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What coverage will cover my son flipping his car after a tire blowout?

Question: My 18-year-old son recently had a blowout of his tire and flipped his car. Luckily, no other cars were involved. We found out that his vehicle only has liability and uninsured motorist on it. Will our insurance pay for anything? If we had collision and comprehensive on our other vehicles, will that extend to his accident?

Answer: If your son’s car has only liability and uninsured motorist on it, then, unfortunately, it isn't covered for this incident. Your son’s car would need collision coverage on it to make a car insurance claim since that is what covers the upset (flipping) of your vehicle.

While other vehicles on your policy may have physical damages of collision and comprehensive, that doesn’t extend to your son’s vehicle. You didn’t pay for these coverages for your son’s vehicle, so he doesn’t get the benefits they offer such as being able to make a claim for the flipping of his vehicle.

You can only make an auto insurance claim for the coverages you have on the actual vehicle that was damaged, which means without collision coverage on his car you're left to pay for the damages from this single-car accident.

What his liability coverages do cover is those that he harms in an accident. So, if when your son’s car tire blew out he had damaged another person’s car, mailbox, etc., then his property damage liability coverage would have covered those claims. If he had injured a person, then his bodily injury liability would have covered any personal injury claims against him.

Uninsured motorist can be for bodily injury or property damage, or both.

When most people refer to uninsured motorist they mean uninsured motorist bodily injury. This coverage covers you if you are injured by an at-fault driver who was operating without auto insurance and thus can't cover your injuries.

Uninsured motorist property damage does cover your car but can be used only if someone is driving without insurance and damages your car. Neither uninsured motorist coverages would apply in the single-car accident.

We hope your son is doing okay after the crash. A blowout alone is scary enough, even without his car flipping. If your son was injured in this accident, you'd need to have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments for his injuries be covered. These car insurance coverages pay for injuries regardless of fault.

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