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, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Getting road debris damage covered by your insurance company depends on your policy and its inclusions and exclusions
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage may cover road debris damage
  • If you need comprehensive insurance coverage, you can use a comparison tool to quickly find the policy you need

If you have car insurance, you may be wondering if it covers damage to your car that is caused by road debris. Your car insurance company may approve a claim for road debris if you have comprehensive coverage included in your policy.

If you only have liability coverage or collision coverage, you may not be covered. To get an auto insurance policy that covers road debris, you can use a comparison tool to find a new policy. Enter your zip code above to compare today!

What is road debris?

Road debris is anything on the road that isn’t a part of the road. Common hazards include rocks, potholes, tree branches, boards and construction debris. Road hazard can also be items that fall off a truck or semi.

A road hazard is any object that is unknowingly or deliberately left on the road. Such things include car parts from accidents or breakdowns (metal or shredded tire). Improperly secured cargo that falls off a moving truck can also be considered road debris.

Road debris can be extremely dangerous, resulting in damage to vehicle and injuries or even death to the occupants of those vehicles.

In fact, according to GAO, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 440 fatalities were caused by road debris from non-commercial vehicles carrying unsecured loads in 2010, which is the most recent information available.

  • Damage to the vehicle, including paint, windshield and tire damage.
  • Road debris can break through car windows and cause injuries and even death to passengers.
  • Drivers are distracted when they hit road debris, which may result in erratic driving and even car accidents.

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What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers damage that is not related to a car accident or collision. This type of car insurance typically covers the following:

  • car fires
  • theft of the vehicle
  • certain types of weather damage
  • damage caused by animals
  • car damage caused by falling or flying objects

The specifics of the coverage will depend on the inclusions and exclusions of your specific comprehensive policy.

A deductible is an amount you must pay before any work is performed on your vehicle after you file a claim and that claim is approved. In practice, the car repair shop often provides the insurance company with an estimate for the work.

Once your car is fixed, you will pay your deductible. The auto repair shop will turn in the rest of the bill to your car insurance company in order to receive the reimbursement.

Comprehensive coverage may or may not have a deductible. Standard deductibles can range from $0 to more than $1,000. If you do not know your deductible amount, you should call your insurance company.

If your deductible is too high, you can always ask your company to lower it. If they refuse to lower your deductible amount, you can shop for a new policy with a more affordable deductible by using a comparison tool.

How do I file a claim for road debris damage?

Insurance companies handle such claims differently compared to typical car accidents. A road debris accident is considered an avoidable accident and most often the at-fault driver’s car insurance pays for property damage and injury claims resulting from the accident.

In this case, collision insurance will cover an accident if the driver drove over or into an object on the road. However, an unavoidable accident including flying debris is considered a comprehensive claim.

Filing a claim for road debris damage is similar to filing a claim after a car accident.

  • Report the Damage – As soon as you notice the damage, you should call your car insurance company to file a claim. The insurance representative will ask you to describe how the damage occurred and a description of the damage. They will also want pictures of the damage to your car.
  • Police Reports – If the damage was so severe that you had to pull off to the side of the road or you hit another vehicle and had to call the police, your insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report. Once the insurance company has all the information, they will process your claim and make a determination.
  • Claims Approval – If your claim is approved, your insurance company will notify you, and they may recommend a repair shop. Once the damage is repaired, you will pay any applicable deductibles, and your insurance company will pay the rest of the repair bill.
  • Claims Denial – If your claim for road debris damage was denied, you can file an appeal with your insurance company.

How do I get comprehensive coverage that covers road debris?

If you need an auto insurance policy that covers road debris, you can use a car insurance comparison tool. These tools take your information and your specified car insurance needs and compare them to all the available policies in your area, regardless of company.

Once you receive the results, you can read through the policy and purchase one directly online. Enter your zip code below to compare today!