Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Pole? Everything You Need To Know

By Randy Luton | Last Updated: 05/31/2023

Do You Know? Between 2016 and 2018 there were more than 800 car crashes that occurred because of utility poles. Although it hardly occurs on purpose, people do occasionally hit poles. Most individuals would believe that insurance automatically pays for running into a pole, especially if there were other forces at play.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to collide with a pole while driving, you’ll have a lot on your mind. While you’ll want to attend to any wounds right away, you’ll soon need to figure out how to cover the costs of the damage. Does auto insurance cover pole damage? How do you submit a claim, too? This article contains the solutions we have for you. Keep reading till the end.

How does hitting the pole affect your car insurance policy?

Unfortunately, there is a potential that if you make a claim for an event like this, your insurance premiums will go up. When determining prices, insurers take into account a variety of variables, such as the volume of claims and your driving history. This may also be relevant if the authorities ticket you for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or reckless driving as a result of the collision.

Similar to other incidents, striking a pole increases your risk of having your rate go up. This is particularly true if the repairs are expensive and you’ve also received a ticket for a moving violation, like speeding or driving while intoxicated. Fortunately, these rate increases frequently and disappear after a while.

Does auto insurance cover your vehicle if you hit a pole?

When you collide with a pole, you can submit a claim if your auto insurance policy includes collision coverage. Typically, this form of insurance is optional, so when you purchase or renew your policy, you must decide whether to include it. When you collide with another automobile or an object, collision insurance will pay for the actual damage to your car.

However, keep in mind that you’ll want additional coverage to cover your liability for any harm done to the pole or injuries sustained by you or anybody in your car. Any injuries are covered by medical expenses or personal injury protection (PIP), and the pole damage is covered by liability motor insurance.

What would happen if you hit a wall while driving? Read our detailed guide: Does car insurance cover hitting a wall?

Does collision insurance cover hitting a pole?

The best way to know the answer of this question is to contact your insurance provider as soon as you can if you strike a pole while driving. They can then initiate a claim, go over the specifics, and decide if your coverage will be applicable.

You will often have a deductible for collision coverage, which you must compare to the price of repairs. In other cases, the repair costs might not even be much higher than the deductible.

Since you’ll know what you can pay, knowing your car insurance deductible in advance will help reduce some of the stress. In this situation, you could opt against making a claim for auto repairs, especially if doing so might raise your rates in the future.

There will also be an upper limit on your collision coverage, which is most insurance company will shell out for auto repairs. Therefore, the insurance company may total the automobile and issue you a cheque for the vehicle’s worth in its place if the accident is significant and the repair estimate is more than the value of the car.

What to do if you hit a telephone pole?

The city, county, or other local agency that looks after the telephone pole may ask you for money to cover the expense of fixing it. In general, you should submit a responsibility claim to your insurance provider to prevent having to pay out of cash.

Even if it’s only a telephone pole on a deserted road, hitting it and driving away might be seen as an illegal hit-and-run. It’s better to report the damage right away rather than run from the scene.

If you leave the scene without calling the police and making a report, your insurance claim can also be in peril. It is advisable to report the event to the police and your insurance provider as soon as possible to guarantee that your claim will be completed without trouble. Insurance companies frequently use police records as proof when processing claims.

Is hitting a pole an at-fault accident?

Yes, in most cases. Your insurance company will consider it as your fault no matter what is the situation.

You slipped because of the ice? You were not careful enough. You were trying to save another life? You must be speeding. The driver should make sure he/she is aware of the surroundings and environmental conditions while driving. Hence hitting a pole will be considered as an at-fault accident.

How should I file a claim after hitting a pole?

Below is the five-step process to file a car insurance claim when you hit a pole:

  1. Call your insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident to let them know about the damage.
  2. Inform the authorities about the occurrence and get a copy of the report.
  3. Include the car’s, driver’s, and witnesses’ information in the report.
  4. Make a claim with your insurance provider and request that they send a surveyor to assess the damage.
  5. If your insurance company offers this option, you can also submit the claim online.

The list of paperwork you must provide when filing an automobile insurance claim is as follows:

  • Your insurance policy in copy
  • Police report
  • Completely completed and signed Claim Form Copies of your vehicle’s registration documents
  • A duplicate of your driver’s license
  • A thorough breakdown of the repairs’ cost
  • In the event of physical injuries, medical receipts
  • Original invoices for additional costs incurred
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Editorial Guidelines: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of auto insurance. This information does not refer to any specific auto insurance policy. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. References to costs of coverages/repair, average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, etc., are indicative and may not apply to your situation. We encourage you to speak to our insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

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Randy Luton is the Founder and CEO of RateForce. He is passionate about InsurTech services and has in-depth knowledge about the auto insurance sector of the USA.