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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.

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

1 - 7 of 25
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: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

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

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

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

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

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

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 22 April. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
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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.

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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