Does auto insurance cover damage to the interior of my vehicle?

Auto insurance covers damage to the interior of your vehicle if you have collision, comprehensive, or full coverage if the damage occurred in a covered incident; interior damage won't be covered if it's caused by normal wear and tear

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She works as an associate editor and writer for 4autoinsurancequote.com for over a year and enjoys creating content that offers expert advice on car insurance topics.

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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...

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Reviewed byLeslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSRhttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/4autoins-live/6ea5d860-leslie-kasperowicz.jpg

UPDATED: May 23, 2020

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Summary Stats
Summary DetailsFrom Experts...
Different kinds of auto insurance cover different kinds of damageInsurance Information Institute
Liability insurance is the most affordable, but does not cover interior (or exterior) damage to your vehicleQuadrant and National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Pre-loss condition is the process of restoring your vehicle to the condition it was in prior to the incident in questionUS Legal
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The interior of your vehicle is damaged. Fortunately, you have auto insurance. Does auto insurance cover damage to the interior of your vehicle? Will your insurance company pay for vehicle interior repairs? Or are you out of luck?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not auto insurance covers damage to the interior of your vehicle, and if so the type of auto insurance coverage you’ll need.

Do you have interior damaged caused by an accident? Use your ZIP code to get a free quote on auto insurance.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Vehicle Damage

When you buy auto insurance, you’re signing an agreement with your auto insurance company. That agreement states that the auto insurance company must cover certain damages to your vehicle in specific situations.

But different coverage types cover different kinds of damage. Take a moment to read through the next few sections to learn what is covered with collision, comprehensive, and full coverage when you’re using auto insurance for repairs as well as whether or not interior damage is covered by your policy.

Does auto insurance cover damage to my vehicle’s interior?

The answer is yes, auto insurance does cover interior damages. However, it’s not quite as simple as you might think. What kind of interior damage is covered by insurance? That depends both on the kind of coverage you have and how your vehicle ended up with the interior damage.

So what kind of coverage do you need to cover interior damage? Keep reading to find out.

Does collision insurance cover damage to my vehicle’s interior?

Collision insurance coverage is exactly what it sounds like. If your car is damaged in a collision, then your collision coverage will pay for any repairs needed to bring your car to its pre-loss condition. What is the pre-loss condition? According to US Legal,

Pre-loss condition is defined as, “the condition of a …vehicle prior to damage. It is the act of restoring the vehicle…to the condition it was before the damage was caused.”

It doesn’t matter whether those repairs are inside or outside your vehicle: if your vehicle is damaged in a covered incident, then your insurance company needs to cover the repair costs.

Take a minute to watch this video on collision coverage to learn more.

Since any damages that result from a collision are typically covered, this means if there is interior damage to your vehicle as a result of the accident, it will be covered by your collision coverage.

Does comprehensive insurance cover damage to my vehicle’s interior?

Comprehensive coverage, which is also refereed to as “other than collision,” covers damages that are not the result of an accident. For example, if your vehicle is damaged by a shopping cart, that would most likely be covered by comprehensive coverage.

Take a look at this video to learn more about comprehensive coverage.

If your car’s interior is damaged by the environment – say, when a tree branch falls on your vehicle, puncturing the roof and damaging your seats – then your auto insurance will also cover this interior damage, assuming you have comprehensive coverage or full coverage (which we’ll discuss next).

Does full coverage insurance cover damage to my vehicle’s interior?

What does full coverage mean? A full coverage policy is the combination of collision and comprehensive coverage. Watch this video to learn a bit more about full coverage.

So, does full coverage cover interior damage? Yes, if the damage is one of the types we already discussed above that is covered by either collision or comprehensive coverage.

Ultimately, it’s your insurance company’s duty to repair your car to its pre-loss condition, assuming the car was damaged in a covered incident. When you go through your auto insurance to get repairs done on your vehicle, they will cover the costs for all repairs to your vehicle – including any body repairs, interior repairs, or other work that needs to be done.

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Other Types of Interior Damage Covered by Auto Insurance

If you have comprehensive coverage auto insurance, which we discussed earlier, then your car is protected against vandalism, theft, storm damage, and other acts. Some people only have auto liability insurance or collision coverage, while others buy comprehensive or full coverage. What are the types of interior damage and which are covered by your insurance? Keep reading to find out.

Will my insurance cover interior damage caused by vandalism?

If you have comprehensive coverage, then your car’s interior damage is more likely to be covered under your auto insurance policy. If someone vandalizes your vehicle and damages the interior, for example, then this would be covered under your comprehensive plan. It would not be covered under an ordinary liability or collision coverage plan.

Will my insurance cover pet damage?

