Does car insurance cover paint jobs?

Car insurance does cover a paint job under certain circumstances. Your fresh coat will only be covered with addition collision and/or comprehensive coverage. Without insurance, the costs of a paint job ranges, but can exceed thousands of dollars. The insurance company is unlikely to paint the entire car. Always check your policy for more information.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Car insurance will not cover any arbitrary request for a fresh coat of paint
  • Your vehicle must be covered by certain policies like collision and/or comprehensive coverage
  • Covering a paint job on your own can range anywhere from a cheap DIY to thousands for a full body repaint, quality paint job

A nice, clean, shiny exterior can make a car seem much more expensive and valuable. If you want to protect your investment into your vehicle, you may be wondering, does auto insurance cover paint jobs?

It’s not going to be cheap to repaint your vehicle. If you’re in an incident that requires a fresh coat, consult your insurance policy to see how they handle paint replacement. Also, check with more than one local paint shop for an estimate on the average cost to repaint.

Manage your expectations and stay up to date with any local or statewide regulations on car insurance. To find out more on the specific rules of your state, check out our interactive guide on car insurance by state.

Your paint job is one of the first things people will notice about your car. Following an accident, all those scratches and dings quickly affect the aesthetic value of your vehicle. 

To protect your purchase and get the most for your buck, get in touch with the common practices, exclusions, and policies for this level of coverage. 

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Is painting covered under car insurance? 

To put it simply – yes, a paint job will be covered by car insurance. However, the provider will only accept the claim under certain conditions.

Insurers will not cover a paint job under regular wear and tear. That means that if your paint is looking dull after being exposed to the elements, you’re out of luck. Rust, peeling, and other natural deterioration over time is not covered.

In order for your insurer to pay out towards your paint job, you must first carry collision coverage at minimum. Collision coverage is designed to protect you from any costs relating to an accident.

If you instead hold a basic insurance policy, you will be left paying for your own paint coverage.

Under standard collision insurance for your vehicle, insurance companies will only cover paint jobs as needed after a crash. This means you only an accident that damages your existing paint will be considered.

Non-collision cases are only protected under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides extra protection from damages that are not the driver’s fault.

These situations are known as ‘acts of god’. This includes natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, and more. ‘Acts of god’ also refers to rioting, theft, and vandalism.

If your paint chipping is a result of any of these occurrences, you can simply file an insurance claim and pay your deductible as usual under comprehensive coverage.

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Will the insurance company paint the whole car?

As with any other insurance question, the answer comes down to what is outlined in your policy. Make sure to review your policy frequently to be prepared if you ever must use it.

Coverage is limited to paint jobs required after a collision. If you are found to be at-fault in the incident, your insurance company will most likely cover the costs of exterior paint.

This may only cover the areas that were damaged, and not necessarily the entire vehicle. A similar situation will play out if you are not at fault in an accident. The other party’s insurance provider should step up to cover the damage.

In the unfortunate case the other driver was not insured or was underinsured, you will have to either take them to court, pay for it yourself, or use any uninsured motorist coverage included in your insurance policy.

It is unlikely that your insurance company will cover a full paint job if it’s unnecessary or not a sound financial choice. However, if there is a complication painting the damaged area of your vehicle, you may be able to swing for a full fresh coat.

What insurance companies offer the best coverage for paint jobs?

Finding a great insurance company for a paint job means researching companies with the best histories, services, and policies. Every driver will have a unique set of circumstances that may fit them better to certain companies.

A good collision or comprehensive coverage policy will be best for protecting against paint jobs. These are common policies that are offered by many insurance providers.

The top two insurance providers in the United States are State Farm and GEICO. Do these giants offer great comprehensive coverage? Does State Farm cover paint jobs? How about their competitors?

There are so many questions and options for car insurance companies, it’s easy to get confused or misled.

To find out more on what to look for in a provider, check out a full review of the best insurance companies around.

How much does a paint job cost without insurance? 

Without insurance to cover at least a portion of the cost, paint jobs can get pricey. 

JD Power indicates that the actual costs will vary based on the quality of the paint job, the addition of protective coatings, the type of paint used, and the type of car being painted. 

A full paint job can easily cost several thousands of dollars. A basic touch-up can be expected to cost up to $1,000. There are some simple guidelines when estimating the cost of your fresh coat of paint. 

How much does a touch up cost on a car? 

A touch-up can cover any small scratches or scrapes on your car’s exterior. These small modifications can still cost quite a bit.

A cost-effective choice would be to go with a basic style of paint, usually synthetic enamel. These treatments are focused on matching the coverage color to the rest of the vehicle.

Basic touch-ups should not be considered long-term fixes. 

How much does a full body paint job cost on a car? 

A full body repainting will involve sanding down the existing paint, removing any rust, and repainting the entire vehicle for a smooth finish. This is a far more expensive option and includes much higher work and material costs. 

For those willing to do the hard work themselves, it’s relatively simple to pick up some specialty touch-up paint from your local auto body shop. These small samples usually cost less than $50 and can cover small spots and dings in just a few minutes.

The best way to avoid extra costs down the line is to take care of the paint job you have ahead of time and do your best to avoid collisions.

Maintaining quality coverage from a reputable insurance provider will certainly help you on your journey.

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