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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

My wife and I have the same auto insurance. I backed into her car in our driveway. Both cars have liability insurance. Will my insurance company cover the damages to her car under liability coverage?

No, unfortunately, your car’s property damage liability won’t pay for your wife’s damages to be repaired.

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Auto insurance liability coverage excludes damage to property owned by the insured.  This means your liability car insurance won’t pay out if your insured car hits your mailbox, garage door or another owned vehicle.  Some refer to this as a household exclusion.

For you and your wife to make claims for the damage each vehicle sustained when you backed into her car, each vehicle would need collision coverage on it.  You would need to make a separate claim for each vehicle and this means two deductibles would be due.

If the damage to each vehicle is minor, you may instead want to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs since the insurer would put you at fault for this accident and then may surcharge you for it.  A surcharge raises your rates and typically lasts for three years.  (See “How much will my insurance go up after an accident?”)

Last updated: Jun. 2, 2014
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