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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

Can I use car insurance for bodywork to repair damage that was not the result of a traffic accident?

It depends on what caused the damage and whether you have full car insurance coverage. Car insurance includes several types of coverage. Most states require you to carry liability insurance, which covers damage and injuries you cause others in an accident. Liability does not cover damage to your own car, or injuries you and your passengers suffer.

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Both collision and comprehensive insurance are optional forms of coverage. Collision covers damage to your car caused by traffic accidents, and comprehensive covers damage caused by a variety of factors other than traffic accidents, such as natural disasters, vandalism and collisions with animals. Comprehensive insurance also covers vehicle theft.

If you don't have comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy, you can't use car insurance to pay for the bodywork. If you do have comprehensive insurance, call your car insurance agent or company to learn whether the cause of the damage is covered.

For more, see Car insurance basics.

Last updated: Jul. 6, 2012
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