Does Car Insurance Cover Damages from Foreign Substances Like Eggs or Paint?

Foreign substances can be both an eyesore and potentially something that causes serious long-term damage to your car. But will your car insurance help you out with it?
Written by Brady Klopfer
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Cars are really fun to own, about 90% of the time. But that other 10% can be a hassle, whether it’s because of repairs, maintenance, or dealing with damage to your car. One of the most annoying types of damage that your car can sustain is from foreign substances. Foreign substances are … well … not the normal substances (like water, mud, and dirt) that your car should encounter.
Usually damage by foreign substances is the result of vandals, who might spray paint your car, or throw eggs at it, or do any other number of stupid and pointless activities. And when that happens you’ll likely end up with a dirty mess, an eyesore, and potentially something that causes serious long-term damage to your car.
If that happens, you’ll want to get your car taken care of. But will your car insurance help you out with that? Read on to find out.

Does car insurance cover damages from foreign substances?

It depends on the type of car insurance you have. In order to have your car insurance policy cover damage from foreign substances on your car, you need to have a
comprehensive insurance plan
. Comprehensive insurance is not required by the law, so you don’t need to have it. However, some lenders and financiers won’t let you buy or lease a car if you don’t prove that you have this type of coverage.
With comprehensive insurance, you’re covered if your car is damaged by something other than a car crash. This can be everything from storm damage, to a tree falling on your car, to a neighbor’s football dinging your car. And it certainly includes vandalism, and any foreign substances that end up damaging your car.

Should you file a claim if you have damage from foreign substances?

One thing to always be aware of when considering filing a claim is the cost. Many repairs are less expensive than your deductible, which means that you won’t actually be compensated by your insurer. However, even if you’re not compensated, the act of filing a claim gets noted on your insurance record, and will likely raise your car insurance rates.
So if, say, removal of a foreign substance on your car will cost $200, but your deductible is $500, then the only financial change you’ll get from filing a claim is to see your premiums go up.

How to get rid of foreign substances on your car

Because you might not want to file a claim, or perhaps because you cannot file a claim with your type of car insurance, you may need to get rid of the foreign substance on your own. With many substances, such as eggs and sticky products, you can get them off by taking your car through a powerful car wash. For more serious issues, such as paint, you may have to go to a specialist.

What else can you do if car insurance doesn’t cover foreign substances?

Just because your car insurance doesn’t cover foreign substances doesn’t mean you can’t take other action. If you have evidence of someone causing the damage to your car, you can still sue them in the court of law. However, this can be a long and arduous process, and potentially an expensive one as well.

What about tree sap and bird poop?

Tree sap and bird poop are two very annoying substances to get on your car. However, because they are natural and avoidable, they are not considered foreign substances, and no car insurance policy will cover them.
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