A Car Crashed in to My House – Who Pays?

The Headline at CBC news Ottawa reads, SUV narrowly misses man — in his living room.

Picture it in your mind….. You are sitting on your couch watching the news. Maybe your mind is on the story you are watching on the television, or maybe you are thinking about the family dinner you are starting to plan for the Easter Weekend. Should you do turkey, ham or….SMASH, CRASH, BOOM!!! It is a scary thought. As I was reviewing related tweets in the following days, I started to see the question asked….

“I wonder who pays for the damage to the house – the Insurance Company for the person driving the car, or the insurance company of the person watching the news on his couch?”

Great question… but you should have asked The Insurance Expert!

No doubt, in this scenario, there will be lots of damage that needs to be fixed, so who is on the hook? Mandy Ledain at Rhodes & Williams Insurance Brokers explains, “In Ontario, we have what is referred to as a “No-Fault” insurance system. Very often this is misinterpreted because, at least in the case of a car accident, there is always fault put somewhere from an insurance perspective,” say Ledain. “What no-fault insurance really means is that you claim from your own insurance company, and let the insurance companies figure out who is to blame.”

So in general terms, if a car crashes into someone’s house while they are minding their own business watching the news, they would call their own house insurance broker. The person driving the car would call their car insurance broker. That is really what these poor people impacted by the accident mostly care about. In the background, the house insurance company may subrogate against the other insurance company (“Subrogate” is a fancy word meaning basically the legal right held by most insurance companies to legally pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss, to recover the costs of the insured loss – in this case, that would be the driver of the vehicle or their insurance company. )

Hopefully that sheds some light on the question in many people’s minds.