My 12yr old Son damaged my car. Can I claim on Insurance?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 18, 2013

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Insurance Question from Cedar Falls, WA

Asked on 08/18/2013

My 12yr old Son damaged my car. Can I claim on Insurance? My 12yr old Son dropped his bicycle into the side of my new car, denting the fender and damaging the paint. I'll get a repair quote, and if it's significantly more than my deductible I will consider claiming on insurance.My two questions are; 1. Would this be a claim against my full comp auto insurance, or would I claim against our house insurance (both Safeco)? I understand my Son would be covered on house insurance if he damaged someone else's car.2. Would our house or car insurance cover this as it is my Son and my car, or is it effectively excluded as a 'self inflicted' claim?

Answer given on August 26, 2013

If your son accidentally damaged your car with his bicycle, you can collect the damages under your car insurance. This would be considered a collision, not a comprehensive loss. If you have collision coverage, the collision deductible will apply to any settlement from the insurance company. This type of claim would not apply under the homeowner insurance. Homeowner insurance excludes damages to your auto. This is a standard exclusion under all homeowner policies.Comprehensive coverage under the homeowner policy does not include collision damage except collision with an animal such as a deer. All other “collisions” are covered under the collision portion of the policy. This even includes damage from a pot hole in the roadway, that too is considered a collision.Before reporting this claim, check with your agent to be sure they will not increase your rates for this claim. Usually there is a minimum amount of damage before rates are affected, but find out what this minimum is.

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