Will Auto Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Damage?

No, auto insurance will not cover pre-existing damage. But, there are some things you should know about insuring a damaged vehicle.

Pre-Existing Coverage Isn’t Covered, and Here’s Why

Unfortunately, insurance companies just aren’t sure about damaged vehicles. Pre-existing damage isn’t covered because that means they may be on the line for those repairs, either in an accident or another situation. The insurance company doesn’t want to be liable for new or future damage.

There are many reasons why an insurance provider may turn you down for coverage entirely as well. Some reasons that insurance companies may consider concerning an already damaged car include:

  • Moving violations
  • At-fault accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • License infractions

While these may be related to a damaged vehicle, a car insurance provider can turn down a damaged car outright without other explanation, not wanting to take on the risk.

However, non-serious damage likely won’t stop you from getting coverage. However, the insurer will likely look up your vehicle identification number (VIN) and consider its maintenance history. They’ll either use this as justification to deny insurance or as a record of pre-existing damage if they choose to insure you—that way, if you get into an accident, they know what not to cover.

You also likely won’t be eligible for additional coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance policies, like comprehensive and collision coverage, fall under the category of “physical” insurance, i.e., coverage that insures damage to your car’s physical body. For instance, you couldn’t get coverage for theft or at-fault accidents with pre-existing damage.

Pre-Existing Damage and Filing a Claim

What happens when you have insurance on a vehicle with pre-existing damage and get into an accident?

You’ll file a claim, and a claims adjuster inspects the vehicle to determine how much they need to cover. You may be faced with a partial claims payout if they determine that pre-existing damage was a factor in the accident. And, even if it’s not considered a factor, they may give a partial payout because they don’t want to cover repairs on pre-existing damage.

Be upfront about your car’s pre-existing damage from the beginning, so you’ll better understand what will and won’t be covered before an accident occurs.

Know Your Options—Call All Things Insurance

We’re All Things Insurance, and we help people know their options and get the coverage they need. To learn more about insurance in Minnesota, call us at (763) 645-5450.