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

Does auto insurance cover if you hit a pole? If you hit a pole, collision insurance covers your vehicle damage, but you'll need other coverage for the pole and any injuries that were sustained during the accident. Get the details below.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • When you hit a pole, collision coverage can deal with damage to your vehicle
  • Liability coverage will pay for damage to the pole, but you’ll need medical payments or PIP coverage for any injuries
  • Consider your deductible before making a claim, and remember that future rates may increase

You’ll have a lot to think about if you’ve been unfortunate enough to crash into a pole when driving. While you will first want to take care of any injuries, you will soon need to figure out how to pay for the damages. In this case, does your insurance cover hitting a pole? And how do you file a claim? We’ve got answers for you in this article.

Does insurance cover hitting a pole?

If you have collision coverage on your car insurance policy, you can file a claim when you hit a pole. This type of coverage is usually voluntary, and you would need to choose whether to include it when you set up or renew your policy. Collision insurance will cover the physical damage to your vehicle whenever you have a crash with another car or object. 

Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need other coverage to take care of your liability for any damages to the pole or injuries to you or anyone in your car. Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) will cover any injuries, while liability auto insurance coverage will pay for damage to the pole.

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How much does it cost if you hit a telephone pole?

If your crash damaged a telephone pole, you would be responsible for any repairs to your vehicle or the pole. The cost to repair your vehicle will depend on the nature of the accident. After all, you might twist the chassis or damage the engine if the crash is serious.

If you hit a light pole, do you have to pay for it?

In most instances, a utility company or government department will own the pole, and they may look for compensation to help them put everything back to normal. Repair costs will vary according to the type of pole and the amount of damage, but the company’s maintenance or legal department will be able to give you the exact figure.

In this case, collision coverage won’t apply. However, you can file a liability claim with your insurance company up to the limits specified in your liability policy. Liability coverage will payout when you have a crash that causes damage to third-party property or, in this case, that telephone or light pole.

Do you need to report this to the police?

When you hit a pole, you should report the incident to the police as soon as possible. After all, a damaged pole may represent a safety hazard, especially if it transports a power line. You should also get a police report that you can file with your insurance claim. Besides, if you leave the scene without reporting the matter to the authorities, there is a risk that they could classify it as a hit-and-run.

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Will your insurance rates go up if you hit a pole?

Unfortunately, there is a chance that your insurance rates may increase when you file a claim for an accident like this. Insurers look at many factors when setting rates, including the number of claims and your driving record. If the police give you a citation for careless driving or a DUI due to this accident, that may also come into play.

Can I file a claim with my car insurance if I hit a pole?

If you hit a pole while driving, get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. That way they can open a claim, review the details, and determine whether your coverage will apply.

With collision coverage, you will usually have a deductible that you’ll need to weigh against the cost of repairs. In some instances, the repair costs may not be much more than the value of the deductible. Knowing what your auto insurance deductible is beforehand can help alleviate some of the stress since you’ll know what you can afford. In this case, you may decide not to file a claim for repairs to your car — especially if this might increase future rates. 

Your collision coverage will also have an upper limit, which is the maximum amount that the policy will pay toward repairing your car. So, if the accident is sizable and the repair estimate is more than the value of the car, the insurance company may total it and send you a check for the vehicle’s value instead.

The Bottom Line: If you hit a pole, does insurance cover it?

If you have collision coverage as part of your policy, you can lodge a claim for repairs to your vehicle. Your state-mandated liability coverage will pay for the damage to the pole, and you’ll also need medical payments or personal injury coverage for any injuries to you or others in the car. Remember to consider your deductible and any potential impact on your future rates before you file a claim.

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