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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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...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Nov 24, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • Car insurance companies typically do not cover rust damage because rust is normal wear and tear
  • Having comprehensive coverage on your vehicle will take care of damages if the rust is due to hurricanes, floods, or improper repair jobs
  • If a car accident leads to rust build-up, you should report any damages to your agent immediately

After an accident, it is possible for one of two things to happen. A car accident can lead to rust build-up, or the needed repairs can lead to rust build-up if the shop did the repairs wrong.

If you have rust build-up, you may be interested in getting your car fixed – with the hopes of your insurance company covering the cost. So, does car insurance cover rust damage?

Whether your insurer covers the costs or not, it’s important to get rust damage fixed as soon as you can.

If your rust damage causes your car to fall apart and leads to a car accident, you could be held responsible by the insurance company for the damages. It can be confusing, but we can help. Read on for everything you need to know about rust and insurance.

Find out if your car insurance will cover rust repair. Enter your ZIP code and get a free quote today.

Does insurance cover rust damage?

So, does auto insurance cover rust repair? Typically, car insurance companies will not cover rust damage because rust is considered normal wear and tear. The purpose of car insurance is to help protect against any unexpected damages, such as a car accident or theft.

There are only two situations when an insurance company will cover rust damage: an improper repair job and flood damage.

If you live in a coastal area, you should consider comprehensive coverage. As the Insurance Information Institute explains, comprehensive coverage helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged in an incident that is not a collision, and that can include flood damage.

If your rust damage is due to situations such as hurricanes or floods, insurance will cover you if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy.

The second situation is an improper repair job. If your car is in the shop and an improper installation leads to rust damage on your vehicle, your comprehensive coverage may cover the damage.

The only stipulation is that you have to prove that the rust damage took place after the repairs were complete. Of course, not all policies will include comprehensive coverage because all policies are not created equal.

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Can I file wear and tear insurance claim?

No. Wear-and-tear happens over time when you drive a vehicle, so a wear-and-tear insurance claim isn’t covered. Unfortunately, finding rust damage just about anywhere on the frame of your vehicle is considered normal wear-and-tear.

Insurance companies incorporate wear-and-tear exclusions into their policies to protect them from clients who do not properly maintain their vehicles.

Although insurance companies will not cover rust damage, you should immediately fix the damage. Leaving rust damage on the frame of your vehicle can lead to collapse.

Will insurance cover rust if a car accident leads to rust build-up?

So, what should you do after a car accident? First and foremost, if a car accident leads to rust build-up, then you should report any damages to your agent immediately.

if you have filed a claim and got your car repairs completed, then it is unlikely that the previously damaged area will not develop rust.

If the insurance company determines that you knew your vehicle was unsafe to drive and you caused an accident due to the condition of your vehicle, you could be held responsible.

Ways to Prevent Rust

There are six different ways you can prevent rust build-up on your car.

  1. After driving your car in the winter, always rinse it with water. This will remove any salt or other material that can cause rust damage.
  2. Wash the underbody of your car regularly.
  3. If at all possible, store your vehicle in a garage.
  4. Avoid driving through puddles.
  5. Maintain your paint.
  6. Repair bubbles or chips that you notice in your paint.

Will insurance cover a rusted frame? If your insurance company isn’t giving you coverage you need, enter your ZIP code and get a free quote today.