Does auto insurance cover damage done by a shopping cart?

Auto insurance will cover damage done by a shopping cart if you have full coverage. Insurance covers shopping cart damage the same way as a hit and run accident where there is no other driver to take financial responsibility, which is generally with collision coverage. Since you will have to pay your deductible, filing a claim with auto insurance for shopping cart damage may not be worthwhile.

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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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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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 Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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So a shopping cart hit your parked car. There’s visible damage, and you don’t know what to do. Does auto insurance cover damage done by a shopping cart? Understanding auto insurance and how it works in these situations can be confusing. We’re here to help.

The good news is that auto insurance does cover you in this case, as long as you have the right coverage. Shopping cart damage is usually covered by collision coverage, which is one of the main parts of a full coverage policy.

If you’re looking to buy auto insurance that covers damage done by a shopping cart, compare rates today. Enter your ZIP code to start now.

What auto insurance coverage pays for shopping cart damage?

If you have collision insurance, then any damage caused by a shopping cart will likely be covered.

Shopping cart damage might seem like a complicated issue, but it’s not as complicated as people think. Typically, the store cannot be held responsible for how its shopping carts were handled by customers. In many cases, the person who damaged your vehicle with the shopping cart has already disappeared.

Fortunately, physical damage coverage is designed to cover situations like this. Although you may think of collision as coverage only for accidents involving another car, collision actually covers any damage done when your car hits or is hit by a car or any other object.

A shopping cart collision is treated much the same way as a hit and run accident. There’s no other driver to be held liable, so your own insurance kicks in.

There are some situations where you might be able to have shopping cart damage covered by your comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive covers vandalism and weather-related damage, so if the shopping cart damage was caused by, say, an angry person striking your car on purpose. it might qualify. You’d need evidence of this, however.

Before you file any insurance claim, there are some things to consider.

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Is filing a claim for shopping cart damage worth it?

Unless someone threw a shopping cart through your windshield, it’s unlikely that a shopping cart did major, devastating damage to your vehicle.

Sure, you could file an insurance claim. However, in many cases, the damage to your vehicle isn’t extensive, which means the auto insurance deductible for your insurance claim will be higher than your repair cost. In that situation, it’s in your best interest to pay the repair bill out of pocket. Save your insurance claim for a more expensive event – like a collision with another vehicle.

When considering whether or not to file a claim for your shopping cart incident, bear in mind that you’re saving more than just your deductible: you can also save a considerable amount of money off the long-term cost of insurance.

That’s because with this type of claim there’s no named individual at fault. It involves a liable loss, which means the claim counts against you both with your current insurer and with any future insurers (it will show up in a vehicle report called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriters Exchange report, or CLUE report).

This report shows a list of liability claims you have filed over the past 7 years. Insurance companies use this report to determine your rates. It could even be the difference between deciding whether or not you’re insurable at all.

Ultimately, all of this adds up to a simple conclusion: it’s rarely in your best interest to file an insurance claim over a small incident. Avoiding insurance is almost always your best long-term financial option – and yes, I realize it’s frustrating to pay for shopping cart damage repairs out of pocket.

Is the retailer responsible for shopping cart damage?

If you watched someone grab a shopping cart and ram it full speed into your vehicle intentionally, then you might have a case for a lawsuit related to property damage.

However, unless you live in a city surrounded by evil people, this typically doesn’t happen. In most cases, a customer left the shopping cart in the parking lot, and that cart rolled down an incline or was blown by the wind to hit your vehicle.

In these situations, you might be tempted to hold the property owner accountable – say, the store or business at which you were parked. Unfortunately for you, most states have laws preventing the retailer, mall owner, government agency, or any business from behind held accountable for the damage done by shopping carts.

Why aren’t businesses responsible? Well, the business didn’t hit your car: a customer did. Businesses can argue that they provided a place where customers could safely store their shopping carts. It’s not their fault if customers refuse to use those places.

That being said, we’ve seen reports online of some businesses fixing parking lot vehicle damage as a courtesy.

Does auto insurance cover shopping cart damage? The Bottom Line

Ultimately, shopping cart incidents are typically covered under collision insurance – regardless of whether someone let the shopping cart hit your car, it rolled into your car, or some other incident took place. It’s a collision without another party to take responsibility, and your collision coverage will pay for the damage. In some cases, it may be considered a comprehensive claim.

However, it’s not always in your best interest to file an insurance claim. The damage to your vehicle is typically minor. It may cost less to repair your vehicle than you’d pay on your deductible. For that reason, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of filing a claim. In most cases, paying out of pocket is the best option for minor damages.

To compare rates on auto insurance policies that cover shopping cart damage, enter your ZIP code now.

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