Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • Most modern cars are manufactured to resist oxidation so that the body doesn’t rust
  • Advanced paint products are mainly rust resistant but corrosion is possible when the paint is peeling or scraped
  • If you start to notice your car is rusting, you can’t file an insurance claim because the damage is excluded
  • If your car floods and you file a damage claim, your insurer may total your car because it’s at risk of rusting
  • If your bumper falls off because it’s rusted, your insurer will pay for damage the incident causes to other property

You won’t see a modern vehicle that is sold on the showroom floor with chrome-plated metal bumpers and body components made entirely of metal.

Classic cars and vintage models may have been made of metal with chrome accents, but big changes in vehicle engineering have introduced fiberglass and carbon fiber materials to the manufacturing industry. Modern day materials are much more durable and cost-efficient.

Not only do the materials that are used today absorb impact, they are much more rust resistant than the materials used in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Compare car insurance quotes and options to see how much you could save on the coverage you need. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Just because the car isn’t likely to rust, there are still components in the vehicle, whether they be structural or mechanical, that can rust if they are not cleaned and maintained in wet or humid environments.

If you’re worried about your car rusting, here’s what you should know about your insurance:

How are newer cars rust proofed?


When you buy a new vehicle, you’re offered all types of additional bells and whistles to extend the life of your car.

From the extended warranty and GAP coverage to rims and OnStar, it’s up to you to weed through all of the options to decide what you really need to pay for and what’s a waste of money.

One service you’re offered is to further rustproof your vehicle before it leaves the lot. It’s a costly add-on option that makes the dealer money and doesn’t do much to protect the car.

Most cars leave the factory with a high-tech corrosion perforation warranty and rustproof paints that act as a protective layer over the metal.

New cars no longer need an undercoating because they are produced with one. Don’t pay up to $1,200 for the service and don’t be fooled to select an environmental protection package either.

Paints used in factories already use the following materials that are not susceptible to rust because they don’t go through the oxidation process:

  • sealants
  • carbon fiber
  • fiberglass
  • galvanized steel components

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When are cars most susceptible to rust?

Galvanized steel that’s used today in manufacturing plants is protected from rusting because the coating of zinc in the metal doesn’t react to water like iron does.

Because of all of this material, the modern car is much less susceptible to rusting, at least where the galvanized steel is used.

If the zinc coating on the steel is chipped, there’s always a risk of rusting. The steel itself isn’t protected when it’s exposed to the elements even when different rustproofing treatments are used.

You don’t ever think your well-maintained car is susceptible to this type of old-age deterioration, but here are some circumstances where you’re at risk:

  • You live in a humid or wet area the body panels and frame of the vehicle is most susceptible to rust
  • You live in a snowy region where salt is used on public roads (salt speeds up the process of oxidation)

Will your auto insurance pay for rust removal?


Auto insurance is a product that affords you a certain level of financial protection. It’s a great type of protection to have but it doesn’t pay for just anything. If you file a claim for damage to your car, the damage must be caused by a covered event before your insurer will ever pay.

There is such a thing as rust removal. Many people assume that a car that’s rusted will be rusted out in a matter of a few wet seasons, but you can pay for rust removal and then coat the vehicle with protective treatments to ensure it lasts its reasonable life.

Unfortunately, your auto insurance isn’t going to pay for those rust removal services and related repairs.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Why doesn’t auto insurance cover rust repairs?

Your coverage might pay for repairs that you need done after a hail storm or even after a rat chews through wiring under your hood, but it won’t pay for repairs needed after your car rusts. To understand why rust is excluded, you have to learn about the process of rusting.

Rust is another term for corrosion of metals. In terms of compounds, it’s an element called iron oxide.

A metal will rust when a metal compound that consists of iron and oxygen that is present in the air reacts with chloride that’s found in water or other sources of moisture. Rust won’t appear immediately.

It’s a slow process, which is why you don’t typically notice the corrosion as a vehicle ages.

As you can see, rust isn’t something that appears suddenly and unexpectedly. It is a part of the deterioration process that everyone must deal with when they own a car.

Auto insurance will only pay for damage caused by a specific and sudden event. If the damage occurs over time, it’s excluded under the wear and tear provision of every auto policy.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens if you have a flood loss?


If your car floods in a storm or because of a faulty hydrant, you can file a flood claim against your comprehensive coverage as long as you have the right protection.

Your policy will pay for the damages caused by the flood, but if you keep your car it won’t pay if the car later rusts. In many states, cars that are severely flooded will be totaled because of the risk of later corrosion.

What happens if your rusted body panel damages another car?

When something on your car corrodes enough, it will “rust out.” When metal rusts out, pieces of the damaged metal will fall off, making it a risk to the public. If your fender falls off because it’s rusted, your car isn’t covered.

The damage caused to others, however, would be covered under your liability coverage.

Your auto insurance policy only covers rust damage if it’s a third-party claim and you’re negligent. If you’re worried about repairs that your car needs, you’ll have to review your warranty and not your auto policy.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

To get quotes on insurance, use our online rate quote tool and see if you’re getting a good deal. Enter your zip code below to compare today.