Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati....

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2022

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The Full Review

  • Car insurance covers scratches and dents if you have full coverage
  • You will need to pay a deductible, which may cost more than the repair
  • Collision or comprehensive coverage may apply, depending on how the damage happened

Does auto insurance cover scratches and dents? Absolutely, but only if you have the right coverage. What coverage you need depends on how the scratches and dents on your car happened, but generally, full coverage auto insurance includes everything you need. Confused? We have all of the answers below.

We’ll cover how car insurance for scratches and dents works, what to do if someone scratches your car while parked, and what coverage you need.

If you want to compare rates for car insurance that covers scratches and dents, we can help with that, too. Just enter your ZIP code above for free auto insurance quotes from top companies.

Does auto insurance cover scratches and dents?

Auto insurance will cover damage to your car, including scratches and dents, as long as you have the right coverage. If you have a liability-only policy, you will have no coverage for any damage to your car, unless another driver caused the damage and their liability coverage pays for it.

You will need to have a full coverage policy to get scratches and dents on your car covered in any situation where another at-fault driver isn’t available to pick up the tab. So how does that work, and what does full coverage auto insurance consist of? Let’s look at a few common situations.

Does insurance cover parking lot dents?

A dent in your car can happen in a parking lot in several ways. The two most common are being struck by another car, such as when a driver opens their door and hits yours, or being struck by a shopping car. Full coverage car insurance covers both.

How your insurance covers this damage will depend on the particular situation. When another driver hits your car, the hope is that they’ll do the right thing and leave a note. Unfortunately, people don’t always do the right thing. So, if you are hit by another car and that driver doesn’t leave a note, your collision coverage will kick in to pay for the damage.

So what does comprehensive car insurance cover in a parking lot? If your car is damaged by what appears to be vandalism, or if the wind grabs a shopping cart and sends it flying into your car, comprehensive will cover it. However, if you were driving and ran into something, it’s back to collision insurance.

Any time you hit something while driving, including a shopping cart, you’re at fault, and collision coverage applies.

If you’re not sure how the damage happened, find out if there is security footage that might provide clues.

Does car insurance cover paint damage?

Car insurance does pay for paint damage, but as noted above it will depend on how the damage happened. Either comprehensive or collision coverage will pay to repair your paint.

For example, if your car has been keyed, that’s vandalism, and it’s covered by your comprehensive coverage. If you scrape your paint along a post pulling through the Starbucks drive-through, on the other hand, that’s a collision claim.

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Is it worth claiming on car insurance for a dent or a scratch?

Depending on the extent of the damage, filing a claim may or may not be worth the effort. The main reason for this is your deductible.

Whether you are filing a collision or comprehensive claim, you will need to pay the deductible. That’s the part of the damage that you pay for, and insurance covers the rest. You choose the deductible on your policy when you sign up, and most deductibles range from $250-$1,000.

If the estimate for repairing scratches or dents on your car is below the deductible, there’s no point in filing a claim.

You should also consider the possibility that your car insurance rates might go up if you file a claim. You could lose your claim-free discount at the very least if you have one, even if the company doesn’t increase your rates.

Consider carefully before you file a claim for minor damage, as paying it out-of-pocket might be the best choice in the long run.

Do all car insurance companies cover scratches and dents?

Coverage for damage to your car is standard on any full coverage policy. Full coverage car insurance usually includes both comprehensive and collision coverage. That means you shouldn’t have to ask, “does State Farm cover scratches?” or “does GEICO cover dents?” If you have the right coverage, your insurance company will cover you.

Of course, not all companies are created equal when it comes to claims service. Make sure you’re with a company with a solid reputation for paying claims smoothly.

Does auto insurance cover scratches and dents? The Bottom Line

Auto insurance will cover scratches and dents if you have a full coverage policy. Either comprehensive or collision insurance could apply, depending on the situation.

You will be responsible for your deductible, so make sure it’s worth filing a claim before you start.

To compare quotes for full coverage auto insurance that covers scratches and dents, enter your ZIP code below right now.