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...

Full Bio →

Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Just the Basics

  • If you have comprehensive coverage, your car is protected from road debris, as well as other bad weather and vandalism
  • If you have liability-only, you’ll be on the hook for repairing any debris damage to your vehicle out-of-pocket
  • Obtain information about the person who dropped the debris, including their license and insurance information, if possible

Road debris is one of the dangers of the road that every driver faces at one point or another. Even the most cautious drivers will eventually come across something on the road that shouldn’t be there.

Road debris is one of the most common causes of accidents. Road debris includes construction materials, furniture, broken car parts, and anything else that becomes loose during transit.

If you can’t avoid coming across road debris, you can prepare for the worst with the right insurance. While not every type of insurance will protect you against road debris, you can find a policy that does.

So, does car insurance cover road debris? While it does, you should shop around to find the best quotes. If you’re ready to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to get started.

Does car insurance cover road debris?

AAA found that road debris is responsible for over 50,000 car accidents every year. Those are just the accidents reported to the police — the number of collisions with road debris is much higher.

Whether your car insurance will cover damage caused by road debris depends on your policy.

For example, comprehensive insurance covers you if you hit road debris. On the other hand, if you have liability-only, you’ll be responsible for any damage done to your car.

If you have comprehensive coverage, you should evaluate the damage done before you file a claim. If the damage is minor, such as a small ding or dent, it might be better to leave it unreported.

Comprehensive claims (or claims for things like road debris, bad weather, or vandalism) don’t make your car insurance rates go up as much as driving-related claims will, but it still affects your rate.

However, if your car has moderate or severe damage, you should report the incident. This includes scratches in your paint, which can lead to rusting. If you think your car is damaged, have it inspected.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What’s the difference between comprehensive, collision and liability coverage?

  • Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle from other events, such as fire, glass damage, theft and animal collisions
  • Collision coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle from accidents related to driving, no matter who’s at fault.
  • Liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s expenses if you cause an accident.

Who is responsible for road debris damage?

Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to find the person who is responsible for road debris.

If you see something fall off a truck or car and get its license plate, you might be able to claim them as the responsible party for damage caused to your car. Even better, work trucks sometimes realize they’ve lost something and pull over, giving you the chance to collect their insurance information.

However, the most common situation for road debris is that you’ll have to go to your own insurance.

What should you do if your car is damaged by road debris?

If your car is damaged by road debris, and you know that you will need repairs, the best information you can get is the responsible person’s information. Since that’s not always possible, you should do the following:

  • Pull over somewhere safe. If anyone pulls over to help, ask if they saw anything and get their information if they did. They might act as a witness for you later.
  • File a police report. If the damage is intensive enough that you want to make a claim, or if anyone in the car was injured, you should get the police involved, so there will be a permanent record.
  • Contact your insurance agent. If you require advice or have questions about what information you need after an auto accident, your agent can tell you everything you need to know.

After you have the information you need, you can go about your day as long as your car is safe to drive. If it’s not, take your car to your favorite mechanic.

You don’t need to do it right away, but you should file your claim as soon as possible. The sooner you get your claim started, the sooner you’ll get the money you require for repairs.

If you’re worried about potential incidents involving road debris, you can invest in a dashcam. Drivers use dashcams all over the world to provide video evidence of what they experience on the road.

If you hit something, a dashcam can help figure out who pays for road debris damage.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Get Insurance to Protect Your Car From Road Debris

It’s an unfortunate truth of driving — you’ll eventually see something in the road that’s not supposed to be there. If you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll be protected from paying the total cost of repairs for damage done by road debris.

The Bottom Line

When you’re buying insurance–or upping your coverage–you’ll want to pay specific attention to the types of physical damage coverage the policy offers.

Comprehensive physical damage coverage usually pays for damages from non-vehicle-related causes, like hitting a deer, a falling tree limb hitting your car, road debris damage, or even random vandalism.

If you find yourself worrying, “Does car insurance cover road debris?” you should consider comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive car insurance can be expensive, so it’s best to shop around for quotes. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you.