Is hitting a pole covered by car insurance? | finder.com
Car hitting a pole

Compare car insurance coverage for hitting a pole

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Get comprehensive coverage to cover damage to your car from running into a pole.

Hit a tree or drive into a pole, wall or anything else solid enough, and you might be looking at serious damage to your car, and possibly your health. Left with a damaged vehicle and a hefty repair bill, you may be wondering if these incidents are covered by your insurance. That all depends on your coverage and the cause of the incident.

How does car insurance cover me for hitting a pole?

Generally, the only kind of policy that will pay out for this kind of accident is comprehensive car insurance.

The only circumstances where cheaper third-party fire and theft car insurance will cover you are if:

  • a thief stole your car and then drove it into a tree, a pole or other solid object
  • an uninsured driver, without third-party insurance of their own, was responsible for you running into the pole.

If you have comprehensive coverage, your policy should cover the cost of repairs to your car, in line with the policy terms.

For example, your policy will probably cover the cost of repairs if you accidentally lost control on a wet road, despite driving well, or if you had to swerve to avoid a deer.

Your claim would likely be denied if you hit the pole because you were driving drunk, or even if you were driving sober but refused to take a drug or alcohol test at the scene of the accident.

  • Top-rated insurer
  • Easy online sign-up and reporting
  • Multiple discounts available

Our pick for comprehensive insurance: Progressive

Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.

  • Top-rated insurer with 80 years of experience
  • Easy online sign-up and reporting
  • Multiple discounts available
  • Transparent quoting
Promoted

Compare comprehensive car insurance

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Optional
Yes, cars under 3 years old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.

Compare up to 4 providers

Would I have to pay for damage to the pole?

It depends on who the pole belongs to and the exact circumstances of the crash, but typically yes, you will have to pay for the damage.

Fortunately, your car insurance should cover the cost, thanks to third-party liability insurance, which is included with all the main types of car insurance.

In this case, the “third party” refers to whoever owns the pole, and “liability” refers to your obligation to pay for the damage.

What should I do after hitting a stationary object?

If you’ve been involved in an accident, you should take the following steps:

  • Assess the situation. If it’s serious, for example, if someone is injured, or you hit an electricity pole and caused a blackout, then you should call emergency services.
  • Gather information. Record any important information that may be needed for insurance. If you can, write down the details of the accident while it’s fresh in your mind and take photos, or have someone take them for you.
  • Decide who to call. Call emergency services first if necessary, and call the police non-emergency line within 24 hours to report the accident. It’s also important that you call your insurer as soon as reasonably possible. The insurer can usually arrange a tow truck, approve the cost of towing if needed, and may also be able to approve necessary repairs quickly.
  • Wait at the scene. Unless it is unsafe, you shouldn’t leave the scene until towing has been arranged. If your car is damaged, you shouldn’t attempt to drive it away. Doing so might cause further damage and jeopardize your claim.

What if the pole wasn’t damaged?

Say you bumped into a pole and merely scratched the paint on your bumper. If the pole’s clearly not damaged, you could consider not making a claim and instead paying for paint repairs out of pocket. Call your agent to confirm you won’t need to make a claim first. Otherwise you might be charged with a hit and run or be unable to make a future claim if you find out the damage was more extensive than you thought.

Will I be fined for hitting an object?

No, car accidents themselves are not a fineable offense. However, the driving that causes them might be. If you do get fined after running into a pole or a tree it’s probably for the traffic infringement that led to the accident, rather than the accident itself. Fines are not covered by car insurance.

You won’t be “fined” for damage to the pole, tree or other property either, but you might be held liable for the cost of repair. This will generally be covered by third-party property car insurance.

Am I covered by insurance if I hit road debris?

Yes. Damage from road debris can be covered in the same way as hitting a pole.

The main difference is that if you hit road debris, it’s probably less likely to be your fault than hitting a tree. It’s possible that whoever was responsible for it being on the road might be held liable, in which case their liability coverage may pay for the damage to your vehicle.

However, this can only happen if the person responsible can be identified. If not, you might have to make an “at fault” claim, as you would if you drove into a tree.

Bottom line

Not all damage to your car can happen in a car wreck. Take the steps to cover yourself in any kind of accident on the road or off by comparing the right car insurance policy for you.

Find the cheapest rates

Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

Your information is secure.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    GOALOctober 8, 2018

    Can I have case authorities where a car hits a wall and the owner of the wall is paid by the car’s insurers

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Goal,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The answer to your question depends on your policy and the specific situation you are into. Generally, if have a comprehensive car insurance, the owner of the wall would be paid by your car’s insurer. Moreover, if your policy specifically include property damage liability cover, then it would also apply in your situation.

      It would be a good idea to directly get in touch with your insurer and discuss ​your concern.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

Go to site