Does car insurance cover hitting a pole?

Collision coverage is generally what you need in your car insurance policy to cover hitting a pole. Average rates for collision coverage in 2015 were $322.61.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • There are many ways to hit a pole in an accident
  • Basic auto insurance often doesn’t cover hitting a pole
  • You should have collision coverage to take care of getting into an accident with non-moving objects

When something happens on the road or in the car, you expect insurance to pay for it. If you hit a pole, your car could receive damage and you may face injuries. This risk means you want to have the proper coverage in place to avoid paying out-of-pocket.

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Scenarios Vary

Shopping for car insurance should involve determining all of the ways things could go wrong. The more coverage you have, the easier it is to drive with peace of mind. If you are on the road and hit a pole, you need to have coverage so you can file a claim.

You might look at hitting a pole as something that’s simply not possible. After all, how could you possibly hit a telephone pole or any other pole while driving down the road? The reality is that it happens all the time and in every state.

Some of the reasons you might hit a pole include:

  • Hitting an ice patch
  • Avoiding a collision with another car
  • Driving under the influence

It doesn’t matter why you hit the pole. If you experience damages, you want to know that you’re able to file a claim.

Even with a DUI, an insurance company will pay for the damages if you have sufficient coverage. However, you might face penalties and that’s because driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal.


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Why Claims Could Be Denied

The most common reason claims are denied is because of insufficient coverage. You don’t want to run into this kind of situation.

After all, you pay premiums to ensure that when something goes wrong, it’s the insurance company paying to make the repairs and pay the medical bills, not you.

If you have a basic car insurance policy, insurance companies will often deny your claim. This is because your policy will only cover:

Any damages to your vehicle and any medical bills could then be your financial responsibility. Is this something you can afford?

The claim might be denied because you waited too long, too. While you might not want to admit that you hit a pole (even if it’s just outside of your own home), insurance companies have limitations for filing claims.

The best thing for you to do is call the moment it has happened. This will ensure that you know what needs to be done in order to move your claim forward.

Familiarize yourself with what’s involved with filing insurance claims from the beginning. This way, if there is an issue, you will know what you need to do with the insurance company you are insured with.

Getting Collision Coverage


Collision coverage is generally what you need in your car insurance policy to cover hitting a pole. It doesn’t matter what kind of pole it is. Whether it’s a light post, a telephone pole, or anything else, it would be covered under collision coverage.

You won’t get collision (or comprehensive) coverage with a basic insurance policy. The only time it would be required for you to have is if a lienholder decides to make it mandatory.

They will also tell you what the minimum liability limits you need to have in place on your policy, too.

Collision coverage is what will cover any non-vehicle related collision. If you collide with anything while behind the wheel of your car, collision coverage is what will provide you with the financial protection. This coverage would pay not only for hitting a pole but also:

  • guard rails
  • mailboxes
  • any other stationary item

Adding collision coverage is often not a significant cost. When you get online quotes, you can add on the coverage and see the prices from multiple companies. This will make it easier for you to get an affordable quote while ensuring you have plenty of coverage.

Even if you have the latest safety technologies designed to help avoid a collision, you need the financial protection with a car insurance policy.

Hitting a pole is never something you plan on. However, car insurance is in place to cover you against the unexpected.

To ensure that a car insurance company accepts your claim, you need more than basic insurance.

Instead, look at adding collision coverage so you’re protected against damages that could occur if you hit any object other than another car.

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