Will car insurance cover paint damage?

Paint on the car looking a little shabby? Discover if your car insurance policy will cover you for paint damage.

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In some situations you might be able to claim paint damage under car insurance, in others you won’t be covered at all, and sometimes you might even have to pay more or less for paint fixes following a claim. If you've got comprehensive cover, you'll probably be covered for paint damage. But before you pop that claim in, make sure it makes sense financially, especially if you'll have to pay an excess.

Want cover for paint damage? Compare comprehensive car insurance

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs Apply.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to pick and choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like roadside assistance, choice of your own repairer and the option of agreed or market value. Plus earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up by 28 February 2021, you can earn up to 40,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats. You get a free Bauer magazine subscription when you sign up and a portion of your premiums go to supporting female-led businesses.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
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When will I be covered for paint damage?

Car insurance will only pay for damage that results from an insured event. In the case of paint damage, you’ll generally only be able to claim it with comprehensive car insurance, except in some very specific situations (such as paint damage caused by theft).

Claiming it under comprehensive car insurance will still be subject to your policy exclusions.

  • When will comprehensive car insurance cover a paint job? This cover type might pay for new paint following any insurable event that damaged the paintwork. This might be an accident, a storm, hail or others. However, it’s subject to the policy exclusions and special conditions.

What exclusions should I be aware of?

Car insurance generally won’t cover damage caused by deterioration, wear and tear or weathering.

As such, you typically won’t be able to claim paint damage when it’s the result of ongoing exposure to rain, sand, sun, salt, water or similar.

However, you might still be able to claim it if it was a single event, such as a sandstorm or hurricane.

Special conditions

Car insurance specifically won’t cover damage from wear and tear or deterioration, but some deterioration of paint is inevitable in older cars.

In some cases, the cost of new paint will actually be deducted from a car insurance claim, or you might have to pay for the cost of new paintwork on top of a claim.

For example, if your claim involves brand new panels to replace old and weathered ones, an insurer might ask you to pay the difference in value between “brand new” and “old and weathered” so as not to end up inadvertently paying for a new paint job when it’s not covered.

How much does a car paint job cost?

The cost of repainting a car can vary widely depending on how good a job it is, whether you’re getting any additional protecting coatings, what kind of paint it is and what kind of car you’re driving.

Generally, you might expect several thousand for a job well done, or up to $1,000 for a basic touch up.

  • A basic touch up: Mostly cosmetic. The “invisible” parts of the car, like under the hood, generally won’t be done and you’re looking at basic synthetic enamel paint. It’s mostly focused on matching the colour as close as possible, and isn’t expected to be a long term fix.
  • A proper paint job: This usually involves sanding the body, removing rust and repainting it for a consistent and clear finish.

What kind of paint job will car insurance cover?

It depends on the type of claim and the cause of damage. If the insurable event caused damage that necessitates a proper paint job, then that’s the kind of quality you can expect. If it’s just covering up a scratch, then it might be a more basic touch up.


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