Property damage claims come in many shapes and sizes. If your vehicle was hit by another vehicle while parked, it is considered a property damage claim. If your mailbox, lawn, or home is damaged by a vehicle it is also considered a property damage claim.
Whose policy pays in a property damage claim?
The at-fault vehicle’s insurance policy is the policy which pays to repair property damage. Even in no-fault states, the at-fault vehicle’s policy pays up. In this situation, the coverage is determined by vehicle not by driver.
Example: John borrows his brother’s truck to pick up some landscaping supplies. While backing out of his parking spot at the nursery he hits a parked car. John’s brother’s insurance policy will cover the damages to the parked car.
How do deductibles apply in a property damage claim?
If you hit somebody’s property with your vehicle, a deductible will not apply to repairing their damages. However, if your vehicle was damaged at the same time, you will need to pay your collision deductible in order to get your vehicle repaired.
If you know who damaged your property, you will be able to file a property damage claim against their insurance policy. You will not be required to pay a deductible and you are also eligible for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
Not knowing who damaged your property changes the claim from a property damage claim into a collision claim. If you do not know who damaged your vehicle, you will be responsible for your collision deductible. If you do not have collision coverage, your insurance company will not pay out for the claim.
Example: Jack comes out of the grocery store to find a large scrape down his passenger side door. Nobody left a note claiming responsibility. He calls his insurance agent and finds out he has a $500 deductible on collision. He will have to pay the first $500 and his insurance company will pay the remainder of the bill.
How long does it take to process a property damage claim?
Property damage claims can take some extra time to process. Fault needs to be determined and both parties need to be contacted by the claims department. Assuming everyone cooperates, you should receive a check for the repairs in approximately two weeks.
Example: Mark notified Tony he backed into his vehicle. A property damage claim was filed under Mark’s auto insurance policy. The claim representative contacted both Mark and Tony to verify the accident. A check for the repairs was issued and mailed to Tony after 10 business days.