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Will My Insurance Cover Car Wash Damage? Find Out

  • Auto Insurance
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 8 minutes

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If you’re a car owner, you know how important it is to keep your vehicle clean and shiny. But what happens when you take your car to a car wash, and it comes out with damage? Will your insurance cover it? Let’s take a closer look.

If the car wash does something wrong, their insurance will pay for the damage. But drivers with full coverage can also file a claim for damage with their insurance.

The car wash is supposed to make your car look better, not worse. But accidents happen. If you have full coverage insurance, your insurance company will pay for it.

Does your car insurance cover damage in a car wash?

How will Car Insurance cover Car Wash damage?

When a driver has full coverage, their policy includes both collision and comprehensive insurance. Here’s what you need to know about how your insurance covers car wash damage. Car insurance can pay for damage you cause to other cars and damage to your car in an accident. 

There are different kinds of coverage in every car insurance policy. Depending on what happened at the car wash, you may need to use more than one part of your policy.

There are different kinds of coverage in every car insurance policy. Depending on what happened at the car wash, you may need to use more than one part of your policy.

If you hit something at the car wash and damaged your car, your liability coverage would pay for the damage you did to the car wash. Your collision coverage would pay for the damage to your car.

Image by jcomp on Freepik

Say you shifted out of neutral while going through the car wash, and the washer arm broke your wheel well and dented the metal on your car door. Since you caused your car’s damage, you must file a claim with your car insurance.

If you don’t think you were at fault like if something fell on your car at the car wash or one of the moving parts cracked your windscreen, you can file a claim with your car insurance company. 

If your insurance company decides that the car wash was at fault, you’ll still get paid, but your insurance company will probably sue the car wash to get their money back. This is called subrogation.

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What you should keep in mind

First, we must understand what type of damage we’re talking about. This is physical damage if your car is scratched or dented in the car wash. If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, you may be covered for this type of damage. However, if you only have liability coverage, the minimum required by law in most states, you may not be covered for car wash damage.

Let’s say you do have comprehensive coverage. Does that mean your insurance will cover all car wash damage? Not necessarily. Some car washes may have signs or disclaimers stating that they are not responsible for any damage that may occur while washing your car. In this case, proving that the car wash is at fault may be difficult, and your insurance may not cover the damage.

Nevertheless, with comprehensive coverage in your insurance policy, you will likely be covered for car wash damage.

What if my Car and Car Wash were damaged?

If your car and the car wash were damaged in an accident, the insurance company would try to figure out who was at fault. 

Depending on who was at fault, there are several ways the claim could be paid:

Car Damaged by Car Wash

If you did everything the car wash told you to and your Car was still damaged, you can file a claim in one of two ways. You can file a claim with your insurance company if you have full coverage. If you don’t have full coverage or your claim was denied, you should file a claim directly with the car wash’s liability insurance.

To file a liability claim with the car wash, you’ll need to talk to a customer service representative there to find out about the company’s insurance. 

You should also keep any proof, like receipts, waivers, and photos, that can help with your claim.

Way.com’s policies also come with top-notch customer service and a commitment to making the claims process as smooth as possible. So if you’re tired of dealing with insurance companies that treat you like just another number, switch to Way.com today.

Your Car destroyed the Car Wash

Accidents happen. You might have turned too wide or knocked your car out of neutral while in the automatic car wash, which could have hurt the building or the parts that clean it. In either case, your liability insurance will cover the damage you caused. If you don’t have enough property damage liability coverage to pay for all the damage, you’ll have to pay for the rest of the costs out of your pocket.

Each state has different laws about who is at fault in an accident. In some states, the law says that each person is responsible for paying for the damage they caused. 

Image by ArtPhoto_studio on Freepik

If you and the Car Wash caused the damage

Each state has different laws about who is at fault in an accident. In some states, the law says that each person is responsible for paying for the damage they caused. 

This is called being partly to blame.

But in some states, a law called “modified comparative negligence” says that the party with more than 50% to blame must pay for all the damage. Some states even use a model called “contributory negligence,” which says that if both parties are a little bit to blame for the damage, they should each pay their costs.

If you and the car wash are both partly to blame for an accident, the laws of your state will say how much (if anything) you have to pay.

What should you do post-damage?

In the case of car wash damage, you can take a few steps to ensure that your insurance will cover the cost. The first step is to document the damage as soon as possible. Take photos of the damage and get a written estimate from a reputable repair shop. You should also contact the car wash and let them know about the damage. 

Nonetheless, if your car wash doesn’t want to cooperate, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.

When you file a claim, your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to inspect the damage. They will determine the cost of repairs. Depending on your policy, you may be responsible for paying a deductible before your insurance kicks in. 

Ultimately, checking with your insurance company to understand your coverage and options is essential.

Fail Car Wash GIF


If I sign a waiver, does that mean I can’t sue a car wash?

Sometimes. After signing a liability waiver, there are a few ways you might still be able to file a claim, such as:

State laws: There may or may not be laws in your state that make it illegal to give up your rights in certain situations.

Level of negligence: Businesses have a duty of care, which means they are expected to run reasonably safely. If the car wash knew its equipment was dangerous but kept using it anyway, the waiver might not apply.

Wording that needs to be clarified: If the waiver needs to be more precise or tries to release the car wash from all damage in every case, it may not be enough to stop you from filing a claim.

With our easy-to-use website and mobile app, managing your policy has never been easier. You can make changes, pay your bill, and even file a claim all from the comfort of your own home (or your favorite coffee shop, if that’s more your style). Give Way.com a try and see why we’re the top choice for drivers who want great coverage at a price that won’t make them cry. Trust us, your wallet – and your car – will thank you!

Is an Automatic Car Wash bad for the paint on my Car?

It depends on where you wash your car. Touchless car washes are much less likely to scratch or damage the paint on your car than tunnel car washes which use brushes and other tools to scrub the dirt off your car literally. Tunnel car washes are standard at gas stations.

Read More: Top 5 Tips to Avoid Damage in an Automatic Car Wash

Over the years, automatic car washes have changed a lot. They now use softer soaps with fewer rough parts that could damage your car. 


Depending on the type of car wash you use, there may be different risks for damage. You should always check for signs of damage before and after the wash.

It’s important to remember that car wash damage can be frustrating and stressful. Get the right insurance coverage and have a proactive approach. You can quickly minimize the impact and get back on the road.

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