Does auto insurance cover damages caused by falling asleep while driving?

by Allie
(Bandera, TX)

I was driving to work early in the am and fell asleep at the wheel. Thank god I didn't hit anyone, but I did run the car off the road and hit a tree. My vehicle is severely damaged and unable to be driven. No citation was issued.

My questions are, will my full coverage insurance in Texas cover the damages? What do to I tell insurance company to file the claim? Thank you for any information you can provide about how this situation is normally handled.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Does auto insurance cover damages caused by falling asleep while driving?":

Allie (Bandera, TX):

Whether or not your Texas insurance will cover the damage to your car is wholly dependent on the type of car insurance you carried at the time of the crash.

Property Damage Coverage

You cannot file a claim under the property damage portion of your insurance. Your property damage only covers damage you inflict on someone else's property, and not your own. Property insurance is mandatory in Texas. Each driver in Texas must carry a minimum of $25,000 in property insurance.

Comprehensive Coverage

You also can't file a claim under the comprehensive portion of your insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car from events other than collisions. In most cases, comprehensive insurance covers the following:

- Theft
- Vandalism
- Glass damage (such as a broken windshield)
- Damage sustained from hitting an animal or bird
- Damage from falling objects or missiles
- Fire
- Floodwaters
- Damage sustained due to severe weather or natural disaster -- such as wind storm, hail, hurricane, tornado, etc.

Comprehensive insurance is not required of Texas drivers.

Collision Coverage

To be covered for your crash into the tree would require you to have been carrying Collision Coverage at the time of the crash. Collision insurance covers your car for physical damage your sustained when it hits, or is hit by, another car or object.

Your collision coverage permits you to file a first party claim with your own car insurance company and have it pay to you that amount you are insured for, minus your deductible.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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