Single-car accidents are often scary and a bit embarrassing. If you collide with another object, such as a building, then you might not be the only person impacted by the wreck. By hitting a building, you might owe the owner repayment. The good thing is that your car insurance policy might help you pay for that indemnification to the other party. Here's what you should do if this unfortunate incident occurs.
Single-Car Accidents And Building Collisions
You might think single-car wrecks are rare events. But for context, in 2018, there were 745 people killed in single-vehicle accidents in North Carolina. And just because only one car has a wreck, that doesn't mean it won't harm someone else or damage their property. Such might be the case if you collide with a building or other structure that belongs to someone else.
Collisions with buildings often cause property damage both to the vehicle and the structure. These accidents might prove costly, scary and deadly. How often, after all, have you seen videos where someone's foot slips off the brake and they drive through the front wall of their neighborhood fast-food restaurant?
But the question is, who pays for the damage? Unfortunately, the burden often falls on the offending driver. But, if this is you, then the good news is that your auto insurance policy can help you out.
North Carolina's Fault Laws
North Carolina is an at-fault insurance state. This means that following a car accident, the driver who causes the wreck often must pay for the damage. In multi-vehicle accidents, this might be a point of dispute between parties. However, a collision with a building usually means that the driver involved was at fault.
As a result, the offending driver might have to pay for the property damage done to the building. They might also have to compensate those injured in the accident (if any). North Carolina requires drivers to have auto insurance that will address such situations.
North Carolina Liability Insurance Requirements
Under at-fault insurance laws, drivers must carry auto liability insurance. Your liability policy accounts for the fact that driving is risky, and therefore you might make mistakes that harm others. Liability coverage will compensate those affected by your mistakes.
North Carolina requires all registered drivers to carry at least:
- $25,000 property damage liability insurance
- $30,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person
- $60,000 bodily injury liability insurance per accident
In the event of building collisions, the minimum property damage coverage will pay up to $25,000 for the property's repairs. If the accident injures people then your policy might pay up to $30,000 if only one person gets hurt. It will pay a maximum of $60,000 if there is more than one person injured.
Keep in mind that carrying only the liability minimums might not fully cover all losses. So, if someone's claim exceeds your policy limits, then you might still have to pay for their damage costs. Drivers should therefore consider increasing their liability coverage above these minimum limits. The more you have, the less that you might have to pay out of pocket if you collide with a building.
For extra protection, some people buy umbrella liability insurance in addition to their regular car insurance policy. An umbrella policy can offer liability coverage on top of the limits offered by a standard policy. An umbrella policy can also apply to multiple other policies like your homeowners, boat and RV insurance. Therefore, it's worth considering if you want significant protection against liability claims. Check with your All About Insurance agent to determine the qualifications to enroll in coverage.
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