In general, comprehensive policies cover scratches and other damage caused by animals. Thus, if the interior of your vehicle is damaged by your pet, it may be covered by your auto insurance policy, but it depends on the type of animal-caused damage. You’ll need to speak to your insurance agent to find out what exactly is covered under your policy.

Will my auto insurance cover interior water damage?

If the interior water damage is the result of flooding, your comprehensive policy should cover the cost of repairs. However, if the damage is the result of a leak, your policy may or may not cover the damage. In the case of leaks in general, your policy may cover the damage, but if the leak is due to poor maintenance, it won’t be covered.

Ultimately, if you want your car’s interior to be protected from the maximum number of possible situations, then you’ll want comprehensive coverage.

Not Everything Inside Your Vehicle Will Be Covered by Your Auto Insurance

Yes, auto insurance protects the interior of your vehicle. No, it does not automatically protect everything inside your vehicle.

If your seats and stock speakers are damaged in a collision, for example, then your auto insurance will cover the cost of repairing this interior damage. These items are part of the normal configuration of your car. So what’s not covered by auto insurance? Read on to find out.

Are items in my vehicle covered by insurance?

If you had something in the back seat of your vehicle – like an expensive TV you just bought – then it’s unlikely to be covered by your auto insurance. Your auto insurance is responsible for covering damage to your vehicle – not necessarily the things inside your vehicle (if you have home insurance, however then your possessions are covered whether they’re in your vehicle or at home).

Are high end stereo systems covered?

Some interior items – like a high-end stereo system, a new navigation system, or custom decoration – will not be covered under your normal auto insurance policy. However, you may be able to purchase special auto insurance that will be added to your plan, which will cover these additional features. For a few extra dollars per month you can ensure everything installed in your vehicle is covered.

Essentially, everything that comes stock inside your vehicle is generally covered under auto insurance, while anything that you added to your vehicle will not be covered unless you buy special supplementary insurance to cover additional features.

Is normal wear and tear covered?

Insurance companies protect against unexpected incidents – like car theft (you can check out vehicle theft data in your area through the FBI) or a collision. Auto insurance companies don’t protect against ordinary wear and tear. Some of the most common signs of interior damage in a vehicle include:

  • Burn marks from smoking
  • Stains from spilled food and drink
  • Damage and stains from children, pets, etc.

If your vehicle’s interior is looking ragged because of ordinary wear and tear, you won’t be able to make an insurance claim. Generally, all of the damage listed above falls under ordinary wear and tear.

The mess your child or pet made in the back seat will not be covered under your auto insurance policy – although you may want to call your insurance provider to ask, especially if the damage is particularly costly to repair.

Does my insurance cover interior damage if I cause it?

Whether or not your insurance covers the cost of repairing interior damage you cause depends on how it occurred. If the damage you caused was the result of a covered incident,  which we’ve already discussed, then your insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing the damage. However, if the damage you caused was not part of a covered incident, your insurance will most likely not cover the cost of repairs.

You can only make an insurance claim if your vehicle’s interior was damaged during a covered incident. If you want additional coverage, you’ll need to ask your insurance agent about any riders you can attach to your policy to protect the interior of your car.

Getting Auto Insurance Coverage for Interior Damage

If your vehicle’s interior has been damaged and you believe the cost of repairs should be covered by your insurance company, there are a few things to keep in mind, including filing a claim, policy limits, and more.

What should I do if my interior is damaged?

First you’ll need to determine whether or not the interior damage is the result of a covered incident. If you’re not sure, you can speak with your insurance agent to find out. If it is the result of a covered incident, the next step is to file a claim.

How do I file a claim for interior damage?

You’ll follow the same steps to file claim for interior damage as you would for any other damage to your vehicle. The process is defined by your insurance company, and the quickest way to find out the best method of filing a claim is to give your insurance agent a call.

Will I have to pay my deductible to repair interior damage?

Filing a claim for interior damage is like any other damage claim you make with your insurance company. If they agree to pay for the cost of damages, you’ll be responsible for paying up to the cost of the deductible first, before your insurance company’s payout will kick in.

Are there coverage limits for interior damage? Yes, but those limits are based on the auto insurance limits set by your policy. To find out exactly what the coverage limits are on your policy, speak to your insurance agent.

In order to determine whether the cost of repairs falls within the limits of your policy, you’ll need to know the cost of those repairs. But how is your cost of repairs determined? Estimates will be based on a number of factors, including the make and model of your vehicle and the extent and type of the damage.

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The Bottom Line on Auto Insurance for Interior Damage

Auto insurance companies will cover the costs of repairing interior damage as long as the damage occurred in a covered situation. A covered situation can include a car accident or a collision. If you have comprehensive or full coverage, then your auto insurance will also cover interior damage caused by theft, vandalism, environmental damage like natural disasters, and other incidents.

