Does car insurance cover scratches and dents?

Auto insurance covers scratches and dents if you're not at fault in an accident. You can use comprehensive coverage to pay for scratches and dents that don't involve a collision, such as acts of vandalism, but car insurance won't cover scratches and dents from normal wear and tear. Scratch and dent repair can cost up to $3,500. Shop around and compare car insurance quotes that cover scratches and dents from multiple companies to get the best rates.

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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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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

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 companies cover scratches and dents if the other driver is at fault
  • Scratch and dent repair can cost between $50 to $3,500
  • Dents and scratches you get before getting car insurance aren’t covered

Did someone scratch or dent your car recently? Scratches and dents can impact your vehicle’s cosmetics, but some damage can affect critical parts of your car.

Regardless of the nature of the damage, it could cost hundreds of dollars to fix, and may not have the money to fix it right away. Does auto insurance cover scratches and dents? Our guide explains everything you need to know about getting coverage for scratches and dents and how to compare car insurance.

Continue reading to learn more about car insurance coverage for scratches and dents. Enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool above to compare multiple companies and secure the most affordable car insurance rates.

Does car insurance cover scratches and dents?

It depends. Car insurance companies only cover scratches and dents caused by other drivers. However, comprehensive car insurance can cover scratches and dents that don’t involve a collision.

A person who scratches or dents your car can cover expenses with their liability car insurance coverage. If you have collision car insurance, you can use your own car insurance policy to pay for the damages.

Comprehensive car insurance pays for damages that don’t involve a collision. So any damage from a storm or falling object is covered by your comprehensive coverage policy.

Collision and comprehensive coverages have deductibles. Most deductibles are around $500, and you’re required to pay this before the auto insurance company pays for any damages.

Should I choose the insurance company‘s preferred auto body shop?

Once you file a claim with your insurance provider, they will allow you to select from one of their preferred auto body shops. While they can suggest one shop in particular, but you are not obliged to use that option. You can pick any auto body shop of your choice.

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Does car insurance cover dent repair?

Auto insurance companies only cover dent repair if your vehicle has been in an accident. If you don’t have collision auto insurance coverage, you won’t get coverage if you were at fault in the accident.

If the other person is at fault, their liability coverage will pay for dent repairs. However, your liability insurance coverage won’t pay for your own dent repairs.

Does car insurance cover parking lot dents?

Even if you’re not driving, car insurance companies cover dents you get in a parking lot. Law enforcement will establish fault, and both parties will report it to their auto insurance companies.

Does car insurance cover minor damages?

Auto insurance companies could cover minor damages from an accident. However, some repairs are smaller than your deductible. So it may not be necessary to file a claim under $100.

What constitutes minor damage?

So it would likely be considered minor damage if someone keyed your car or road debris flew up and left a mark or dent on the finish, for example.

Does car insurance cover scratches and dents from vandalism?

Liability and collision won’t cover damage from vandalism. However, comprehensive coverage can cover damage from vandalism. This includes:

  • Someone who keys your car
  • Damage from vehicle theft
  • Damage caused by a thrown object

Any vandalism to your vehicle is covered by comprehensive coverage. Vehicle theft can be covered by uninsured motorist coverage.

According to the Office of Justice Programs, vandalism made up about 1.79% of all crimes in 2019. That’s around 180,500 cases where people were arrested for committing vandalism to property.

Why won’t my car insurance company cover scratches and dents?

There are certain situations where your car insurance company won’t cover scratches and dents. Here’s a list of examples where auto insurance companies won’t cover damage:

  • You’re at fault and you only have liability
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Damage you intentionally caused
  • Delaying car insurance claims

If you get a dent or scratch on your vehicle, report it to your car insurance company right away. An adjuster will determine if the damage is worth making a claim.

When should I make a car insurance claim for scratches and dents?

If the cost of the damage is over $500, you may want to consider making an auto insurance claim.

Dent repairs are about $50 to $125, which makes filing an insurance claim superfluous. If repair costs are lower than your deductible, it may not be worth making a car insurance claim.

Meanwhile, a scratch repair can cost $150 to upwards of $3,500.

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The Bottom Line: Does auto insurance cover scratches and dents?

Car insurance companies provide coverage for scratches and dents in specific situations, such as a no-fault accidentcollision coverage claim, or comprehensive coverage claim.

There are chances that your premium will rise after an at-fault accident that leads to the damages mentioned above.

Collision coverage includes damages related to accidents and collisions, if your vehicle was scratched by another vehicle, your collision coverage will typically apply.

Scratches and dents as a result of aging and intentional damage are not covered. Any damage you’re liable for won’t be covered.

You should get quotes on the cost of repairs and compare the estimated cost to your deductible.

Driving around town in a dented, scratched, or dinged vehicle may not be glamorous, but to avoid higher auto insurance rates , it pays to be smart about claims.

Before you buy car insurance to cover scratches and dents, use our free comparison tool below to compare car insurance quotes from the best insurance companies near you.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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