Does auto insurance cover interior damage? [Expert Advice]

Auto insurance covers interior damage only if it meets certain criteria. Collision and comprehensive cover some damages but no insurance will cover wear and tear.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Jun 18, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Interior damage happens for various reasons
  • Comprehensive coverage will take care of acts of vandalism to your interior
  • Wear and tear is not covered by insurance

Does auto insurance cover interior damage? If you experience any kind of interior damage, you want to get it repaired. Unfortunately, the cost of replacing upholstery, leather, and other items can get expensive.

You might want to file a claim with the insurance company, but first, you have to determine if you have sufficient coverage. Auto insurance covers interior damage as a result of a collision or vandalism if you carry higher coverage.

There are many types of auto insurance and having the right one can make a big difference in your out of pocket expenses. For example:

  • Is mouse damage to car covered by insurance?
  • Does insurance cover if your engine blows?
  • What can water damage do to a car?

Get the right coverage to give you peace of mind for interior car damage. Compare auto insurance quotes right here using our free rate comparison tool above!

Types of Interior Damage and Coverage Options

Interior damage happens all the time. It might be due to a car accident, vandalism, or even through general wear and tear.

How the interior is damaged will determine whether auto insurance will cover the repairs. A basic auto insurance policy generally won’t provide you any kind of coverage for car interior damage repairs.

You will need to read your policy thoroughly to learn what is not covered in the auto insurance coverage you carry.

With a basic policy, no matter how it was damaged, the repairs would be your own financial responsibility.

It is generally not that much more expensive to add full or high coverage instead of the basic, low coverage. Take a look at this table to see just what the average annual rate difference is between high, medium, and low coverages.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates By Coverage Type
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for High CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium Coverage
USAA$2,667.92$2,404.11$2,539.87
American Family$3,416.40$3,368.49$3,544.37
Geico$3,429.14$3,001.91$3,213.97
State Farm$3,454.80$3,055.40$3,269.80
Nationwide$3,505.37$3,394.83$3,449.80
Progressive$4,350.96$3,737.13$4,018.46
Farmers$4,494.13$3,922.47$4,166.22
Travelers$4,619.07$4,223.63$4,462.02
Allstate$5,139.02$4,628.03$4,896.81
Liberty Mutual$6,356.04$5,805.75$6,058.57
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For example, with Geico the difference between full and low coverage averages out to about $35 a month. That’s pretty inexpensive to know you are covered for collision and comprehensive in addition to the basic liability coverage.

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Interior Damage as a Result of a Car Accident

Most car accidents involve damage to the exterior of the car. However, if you experienced a severe accident or a rollover, it’s possible that there was damage to the interior as well.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes your car’s value is used to determine your rates. Having a leather interior might cost you more in rates than upholstery interior would because there is the possibility that the insurance company will have to make a replacement.

The interior damage might be as a result of glass slashing the seats. Other interior damage could be a result of a fire or anything else that took place during the accident.

If the interior damage is as a result of a car accident, you might be covered by collision insurance if you carry it. 

This video gives you more details about what collision insurance covers.

Adding collision insurance is usually cheap but the security of knowing you are covered in the event of an accident is priceless.

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Interior Damage as a Result of Vandalism

One of the most common ways for interior damage to occur is an act of vandalism. This event could involve someone breaking into your car, destroying your car, or your car being near a riot.

Is it worth having comprehensive insurance? If you have comprehensive coverage, then it’s possible for the insurance company to take care of all damage that took place during the act of vandalism. This destruction might include not only interior damage but also broken windows, damage to the paint job, and more.

Watch this video to learn more about all that comprehensive insurance covers.

Any time you file a claim, insurance will need to conduct an investigation. This investigation will help the company to determine if you have the coverage and if the damage happened the way you said it did.

Often, you will want to file a police report prior to filing a claim with the insurance company. The insurance will ask for a police report in most instances. Having the report will help to speed up the claims process.

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Interior Damage as a Result of Wear and Tear

Does auto insurance cover accidental damage, such as pen marks on the seat? Sadly, the answer to this is generally no.

If you experience damage from wear and tear, the repairs and replacements are your own responsibility. It would come out of your pocket and not be reimbursed because there is no insurance policy that would cover this kind of coverage.

It is to your benefit that you exercise caution within your car.

Some of the most common ways interiors are damaged include:

  • Burn marks from smoking
  • Spilled food and drink
  • Children
  • Pets

You might want to set rules as to what you and all of your passengers can and cannot do. These rules could include:

  • No smoking
  • No eating
  • No drinking anything besides water

You might also want to keep a stain remover and a car vacuum in your car so you can take care of problems quickly before they have a chance to damage the interior.

Interior damage might ruin your day when you find that it has occurred. Depending on how it occurred, you might be able to file a claim with the insurance company. Much of it will depend on the level of coverage that you have, too.

It’s a good idea to have high levels of liability insurance (above AAA.com’s listed state minimums) as well as comprehensive coverage.

When you get online quotes, you can add more coverage to the quotes to see just how expensive the rates will be. Many times, the quotes are more affordable than you might think with the added coverage, thus allowing you to have a higher level of financial protection for when something does happen.

Is your car interior covered? Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below to find the car insurance company that’s right for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance and Interior Damage

We’ve answered for you some of the more commonly asked questions about interior damage and auto insurance.

Is squirrel damage covered by auto insurance?

Possibly, if you have comprehensive coverage. You would need to read your policy or speak with an agent to make sure animal damages are covered.

Will auto insurance cover electrical problems?

It will depend on how the damage was caused. If the damage was the result of an accident or intentional damage and you carried collision and comprehensive coverages, then the damage would most likely be covered.

Does auto insurance cover sun damage?

Unfortunately, auto insurance won’t cover sun damage to the paint or interior of your car. It is considered normal wear and tear.

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