It’s the kind of accident that doesn’t seem possible. Still, it happens more often than you might think. Brakes suddenly fail. Heavy rain causes a skid. Whatever the reason, a car ran into your house.
Everyone is OK, but what do you do next? How do you deal with a car crash that damages your Chicago home? These 10 steps outline your best course of action for handling this type of property disaster.
What to Do When a Car Hits Your Home: 10 Essential Steps
The first few minutes after any accident are critical. You need to make the right decisions quickly. When a car crashes into your home, it’s hard to think straight.
Start by making sure everyone is safe, including those in the house and the driver outside. Immediately follow up with these 10 steps to address the collision and the damage to your home.
1. Report the Accident
Contact authorities right away, and explain that a car damaged your property. Stay calm. Be ready to answer questions, provide contact information and wait at the scene if necessary.
2. Exchange Information
Exchange as much information as possible with the driver, including details about insurance carriers and coverage. Be sure to get the vehicle model and license plate number.
3. Request Report Copies
Ask responding personnel for copies of the accident report. If they can’t provide one while on the scene, find out how you can obtain a copy for your records.
4. Call Your Insurer
Call your insurance company as soon as possible, and explain how your home was damaged by a car. Ask your agent to recommend an emergency restoration contractor. If you are in the Chicagoland area, reach out to us for help: 312-707-8597
5. Take Pictures and Videos
Immediately after the collision, take still shots and videos of the damage. Once the vehicle has been removed, follow up with more pictures and videos.
6. Secure the House
A car plowing into your home leaves it open to the weather and vandalism. Start the repair process by calling your restoration contractor to board up the house.
7. Leave Things Alone
Don’t do more than emergency cleanup and repairs before the insurance adjuster’s inspection. You want him or her to see the full extent of damages, including items that can’t be salvaged.
8. Don’t Contact the Driver
Let your insurance company deal with the driver who crashed into your house. Reaching a settlement for property damages belongs in the hands of your insurer.
9. Keep Detailed Records
Track communication with the insurance company, adjuster and your restoration contractor. Detail as much information as possible, including dates and names.
10. Be Patient With the Process
Understand that both the insurance company and restoration teams are moving as quickly as possible. It takes time to finalize the settlement and complete extensive repairs, so be patient.
How Insurance Coverage Works
In most cases, a homeowner can expect a car accident property damage settlement from the driver’s insurer. Auto policies usually cover different types of property damage claims, including collision with a residential structure.
If a driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover repairs and restoration, your homeowners policy should make up the difference. Standard policies protect against vehicular damage. Check with your insurance company to be sure.
Who to Call to Fix the Damage
Very few homeowners are prepared to address the damages caused by this kind of accident. When you tell your insurance agent that someone hit your house with a car, ask him or her to recommend an experienced restoration contractor who specializes in emergency situations.
This ensures your access to industry-certified technicians who know how to repair all types of property damage after a car accident. In general, the restoration process follows these steps.
- Immediate response and board-up services
- On-site assessment and action plan development
- Property damage cleanup and preparation for repairs
- Rebuilding and final restoration to pre-loss condition
- Knowledgeable assistance with navigating insurance claims
Has a Car Damaged Your Home in Chicago? We Can Help
Property damage can seem overwhelming, especially when it’s the result of a sudden accident. No one is ever prepared for a car crashing into the house.
Here at ServiceMaster by Lake Shore, we handle all types of emergency repairs and restoration for Chicagoland homeowners. We take care of commercial properties too. You can count on us for everything from board-up services to complete property restoration.
We’re standing by ready for your call: 312-707-8597