Will Car Insurance Cover Rust Damage to Your Vehicle
Rust can be very damaging to vehicles. It is not uncommon, even today with new technology built into vehicles. If you have a vehicle with rust damage, it’s best to have it repaired. Not doing so could mean the value of the car might drop. You might also face safety risks behind the wheel. Will your auto insurance help cover the costs? The most common answer is no. Here’s why.
There are very few situations where you can prove that the rust damage on your car is from an accident or an unavoidable accident. Generally speaking, rust is due to normal wear and tear on the car. This type of damage generally has no coverage under a standard auto insurance policy.
Neither collision nor comprehensive auto insurance covers any type of normal maintenance on the car. They also do not apply to traditional wear and tear. It does not cover mechanical failures either. These are the type of expected costs that most vehicle owners need to plan for.
Now, if your car suffered damage from an accident, your auto insurance company would help cover the damage to repair the vehicle.
For example, your fender has damage from colliding with your garage door. You have collision insurance. It pays for the repairs to the fender. Therefore, rust on the damaged fender will also be taken care of.
If the rust is the damage, though, due to exposure from the elements, chances are good your insurer will not provide you with any additional protection.
The problem with this is twofold.
First, you have to report any type of damage to your agent right away. Delays in doing so can mean the agency will deny the claim. Most often, rust will take time to develop on the surface where the damage occurred. Taking care of the damage early can therefore help prevent rust buildup.
Second, if you did file a claim for the car accident, and did get the repairs done, it is unlikely that the area would suffer rust development. If it does, this may mean the repair technician did a poor job. If you failed to get the repair taken care of, even after filing a claim, that is also usually not the responsibility of the insurer.
Your car warranty may offer some coverage for rust development. While your car insurance policy generally does not offer help here, it is best to still get these repairs taken care of to ensure you protect the value of the car.