Car insurance is for accidents and incidents (such as contact with deer) that can cause immediate damage to a vehicle. Rust is slow forming, long term deterioration of iron or some metals that have iron in them (alloys, like steel). To be specific, rust is another name for iron oxide that happens when iron or iron alloys are exposed to oxygen and moisture for a long period of time. Therefore, rust cannot be caused by an accident or an unavoidable incident. Over time rust can form but it is not caused by the incident (just the lack of care/repair of the metal after an incident).
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A quick look at rust:
· It can damage vehicles and shouldn’t be ignored (it’s best to have it repaired). It can ruin body panels or even compromise the strength of the car’s frame if ignored long enough.
· It is rarely covered by auto insurance, since it forms over a long period of time.
· It decreases the value of your car.
· It typically it happens with normal wear and tear on the vehicle, like mechanical failures.
Is rust ever covered?
No, because of its slow forming nature. If, however, your slightly rusty bumper gets damaged when backed into the mailbox and you have collision coverage, the collision coverage would still help repair the damaged bumper. However, there’s an excellent chance there’d be a deduction in estimation of the damage covered due to the rust. In other words, if you had $800 of damage covered but there was $200 of rust, the damage covered could be $600.
The best thing to do is avoid rust by keeping your car clean and salt-free (don’t forget the undercarriage). Remember those little scratches or scrapes are perfect spots for oxidation to start since the metal is exposed. To help prevent rust on your car, wash it every few weeks with soap and water to prevent sediment from wearing through the protective paints. Rinse well! You can even add some baking soda to help neutralize road salt. If you live in a coastal area such as Galveston, TX, you’ll want to wash it more often (again, don’t forget to get underneath the car).
If you do start experiencing rust on your car, it’s best to take action right away. A bit of TLC early can prevent big problems later. There are rust repair kits you can buy, DIY videos you can watch, or professionals to hire at dealers and vehicle paint places.
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