Does auto insurance cover rust damage?

Auto insurance doesn't not cover rust damage in most cases. Even full coverage doesn't cover wear and tear, and most rust falls in that category. Rust repair can cost $2,000 or more, and rust is not covered under a car warranty unless it's caused by a defect. Car insurance may cover rust repair if it's related to damage from a covered claim, but it's rare.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2021

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Auto Insurance and Rust Coverage Summary
Auto Insurance Rust FactsSource
Insurers can deduct for any rust on your vehicle before the loss of the vehicle
These deductions are limited to the amount you allowed your vehicle's value to depreciate.
If the vehicle is one to two years old - $600 deduction
If the vehicle is five through seven years old - $300 deduction
If the vehicle is over seven years old - $150 deduction
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Does auto insurance cover rust damage? Rust is most often caused over a period of time by exposure to elements and to salt used on roads in the winter for de-icing. Since it’s considered wear and tear and happens over time, rust is usually not covered by auto insurance.

There may be rare situations where rust is covered by insurance. We’ll go over the details, so read on.

We understand that finding the right insurer can be a bit of a hassle. We’ll help you understand how to buy auto insurance that meets your needs. Although it’s not likely you will find auto insurance that covers rust damage, you can save on your policy today. Just type in your ZIP code into our tool above to find reasonable rates in your area.

Does auto insurance cover rust or rust damage?

Like many other people, you may be wondering if auto insurance covers rust or rust damage. Unfortunately, not usually. Even if you live in one of the worst states for fatal rain crashes, rust from frequent rainfall won’t be covered (although flood damage will be covered under comprehensive insurance).

As mentioned above, rust is considered wear and tear on your car. Car insurance is meant to protect you against sudden, unexpected damage, and since rust doesn’t happen suddenly and is not usually the result of negligent actions by others, it’s not covered by auto insurance.

The best way to protect yourself from rust is to take steps to prevent it in the first place. Let’s look at the options for getting rust repaired.


Is rust covered under a car warranty?

Usually no, but your warranty may help you if the rust has completely eaten through the metal. You would likely have to prove that a defect in the metal or paint resulted in the rust. Warranties are designed to protect you from failures in the manufacturing process that cause systems to malfunction.

In the case of rust, it is usually difficult to show malfunction, and you may need an expert to look at the damage and determine it was the result of a defect.

Does auto insurance cover rust repair?

Although it is unlikely, rust can sometimes be caused by an accident or some other incident that is covered under your policy. In this case, comprehensive coverage would help you.

Each company’s policies are different. Regardless of the coverage, you should have rust taken care of quickly. Some companies will not want to offer full coverage insurance on a car that has a lot of rust. Here’s why.

Extreme rust makes your vehicle even more susceptible to severe accidents, which can lead to a higher price tag for the insurance company, which means a higher price for you or, they won’t have an insurance product for you.

While it is not always the case, it is always best to get rust dealt with quickly to prevent any further corrosion. In severe case, it can compromise the entire frame of your car. Advanced rust repair also comes at a higher price; the longer you let the problem go, the more work repair shops will need to do to fix your car.

rusted vehicle doesn’t just look bad. It’s dangerous to drive. If you notice that your vehicle is rusted, then you should head to an auto body repair shop to get it checked out as soon as possible, so they can take care of your ruse issue.

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What’s comprehensive insurance?

What is covered under comprehensive auto insurance?

There are many reasons vehicles may begin to rust. One of the major causes is frequent exposure to rain. Should your car accumulate a substantial amount of rust in a short duration, comprehensive coverage may help you if it is outside “normal wear and tear on your rusted vehicle.” In this situation, your auto insurance might cover rust, but it’s still unlikely since you would have been expected to take steps to protect your car.

Here is a table comparing comprehensive coverage rates throughout the country.

Average Annual U.S. Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Comprehensive
Auto Insurance Rates
New Hampshire$103.03
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
New York$156.66
South Carolina$165.38
New Mexico$166.89
West Virginia$195.04
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25
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If you own your vehicle and tend to leave it out in inclement weather, the average of $222 for comprehensive coverage is well worth it. You can also get storage insurance for vehicles you plan on leaving out for elongated durations.

What about leased auto wear and tear coverage?

Perhaps you’ve leased your automobile. You’re asking, “Should I buy lease wear and tear coverage?” Most individuals who get this coverage never end up using it, and it can be extremely expensive, so more than likely, it’s not necessary. 

What is the cost of corrosion repair?

If you’re wondering how much your automobile’s rust repair cost would be without insurance, you could be shelling out $2,000. A rusty frame’s repair cost can be even more, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. Your best bet is to prevent rust and repair it as soon as possible when you see it appear.

Talk to your insurance agent. If you live in a state that is prone to severe weather, inquire as to whether or not you’re going to be paying fully out of pocket for something that is essentially inevitable. If you plan on using Progressive, ask your agent, or read our Progressive auto insurance review.

Although rust damage isn’t covered by auto insurance, there’s no reason to overpay. To compare auto insurance quotes now, type your ZIP code into our FREE helpful tool below.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Does auto insurance cover rust damage?

Here are the answers to several related questions regarding rust.

#1 – How much does rust repair cost?

These repairs can cost as little as $20 or as high as $2,000. It all depends on the extent of the damage. If the entire frame of your car has rust damage, the body shops will have to work harder to make sure that there is no body damage.

#2 – How can I cover rust on my car?

Some people use sandpaper to get rust out on their own, sanding away the rust and applying paint. You can use a tack rag to clean the sanded area before applying prep solvent.

#3 – What are the worst states for auto rust?

Residents in Alaska, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and New Jersey tend to have their automobiles rust quickly.

#4 – Does auto insurance cover non-accident repairs?

As long as they are related to vandalism, inclement weather effects, or anything outside of normal wear-and-tear, these incidents can be covered by comprehensive insurance. Other types of automobile insurance will not cover these types of damage.

#5 – How much does it cost to replace a car door?

Car door replacement costs range from $800 to $2,500, so potentially thousands in repairs.



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