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Damaged City Property With Your Car? It Will Cost You.

A totaled car that crashed into public property to illustrate what to do when you damaged city property with your car and what it will cost you

In an accident, you know what information to get from the other driver and how to handle an auto insurance claim. However, what happens when you end up damaging city property, or get hit by another driver and damage city property?

Increasingly, cities have been cracking down on city property damage; they will find and fine you for the cost of replacing the property including labor costs. Do you know if your auto insurance policy covers city property damage in a collision? If you live in any state except New Hampshire, it’s likely that your auto insurance policy does cover property damage. Every state, except New Hampshire, has made it a requirement to have property damage liability insurance included in your insurance coverage.

California requires a minimum of $5,000 for property damage liability coverage.

So, the next question is, “What will it cost for damaging city property?” Many cities will send you a bill for the cost of the property itself along with any labor costs, overtime, and/or any costs of engineering. Your next step would be to give the city your insurance information and make a claim. You’ll want to be sure of how much will be covered by your insurance because costs could reach up to $100,000, depending on what property you damaged. Below are a few previously recorded costs of city property damages in California:

Traffic Signal

A traffic signal costs about $3,000 to replace. However, California Department of Transportation stated that the replacement cost could be up to $100,000 if you damage the traffic signals overhead.

Fire Hydrant

The fine for damaging a fire hydrant is approximately $1,000. However, some cities may also tack on the cost of wasted water if you hit a hydrant and water bursts.

Stop Sign

It’s about $511 to fully replace a stop sign. The sign itself is approximately $50, but the cost of city workers laboring to install the sign could run you $70-$90 per hour in Concord, CA.

Parking Meter

It costs approximately $700 to get an undamaged meter to replace the one that was damaged. Again, city workers’ labor costs and replacement of the property will be billed for damaging a parking meter.

Guard rail

A guard rails costs bout $889 to replace. The guardrail itself is only $50, but equipment and labor will bring the cost up.

USPS Mail Box

Your insurance claim will be about $750 to replace a damaged blue mailbox. The U.S. Postal Service has removed about half of them over the last decade.

Concrete Barrier

Depending on where in California, the estimate for replacing a concrete barrier is $42 to $130 per linear foot. You’ll be paying an average of $414 for a 6-foot damaged section of concrete barrier.

If you’re wondering if your auto insurance premium will go up, the answer is yes, it will most likely increase when you damage city property. As always, it is best to practice safe driving and if you find yourself uncertain in this situation, contact your insurer for the next steps.

Did you know that Freeway Insurance offers low-cost car insurance to high-risk drivers? Whether you’ve had tickets, an accident, or a DUI, Freeway can get you insured. Request a free car insurance quote online or over the phone at 800-777-5620.

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