Will car insurance cover paint damage?

Paint on your car starting to fade or peel? 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 car insurance, 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 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, 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.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder’s summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Sign up for ahm car insurance and you'll enjoy a $50 Visa e-gift card*. Offer ends 30 Jan.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. 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.
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.
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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 it cost to respray a car?

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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