What happens if a car crashes into your house?

Imagine. It’s the middle of the night, and you’re sleeping in your bed. Suddenly there’s a loud crash, like a bomb or some other kind of explosion. You rush downstairs, only to find a car where your living room couch used to be. Instead of a wall, there’s just a gaping hole leading to your front yard.

While it’s an unlikely scenario, these kinds of accidents do happen. If you find yourself in this unthinkable position, what should you do?

Insurance Liability

Illinois and Missouri are both so-called “fault” state when it comes to car insurance, which means that the offending driver’s insurance company will almost certainly be on the hook for damages to your house. Both states have minimum standards for all car insurances policies: $20,000 worth of coverage for property damage in Illinois, and $10,000 in Missouri. While this may be sufficient to cover something superficial, the repair bill for deep structural damage can easily run into the tens — or even hundreds — of thousands of dollars.

Getting Fair Compensation

If the total expense exceeds what the driver’s insurance company is willing to pay, you have a few options. Most homeowner’s policies include a clause that specifically covers damage caused by other vehicles, so your own policy may be able to make up the difference. If that feels unjust, don’t worry — many home insurance companies will turn around and recover their expenses from the driver’s insurance policy in court.

Another option you have is to bring legal action against the at-fault driver directly. Just like a typical car accident case, all of the following documentation will be helpful:

  • A police report
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Photographs
  • Estimates for damage repair
  • Medical records and treatment plans

Car accidents involving homes are rare, thankfully. However, it’s always good to be prepared. If unexpected things never happened, there wouldn’t be any laws that addressed them. But there are. Let that inform you.