If you own a car, then you know the importance of keeping it clean. When we’re in our teens and twenties, we may take care of our cars by washing them ourselves; but as time goes on and we’ve got more responsibilities, that starts to get harder to do.
Now, if you have a busy schedule or just don’t want to deal with the hassle anymore, there are tons of places out there where you can pay someone else to do it for you – like at your local car wash.
But what happens if something bad happens while your vehicle is getting cleaned? Will my insurance cover damage from a car wash?
This blog post discusses how you can get compensation for damages from a negligent car wash if you have proof and what types of plans may offer coverage for these situations.
NOTE: We’re not lawyers, and this article is only for informational purposes. Therefore, we still advise that you consult with a legal advisor for professional advice on issues like this.
Will My Insurance Cover Wash Damage?
Basically, you can get insurance cover for car wash damage depending on the nature of the incidence.
Basically, if a customer signs a waiver absolving the car wash of any damages, you may be able to get compensation for damages if you can prove that the car wash owner or employees were negligent.
In general, auto insurance only covers physical damage to your vehicle caused by an event other than routine wear and tear. Your insurer will not cover water spots, scratches, or other damages that may be caused by a car wash.
Claims made against negligent entities typically involve fraud and breach of contract in addition to violations of law such as negligence or battery.
You may have a legal claim against an entity (car wash) if that entity was negligent, which is defined as failing to act with the level of care appropriate for the situation.
The car wash could be found negligent for not properly cleaning your vehicle before returning it to you even though they were contractually obligated to do so and there are signs that state that they will not be held responsible for any damages.
However, it is important to establish the level of negligence before a claim can be pursued successfully.
Negligence requires evidence such as witnesses or an admission from the car wash owner that their employees were negligent in handline your vehicle after you signed a waiver absolving them of responsibility if all damages were your fault.
The following are things that an individual may not be aware of before signing a waiver, but should consider if they find themselves without coverage due to the negligence of a car wash company:
- There is no law in any state giving a car wash owner protection for negligent actions against their customers as long as the said customer has signed the waiver.
- Car washes can only be held liable if they willfully cause damage in a car and are found to have acted with gross negligence, which is often difficult to prove in court.
- The waiver may not protect the car wash from civil lawsuits filed by customers whose cars were damaged as long as there are extenuating circumstances that show a clear pattern of neglect.
- While there are some protections afforded to car washes in the form of waivers, it is a best practice for them to take steps like installing safety barriers and using multiple nozzles with variable water pressure so that they can avoid negligence lawsuits altogether by not being at fault.
How To Get Insurance Cover For Car Wash Damage
If you’ve found your car’s paint scratched or chipped after a visit to the local car wash, you may be wondering whether your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell for sure without knowing all the details of each case and analyzing every possible scenario.
Generally speaking, if an owner signs a waiver absolving the car wash of any damages (which they should never do), you may be able to get compensation for damages if you can prove that the car wash owner or employees were negligent, as I mentioned earlier.
That said, one of the best ways to prove negligence on the side of the car wash is to take pictures of your car before and after its wash so you will be able to spot any changes (damages) in your car.
Conclusion | Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover Car Wash Damage?
The question “will my insurance cover car wash damage” can be a tricky one to answer. It all depends on the vehicle owner’s policy, and whether or not they signed a waiver absolving the car wash of any damages.
If you are lucky enough to have an auto insurance plan that covers this type of incident, then it is possible your insurer will reimburse for repairs after proving negligence on the part of the car wash owner or employees.