Your Car Will Not Be Covered, but Your Driveway Might Be Covered
Regardless of which policy type you have, your car will not be covered by your homeowner insurance. However, it is likely that your driveway will be covered under the other structures part of your policy. In this case, the coverage will depend on the cause of the damage. If a tree falls on your property and damages your driveway, it will likely be covered by your insurance, as most policies cover damage due to falling objects. If someone damages your driveway while damaging your car during an act of vandalism, your insurance is likely to cover that as well.
The specifics can vary, so always make sure you review your specific homeowners insurance policy to get a clear understanding of what will or won’t be covered. Oftentimes, if you find something isn’t covered, you can purchase additional coverage from your insurance provider.
It’s Important to Be Prepared in the Event of Damage to Your Car
Since your homeowners insurance won’t cover damage to your car, it’s important to make sure that your car is covered by its own insurance. Always make sure to review your policies so you can know what to expect in the event of damage to your car.