Ordinary wear and tear on the interior of your vehicle, however, is never covered by auto insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Read on to find out more about auto insurance, interior damage, and more in these frequently asked questions.

What is covered in a basic auto insurance policy?

There are a number of auto insurance coverage types included in a basic auto insurance policy like bodily and property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

We’ve already discussed collision and comprehensive coverage, and we’ll spend a few moments considering liability coverage in a later FAQ.

Medical payments and personal injury protection (both of which are sometimes included in liability coverage) provide extra medical coverage. This video provides a brief overview of the coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides you with additional protection in the event you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, which may occur, since the Insurance Information Institute reports that an average of 13 percent of drivers are uninsured.

Take a look at this video to learn more about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

If you feel you need one of the coverage types we’ve discussed and it’s not currently included in your policy, you can speak to your insurance agent about adding it. They can help you understand the auto insurance coverage and determine exactly what you need.

Does auto insurance cover mechanical damage?

The answer is yes and no. If the damage to your engine is the result of an accident, it will likely be covered by your collision coverage. However, if the damage is the result of poor maintenance, your insurance most likely won’t cover the cost of repairs.

Can I file a claim on my auto insurance if my engine blows up?

You may be asking yourself what happens if your engine blows up; will your insurance cover it? It all depends on what caused your engine to blow up. If it’s the result of an accident, it may be covered by your collision coverage. However, if the engine blowing up is not the result of an accident or damage that is typically covered by comprehensive coverage, it will most likely not be covered.

If I damage my own car, can I file a claim on my own insurance?

If you have collision, comprehensive, or full coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance policy for damages you caused to your vehicle. However, the circumstances will determine whether or not your insurance company will actually cover the cost of those damages.

If you only have liability coverage (which we’ll discuss next), you won’t be able to file a claim for damages to your own vehicle.

What kind of damage is covered by liability coverage?

Liability insurance typically covers the costs (up to the coverage limits of your policy) of the other driver’s expenses that result from an accident in which you are at fault, but it will not cover the cost of the damages you incur.

This video provides a bit more information on liability coverage. Take a look.

While liability insurance will typically meet the minimum requirements for insurance coverage and is generally the cheapest coverage you can purchase (according to data from Quadrant), it may not provide the level of coverage you need. You should speak to an insurance agent to find out the best coverage mix for your needs.

Does my insurance cover a rental car for repairs on my vehicle?

Does auto insurance cover a rental car? A standard insurance policy does not typically cover the cost of a rental car when your vehicle is being repaired. However, you can add it to your policy by giving your insurance agent a call.

How can I save money on auto insurance?

The best way to save money on auto insurance is to shop around. Should you shop online or with an independent broker? You can do either, but online is a great place to start. How can you easily compare insurance rates? Use your ZIP code and our free quote tool to start getting quotes.

But how do you pick the right amount of auto insurance coverage? You can speak with a licensed insurance agent; they can help you determine the right amount of coverage for your life and needs.

Once you’ve decided on an insurer and insurance policy, you should speak to your insurance agent to find out what auto insurance discounts you may qualify for. Take a look at this table to see some of the discounts that may be available to you.

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company
Discounts21st CenturyAAAAllstateAmerican FamilyAmeripriseAmicaCountry FinancialEsuranceFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualMetLifeNationwideProgressiveSafe AutoSafecoState FarmThe GeneralThe HanoverThe HartfordTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxxxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Anti-Theftxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Engaged Couplex
Family Legacyxxxxxx
Family Planxxxxx
Farm Vehiclexxxx
Fast 5x
Federal Employeexxxx
Forward Collision Warningxxxxxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxxxxxxx
Garaging/Storingxxxxxx
Good Creditxxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxxxxx
Homeownerxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Loyaltyxxxxxxxxxxxx
Marriedxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Membership/Groupxxxxxxxxxxx
Militaryxxxxxxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Driversxx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planxxx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Newlywedsx
Non-Smoker/Non-Drinkerx
Occasional Operatorx
Occupationxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Time Paymentsxxxx
Online Shopperxx
Paperless Documentsxxxxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesxx
Renterxxx
Roadside Assistancexx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxxxxxxxx
Stable Residencexxxx
Students & Alumnixxxxxx
Switching Providerxxxxxxxxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxxxxxx
Volunteerx
Young Driverxxxxxx
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As you can see, there are number of discounts available, depending on your insurer and your particular circumstances.

Do you have interior damaged caused by an accident? Use your ZIP code to get a free quote on auto insurance.

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