Does Insurance Cover Busted Headlights and Tail Lights?

If you have comprehensive insurance, your policy might cover damage like broken headlights or busted tail lights—but it depends on how the damage happened.
Written by Jacoba Bood
Motorists with collision or comprehensive coverage will have a better chance of receiving reimbursement for headlight damage than drivers who only carry basic liability insurance. 
  • Your
    car insurance
    might cover damage to your headlights or tail lights, depending on the type of coverage you have and how the damage happened.
  • In most cases, basic liability coverage will only cover broken tail light or headlights if the damaged occurred from a car accident and you were not the driver at fault. 
  • Even if the
    car repair
    is covered under your insurance policy, the costs of filing a claim can outweigh the benefits. 

Some insurance companies cover broken lights

If you’ve got damaged headlights or tail lights on your car, you may be wondering what the cost is to fix those parts—and whether or not it’s covered by your auto insurance policy. Insurance providers might offer you coverage for this type of vehicle damage—but it all depends on how your headlights or tail lights were damaged and what
type of car insurance coverage
you have: 
  • Comprehensive insurance:
    Comprehensive car insurance
    is an insurance coverage option designed to help protect your car from damage resulting from external events. It typically covers storm, flood, and fire damage, as well as incidents of
    and vandalism. If your headlights or tail lights sustained damage due to any of these types of events, there’s a good chance your comprehensive policy will cover it.
  • Collision insurance:
    Collision coverage
    is a policy add-on designed to help cover drivers for damage resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object, regardless of who is at fault. Many collision insurance policies will cover single-vehicle rollover situations, too. If your head or tail lights were damaged in a collision and you have collision insurance. you can rest assured that your policy will likely cover the repairs.
  • Basic liability coverage: Even if you don’t have collision or comprehensive insurance on your car, your basic
    liability coverage
    may cover headlight or tail light repairs. But only if the damage occurred as a result of an accident where you were not at fault. If your headlights and tail lights were damaged in any other way, you’d be out of luck.
If it’s the case that you’re uninsured, you won’t be able to seek reimbursement for any damage that occurs to your car—and you could face further financial and legal penalties for driving without your state’s
required amount of coverage
Key Takeaway Comprehensive insurance covers damage that occurred as a result of external events, while collision coverage pays for damage incurred due to an accident. Liability insurance may cover head and tail light damage if it happened in a not-at-fault accident.

When to file an insurance claim

Even if your existing car insurance covers a broken tail light or headlight replacement, you might want to think twice before you file a claim.
If the cost of repairs is lower than your deductible, then there’s no point in making a claim. Review your deductible before claiming for headlight or tail light damage.
Even if your deductible is slightly lower than the cost of repairs, you’re likely to get strapped with a higher premium for making a car insurance claim—so it might not be worth it in the long run.
That said, it’s not uncommon for incidents that cause damage to your headlights or tail lights to also cause damage to other parts of the car. If this is the case, filing a claim is often a good idea.
Having the right car insurance policy in place will increase the chances that you’ll have coverage when you need it. To find the best coverage for your budget, try shopping with an
insurance comparison tool
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If you don't have insurance, replacing a tail light cover can be pricey. The exact cost partially depends on your car—but you could be paying up to $700 out of pocket. If you have comprehensive insurance, though, that cost could be lower.
Sometimes—but it depends on how comprehensive your warranty is! Most new car warranties last at least 12 months, so you will probably be covered if you're driving a new car. If you're beyond that period, check in with your insurer to see what kind of coverage you have.
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