Does car insurance pay for paint jobs?

Whether or not a paint job is covered by insurance will depend on what kind of coverage you have and how the car was damaged. Here's how different car insurance policies might cover a new paint job.

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UPDATED: Jun 13, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 13, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know

  • Car insurance will pay for paint jobs through collision, liability, or comprehensive coverage
  • Auto insurance doesn’t cover paint jobs arising from normal wear and tear
  • How the car gets damaged will determine what type of insurance pays for the paint job expenses and whose coverage pays for it

Your car’s paint can get scratched or otherwise damaged in many different ways. Whether someone keys your car door, you have a minor fender bender, or a tree limb falls on your vehicle, the paintwork can get damaged. If it happens, you may wonder if your insurance will pay for a paint job. In many cases, it will. Read on to learn more.

When does car insurance pay for paint jobs?

Auto insurance covers many things, including liability for accidents, property damage or loss, and medical expenses arising from an accident. Usually, the part of car insurance that takes care of property damage (comprehensive and collision coverage) will apply to painting expenses. However, any paint jobs resulting from normal wear and tear are usually not covered.

If a peril you are covered for in your comprehensive or collision insurance occurs and it results in damage to your vehicle’s paintwork, car insurance will cover the paint job. However, if another party causes an accident, they will be liable for the damages. In that case, their liability car insurance coverage should pay for your car’s paint job.

When you file a car insurance claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate. The first thing you’ll need to prove is that your vehicle’s paintwork was compromised by the covered event and not wear and tear. If the adjuster is satisfied that the paint damage was due to a covered event, the insurance company will offer you compensation, which you can accept or dispute.

Does collision insurance pay for paint jobs?

Collision insurance provides coverage to your car if it gets into an accident or collides with another object.

For example, if you are driving and hit a guard rail or street light, your collision insurance covers the paint jobs required to fix the damage. Or say you hit a deep pothole, and your car flips over or hits another vehicle. Even in such a case, your collision insurance should pay for the paint job and any other damage.

Usually, your auto insurance company will reimburse you for the expenses you incur for repainting your vehicle. However, you are responsible for paying the car insurance deductible.

Does comprehensive insurance cover paint jobs?

Comprehensive car insurance applies to expenses resulting from anything other than a collision with another car or fixed object. For example, you may hit an animal while driving, your vehicle may get keyed, or a heavy rainstorm could cause a tree to fall and damage your vehicle.

If any of these covered hazards damage your car’s paintwork, your auto insurance company will likely pay for the paint job.

Does full coverage insurance pay for paint jobs?

Full coverage car insurance rates usually include collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance as part of the cost. Full coverage will likely cover vehicle paint jobs for other people if you are at fault or cover your own vehicle’s paint job if you were involved in a collision or other accident.

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Will the insurance company pay to paint the whole car?

Even if your paint damage covers the whole vehicle, the insurance company will pay for it if it’s due to a covered loss. 

It is also worth noting that your insurance company may decide to total the car and pay you for the market value of the vehicle. That usually happens when the insurer determines that the costs of fixing your vehicle don’t make financial sense. For example, when your vehicle has severe damage and requires more than a paint job, or it’s worth less than the paint job costs, your insurance company may total it. You can ask your insurance company to total your car if you feel that the cost to repair it is too high.

Ultimately, it depends on the value of your vehicle and the total cost of painting the whole car. Finding auto paint jobs for cheap isn’t always an easy task, but the cost will depend on a lot of factors. A full paint job can cost a few hundred dollars or even $10,000 or more, depending on the paint job quality and vehicle make and model.

Auto Insurance Can Cover Paint Jobs

Car insurance companies don’t pay for the wear and tear that affects a vehicle’s paint. However, your auto insurance company may pay for a paint job if your car is involved in an accident or gets its paintwork damaged while parked. What type of insurance caters to the expense of the paint job depends on who is at fault and what kind of coverage you have.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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