If you find yourself living in a wet or cold climate, you’ve undoubtedly encountered rust on your vehicle. Annoying, right? It looks ugly and could potentially cause major issues down the road if it’s not dealt with. Unfortunately, rust is not covered under your car warranty or covered by your car insurance provider. Rust damage is considered normal wear and tear on your vehicle which is why you should be proactive in preventing your car from rusting.
While taking precautionary measures can help extend the life of your car, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that your car won’t corrode at some point. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance if your car has rust damage:
What causes vehicle rust?
Honestly, having rust on your car is a reality most car owners will face. If you find rust in your car it is recommended you take your car into your local body shop to get repaired right away! Here are the most common causes of rust on your vehicle:
Rain: Most cars are made of metal. The most common metal used in cars is iron. When iron is exposed to moisture rust is formed. When the two substances interact, it causes a chemical reaction that results in oxidation. The most common way for moisture to come in contact with your vehicle is rain. This is why it’s important to cover your vehicle if the weather is bad.
Salt: If you live in Canada you’re definitely familiar with salted roads in the winter. However, even though salt is needed on the roads to prevent accidents it actually makes your vehicle more vulnerable to rusting. Salt can accumulate on the underbody of your vehicle and cause rusting, which you may not notice until down the road.
How can you prevent rust?
Since your car insurance company won’t cover rust damage it’s important to take extra precautions to prevent your vehicle from rusting. Here are some tips to prevent corrosion:
Can rust be repaired?
Rust can definitely be repaired! It is recommended you take your vehicle into an auto body shop to be repaired by a professional. However, if you have the skills and tools handy you can fix small rust patches yourself.
First, you’ll want to use fine-grit sandpaper or a razor blade to scrape off the rust.
Second, you’ll need to treat it with a spray-on rust inhibitor and apply primer.
Lastly, cover it with a touch-up paint that matches the color of your vehicle.
Depending on the size of the rust, blending the repaired area with paint may require wet sanding or buffing the surface. This is a process that requires the skills and knowledge as it can do more harm then good if done poorly. If you find yourself with larger areas of rust that need to be repaired, it’s best to be left to the professionals.
How much does rust repair cost?
The average cost of rust removal on a vehicle can depend on a variety of factors including the size of the rusted area, the type of repair, the type of vehicle you have, and how quickly you need it done. According to autos.com, on average rust repair can cost anywhere from $500 – $1,000 depending on the factors above.
Rust damage to the frame of your vehicle
If you happen to find rust damage on the frame of your vehicle, it’s very important to get it fixed. By leaving rust damage on the frame of your vehicle, it could potentially collapse. This becomes dangerous when you’re driving on the road as you could injure another person. With that being said, just because you have rust damage it does not mean you will get into an accident. However, if you do find yourself in an accident your insurance company is not liable to cover you for the damages. If you see rust on your vehicle that needs to be repaired, just get it fixed. Otherwise, you risk not being covered by your insurance company if an accident happens.
Wear and tear insurance claims
Wear-and-tear exclusions – the little things in your insurance policies you don’t normally think of. Insurance companies incorporate wear-and-tear exclusions into their policies to protect them from clients who do not properly maintain their vehicles. Rust damage is one of the exclusions in this policy. This is very important to remember because insurance companies also deny claims from historical damage. If there is a manufacturing defect or a faulty installation of parts, you will most likely get a denied claim. It is important to always be aware of what is going with your vehicle in the case of an accident so you can receive full coverage.
Does comprehensive insurance cover rust?
Comprehensive car insurance coverage covers you if someone else damages your vehicle so it is highly unlikely you will be covered by comprehensive insurance for rust damage. In a hypothetical scenario, if your crazy ex-spouse decided to dump acid on your vehicle in a fit of drunken rage, the damage would most likely be covered as it is not considered typical wear and tear damage.
Will insurance cover a cracked frame?
Honestly, the answer depends on the circumstances of your frame cracking. If you find yourself in a motor collision with a rusty frame and your frame cracked in the accident, it is very likely you will be able to get your insurance company to cover the rust damage. On the other hand, if you’re driving around and your frame decides to fall apart due to rust damage – your insurance company will not cover the damages.