Accidents are always a scare — be it minor or major. If you’re driving on the road or backing up and hit a pole, you need to act right and call the police.
But not only the police should know. You should also call your insurer and report the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident and the type of policy on your car, you may file a claim or not.
This article examines what happens when you hit a pole, whether you should call the police and if insurance provides coverage for you.
Is Hitting A Pole Considered An Accident?
Hitting a pole or an animal is considered an accident. It’s a common accident that many drivers deal with regularly.
You can hit a telephone pole, a utility pole, or an animal when you’re driving too fast and lose control or when you’re driving slowly and an animal suddenly crosses the road. You can also hit a pole when reversing or packing.
Sometimes, hitting a pole may be part of a major accident or a result of avoiding one. You may find yourself in a bad situation that forces you to swerve to avoid hitting an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian. In this case, you may view hitting a pole as a preferable alternative to hitting a pedestrian or head-on collision.
If you hit a pole under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is a serious traffic violation.
What Should I Do If I Hit a Pole?
If you have hit a pole, it’s classified as an accident whether it’s minor or major. So, you should do the following:
- Call 911 or the police and alert them of the incident or accident.
- Stay calm and assess your car’s damage.
- Call your insurer or insurance agent right away and report any damage.
What Happens If You Hit A Pole?
Generally, if your car hits any pole, you’re liable for any damage you cause. Your car may be damaged, or you may cause property damage, either private or state (local government) property.
So, will you pay for the pole you hit?
The county, city, or other local government responsible for maintaining the utility pole may seek compensation for the cost to repair the pole. Also, if you cause damage to private property, you may have to pay for the pole and any other property that the accident damages.
In general, depending on the type of insurance you have, you can file a claim with your insurance company to avoid paying for the damage out of your pocket.
If you hit the pole while under the influence, you may receive a ticket.
What Happens If You Hit A Pole And Leave?
Generally, if you hit a pole with your car and drive off, it can be considered a hit-and-run, which is illegal. This is even if you hit a pole located in a parking lot. Instead of fleeing the scene, you should report the damage to the police or authorities immediately.
If you flee the incident’s scene without filing a police report, your insurance claim may also be in jeopardy. Insurance companies usually refer to police reports and include the report as part of the evidence when processing insurance claims.
So, what do you do if you hit a pole in a parking lot?
It’s important that you report the incident immediately to authorities and your insurance company.
Do I Need To Call The Police If I hit a pole?
YES. If you hit a pole while driving, you should call 911 immediately.
Hitting a pole while driving can be a safety hazard. If the pole you hit is a power line, you and other road users are exposed to an immediate risk of electrocution.
So, if you hit a pole, it’s important to call 911 and wait inside your car so the police can help as soon as they arrive on the scene.
Also, depending on your state, you may need to file an accident report to the police. This is to help you in case you need to claim any damage with your insurance provider.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting A Pole?
It’s not uncommon to hear people ask, “If I hit a pole with my car, will insurance cover it?”
The accurate answer is: It depends.
The type of insurance you carry will dictate whether or not the insurer will provide coverage for your car if you hit a pole.
If you only have basic liability insurance, the damage to your car won’t be covered. Liability coverage protects you if you’re at fault for a collision. So, liability insurance will pay for damage you cause to the pole or other properties, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
If your car’s insurance policy includes collision coverage, then your insurance will cover the cost to repair your car after you hit a pole.
So what option do you have?
For insurance to cover you when you hit a pole, you need to have at least collision insurance.
Collision insurance provides coverage for physical damage to your car caused by an accident that involves another vehicle or a stationary object.
The important thing to do is to talk to your insurance company or agent and inquire if your policy will cover the accident and up to how much. This will help you stop worrying, especially if insurance will cover all the costs.
Should I File A Claim After Hitting A Pole?
This depends on two things:
- The severity of the accident/incident
- The type of insurance you carry
If the incident doesn’t cause any extreme damage to your car or other properties, you can inform the police and leave it at that. But you have to tell your insurance company of the incident if someone else starts to claim any damage.
If there is severe damage, it’s important to find out what it would cost to fix the damage. If the cost is lower than your insurance deductible, there’s no need to file a claim.
If the cost to repair the damage exceeds your deductible, you can file a claim with your insurance company for compensation.
Will My Insurance Go Up If I Hit A Pole?
Like other accidents, if you file a claim after you hit a pole and it’s compensated, there is a chance that your premium rate will increase on the next insurance renewal. This is more likely because your car’s repair cost was high, and you also got cited for a moving violation, such as driving under the influence or speeding.
Insurance companies keep these records and use them to calculate your premium costs. But, the costs may reduce after some time as long as you don’t get involved in other moving violations or accidents.
If you hit a pole, you may cause damage to your car, the pole, and any other nearby property. Being at fault or traffic violation may earn you a ticket for hitting the pole. If your policy includes collision coverage, your insurance should pay for the cost to repair or replace your car. Also, your liability insurance should pay for the damage to the pole and other properties up to your policy’s limit.