Does Car Insurance Cover Damage Done By a Shopping Cart?

So a shopping cart hit your parked car. There’s visible damage, and you don’t know what to do. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not car insurance covers damage from a shopping cart.

In Almost All Cases, Shopping Cart Damage is Covered Under Comprehensive Insurance

If you have comprehensive 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 cart car insurance

Fortunately, comprehensive coverage is designed to cover situations like this. Specifically, comprehensive insurance covers damages caused by unknown people, falling or uncontrolled objects, theft, natural disasters, and other situations.

If someone keyed your car, for example, then comprehensive insurance would cover it. A shopping cart collision is treated the same way as if a tree branch fell on your car.

However, before you file an insurance claim, there are some things to consider.

Filing an Insurance Claim Isn’t Always 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 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.

Avoiding Insurance Today Can Save You Money in the Long Run

If you avoid filing an insurance claim for your shopping cart incident, then 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 comprehensive insurance is a type of liability claim where 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.

In Most States, the Retailer Isn’t Responsible for Shopping Cart Damages

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 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.


Ultimately, shopping cart incidents are typically covered under comprehensive insurance – regardless of whether someone let the shopping cart hit your car, the wind blew it into your car, or some other incident took place. It’s treated as a similar incident to a tree falling on your car, or hitting a wild animal. If you have comprehensive insurance, your damages will be covered.

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.


  Comments: 3

  1. The wind rolled the two shopping carts down an incline into my truck. Doesn’t the fact that the store did not have a shopping corral at all factor into the accident. Should they not be required by law to do so. the carts were stored in front of the store on the sidewalk with no protection to keep them from rolling down the hill

    • I had a similar situation the cart rolled off on my car from the little sheds they keep in the parking lot. I talked to Home Depot they said they will fill in a claim and insurance will contact me but they never asked for my insurance

    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi Mario,
      Yes, the store’s insurance should pay for your damages. I’m not sure if they are required by law to have shopping cart corrals, but regardless, their commercial insurance should pay for the damages to your car.

      Abdul, they wouldn’t need to ask for your insurance. They would simply file it under their own insurance, who would contact you and pay you. It might take awhile for this to happen, but you should follow up within a few weeks if you haven’t heard anything.

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