UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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The interior of your vehicle is damaged. Fortunately, you have car insurance. But will car 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 car insurance covers damage to the interior of your vehicle.
Car Insurance Covers All Repairs from Collisions and Other Incidents
When you buy car insurance, you’re signing an agreement with your car insurance company. That agreement states that the car insurance company must cover certain damages to your vehicle in certain situations.
If your car is damaged in a collision, for example, then your collision coverage will pay for any repairs needed to bring your car to its pre-loss condition. 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.
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 car insurance will also cover this interior damage, assuming you have comprehensive coverage or full 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. Your car insurance will cover all repairs to your vehicle – including any body repairs, interior repairs, or other work that needs to be done.
Not Everything Inside your Vehicle Will Be Covered
Yes, car 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 car insurance will cover the cost of repairing this interior damage. These items are part of the normal configuration of your car.
However, 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 car insurance. Your car 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).
Some interior items – like a high-end stereo system, a new navigation system, or custom decoration – will not be covered under your normal car insurance policy. You may be able to purchase a special car insurance policy that will be added to your plan. For a few extra dollars per month, for example, you can ensure everything in your vehicle is covered.
Essentially, everything that comes stock inside your vehicle is generally covered under car insurance, while anything that you added to your vehicle will not be covered unless you buy special supplementary insurance.
Interior Damage That from Normal Wear and Tear Is Not Covered
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, then 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 car insurance policy – although you may want to call your insurance provider to ask, especially if the damage is particularly costly to repair.
You can only make an insurance claim if your vehicle’s interior was damaged during a covered incident – say, a collision or an act of vandalism.
Acts of Vandalism and Theft Are Only Covered Under Comprehensive Coverage
If you have comprehensive coverage auto insurance, then your car is protected against vandalism, theft, storm damage, and other acts. Some people only have liability coverage and collision coverage, while others buy comprehensive coverage.
If you have comprehensive coverage, then your car’s interior damage is more likely to be covered under your car 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.
Ultimately, if you want your car’s interior to be protected from the maximum number of possible situations, then you’ll want comprehensive coverage.
Car 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 coverage or full coverage, then your car insurance will also cover interior damage caused by theft, vandalism, environmental damage, and other incidents.
Ordinary wear and tear on the interior of your vehicle, however, is never covered by car insurance.