Does auto insurance cover falling asleep at the wheel?

Your car insurance will cover falling asleep at the wheel, but if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol there could be serious consequences. Causing an accident by falling asleep at the wheel can cause a drastic increase in your auto insurance rates. Liability and collision are the types of coverage that may cover damages caused by falling asleep at the wheel.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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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 insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Your car insurance might cover damages caused as the result of you falling asleep on the wheel.
  • You will need to have collision coverage in place.
  • Insurance won’t cover falling asleep at the wheel if you were inebriated.

While you should avoid driving a car if you’re especially tired, there may come a situation in which you fall asleep at the wheel and end up damaging your vehicle. In this situation, you might be wondering, does auto insurance cover falling asleep at the wheel?

Well, this can all depend on the situations surrounding the accident. For example, how bad were the damages to yours or someone else’s vehicle? Additionally, most car insurance companies will want to know why you were falling asleep at the wheel.

It’s worth noting that, while insurance may not always cover the damages to your vehicle, if you have proper liability insurance in place, then they will cover any damages made to another person’s car in the event of an at-fault accident.

More about liability insurance can be found in our article about understanding auto insurance.

In this piece, we go in-depth on the question: Does car insurance cover falling asleep at the wheel? To find great insurance, compare rates by using our comparison tool.

What type of insurance can cover falling asleep at the wheel?

Some form of liability insurance is included in every basic auto insurance policy and will cover damages made to another vehicle during an at-fault accident. That being said, unless you have collision coverage in place, then damages to your vehicle might not be covered.

Collision insurance is usually offered as an additional form of coverage that can cover damages made to your vehicle during a collision. This can include hitting a tree, a guard rail, or another vehicle.

Collision insurance is offered through most auto insurance companies, including GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and many more.

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What was your reason for falling asleep at the wheel?

Your reason for falling asleep at the wheel can greatly affect whether insurance will cover the damages or not. For example, if you fell asleep due to the influence of alcohol or other substances, then your insurance probably won’t pay for the damages.

If you fell asleep while under the influence, you could be in plenty of legal trouble as well. Not to mention the increase in your car insurance rates that a DUI can cause. For an example of how much your rates can go up, check out the chart below.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Driving Record SummaryAverage Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Clean Driving Record$260
With One Speeding Violation$306
With One Accident$342
With One DUI Conviction$410
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As you can see, falling asleep at the wheel can cause a future increase in car insurance rates, especially if it causes an accident.

Say you fell asleep because you were tired from work, or you were having trouble sleeping. Explain these situations to your insurer and they may help cover the damages.

What if I have narcolepsy?

Some people suffer from a disorder known as narcolepsy, which causes a tendency for the sufferer to feel extremely sleepy in certain situations. If you suffer from this disorder, then you may find yourself having to pay more in auto insurance rates.

That being said, it is important to make your auto insurance company aware of your narcolepsy or any other similar conditions. If you fail to inform your insurer about your narcolepsy and end up in an accident, then they may not provide coverage.

It is important to know your limits when it comes to your condition. If you think driving for a long period of time may cause you to fall asleep, then it is best to avoid it. Affordable car insurance will be near impossible to find if you have a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel.

What are the consequences of falling asleep at the wheel?

Probably the biggest consequence of falling asleep at the wheel is injuring yourself or someone else. Other than that, you may end up having to pay thousands of dollars in damages if insurance won’t cover your vehicle.

It’s worth noting that you likely won’t get your license suspended for falling asleep at the wheel, as long as it wasn’t caused by inebriation and isn’t a frequent occurrence.

Causing an accident while falling asleep at the wheel will also cause future car insurance quotes to be higher. That being said, a car insurance company may still cover you, even after falling asleep at the wheel.

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How can I avoid falling asleep at the wheel?

First and foremost, if you are feeling drowsy, then you should probably avoid driving, period. There are many other options you can use to get around when you’re tired, including rideshare programs, taxis, public transport, and more.

All this being said, if drowsiness suddenly hits you while you are driving, then it’s a good idea to pull over and get some rest. You may also want to pick up a cup of coffee or energy drink if those help you stay awake.

If you are going to be driving for an extended length of time, then it’s always a good idea to have someone with you who can take over driving duties when needed.

When looking to buy car insurance, make sure that you aren’t worried about ever falling asleep at the wheel.

Does auto insurance cover falling asleep at the wheel? The Bottom Line

Driving while tired is never a good idea. The Insurance Information Institute provided some recent statistics about accidents caused by drowsy driving. However, if you end up falling asleep at the wheel and damaging your car, there are options.

Liability coverage will cover any damages you caused to another car, while collision coverage can cover damages to your vehicle.

Does car insurance cover falling asleep at the wheel? It can if you have the right type of coverage. Compare rates from top insurance companies by entering your ZIP code in the quote box below.

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