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Will my car insurance cover me if I hit a pole?

If you have comprehensive car insurance, most likely.

Comprehensive car insurance covers accidental damage to your car and in most cases this would include hitting a pole. Each car insurance policy includes a list of exclusions — such as cover being void if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs — so as long as none of these apply to your circumstance, you'll likely be covered.

If you only have a third party fire & theft or third party property damage policy, then you won't be covered for damage to your own car if you hit a pole.

Am I covered for damage to the pole?

It depends on who the pole belongs to and the exact circumstances of the crash but yes, you should be covered. Even the lowest level of third party property damage car insurance protects you from costs arising from damages you've caused — this is called third party liability.

What do I do after hitting a pole?

Assess the situation. If there's any danger caused by hitting the pole then it's best to contact the relevant emergency services.
Gather information. Make a record of anything you'll need to report back to your insurer. This includes noting down the time, date and location of the incident. It's best to take photos too.
Decide if it's safe to leave. Think about if your car requires towing or if it's safe for you drive home. Also consider if the damaged pole is creating a dangerous situation before leaving.

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