Question:  Will insurance cover the damage if you hit an object on the road?  

Answer: Car insurance does cover the damage if you hit a road hazard and it damages your car.

In the auto insurance industry, a road hazard can be anything in or on the surface of the road that’s dangerous to you as a driver and could cause you to have an accident.  

That could be a pothole, a nail, oil, a tree, construction debris or any other object you might hit or hit your car.

Car insurance companies want you to be a safe, defensive driver who is observant and on the lookout for dangers on the roadway that may cause damage to your vehicle and avoid these perils if possible. However, it’s not always possible to avoid a road hazard.

Car insurance will cover damage to your vehicle from striking something on the road, as long as you have the right coverage and it is over your deductible. Depending on the situation, it may be covered by either collision or comprehensive.

Is road debris damage a collision or comprehensive claim?

Whether a road hazard accident will fall under your collision or comprehensive coverage depends on how the incident occurred.

If you hit a fallen tree or big rock in the road, it’s a collision insurance claim because you collided with the object. However, if the tree fell on your vehicle or a boulder rolled onto the hood of your vehicle, then it’s a comprehensive insurance claim. The difference is whether you hit the object or it hits you.

Whatever the damage, if the cost of repairs is minimal, it might not be worth filing a claim with your auto insurance provider, either because it doesn’t reach your deductible amount or is barely above it.

It might be better to pay out-of-pocket for minor repairs and leave car insurance claims for expensive damage you can’t afford to fix on your own.

While comprehensive claims don’t typically raise your rates, collision claims often do. Either type of claim may result in a surcharge if you have accumulated several claims of any kind within a short period.

Outside the insurance industry, you may also hear the term road hazard regarding coverage you can obtain when purchasing new tires. This isn’t part of an auto insurance policy but a warranty with an outside company that will repair or replace your tires if they receive certain damages caused by objects in or on the roadway. The cost of a road hazard warranty varies, but typically it will cost you around $10 to $20 per tire for the coverage.

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Contributing Writer

Prachi is an insurance writer with a master’s degree in business administration. Through her writing, she hopes to help readers make smart and informed decisions about their finances. She loves to travel and write poetry.