My Car Was Egged – Will Auto Insurance Cover the Damages?

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Having your vehicle egged can cause more than just superficial damage.  While the egg’s contents can be easy to clean off, its shell can cause permanent damage to the clear coat and paint of your vehicle.  

So, does auto insurance cover damage to your vehicle from being egged?   Car insurance will only cover egg related damages if you have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy.  Egg shells can scratch and chip the clear coat and paint of your vehicle, requiring the damaged panel to be repainted.  Repairs can cost between $200 to $500 per panel.

As an auto damage adjuster, I have written hundreds of vandalism claims.  Let me guide you in determining if the egg damage on your vehicle is permanent and estimating it’s cost to repair. If the damages are significant enough to file, I will provide techniques on optimizing your claim with the auto insurance company and how to prevent a low estimate.   

How does an Egg Damage a Vehicle’s Paint?

An egg shell is composed of 97% calcium carbonate ¹ which is similar to limestone.  Though it may seem fragile, egg shell fragments are both sharp and strong enough to damage a vehicle’s paint job.   Under pressure, egg fragments will cause abrasions in a vehicles clear coat, these abrasions will appear as chips and scratches in a round or oval shaped starburst like pattern.

Luckily, not all eggings will end up with damaged paint.  The egg has to be thrown with enough force to pulverize the egg shell and push the egg fragments into the car’s finish.  Thus, a soft throw, which has barely enough force to just crack the egg on the vehicle, will not cause damage to the clear coat.  

While many websites claim that egg yolks will cause damage to a vehicle’s paint, I have not seen any damage to a vehicle’s finish from egg contents.  I have seen cases where an egg yolk has been baked onto a car from being in the sun for days and the paint surface was fine when cleaned off.

How Much Does Egg Damage to a Car’s Paint Cost to Repair?

Clear coat that has been chipped deep enough to catch your fingernail is no longer a continuous surface.  A break in the clear coat opens up the underlying layer, which is the actual paint of your car, to oxidation, rain, road salt and pollutants.  This will result in accelerated fading, peeling, and ultimately rust.

Once egg damage has penetrated the clear coat, then that damaged panel will have to be refinished by a body shop with a factory grade paint system and paint booth.  Egg damage repairs can cost between $200 to $500 per panel depending on the size of the damages and other factors.

Paint Repair Costs for Egg Related Damage Depends on the Following Factors:

  • Size of and amount of damages.  More time to repair will be needed for larger and multiple impacts.

  • Surface area of damaged panel.  The larger the panel, the more paint will be required to refinish it.

  • Proximity of damage to other panels. If the damage repair is within 18 inches of another panel, then that panel will have to be refinished additionally for color matching.  This is called a paint blend as a body shop cannot perfectly match paint on a vehicle and has to fade the paint into an adjacent panel to mask any color differences.  A good body shop can make this transition invisible.

  • Removal of trim or exterior components.  Before a surface can be painted, the surface has to be free of trim or any other components attached to it. Some panels such as a rear bumper have no exterior trim to remove, so labor to de-trim this  is minimal. A door, on the other hand, is very labor intensive as it will have a mirror, door handle and various moldings that need to be removed in order to get to a bare, paintable surface.

Here are Two Examples of Egg Damage Repair Costs:

2015 Toyota Camry egged with clear coat damage under driver door handle.

  Front door repair   Rear door blend operation
  $50   1 hour body labor to repair damage   $175   3.5 hours body labor to de-trim and reassemble rear door
  $175     3.5 hours body labor to de-trim and reassemble driver door   $120     1.5 paint labor hours to blend rear door
  $280   3.5 hours paint labor to refinish driver door   $295   Rear Door Total
  $505      Front Door Total    $800   Total Repair Cost

Since the repairs will be taking place next to the driver side rear door, that panel will have to be blended.  As mentioned earlier, a blend is a partial refinish for color match required when a nearby panel is being refinished.   A painter can normally fade paint repairs for small damage within a panel but only if it is in the middle of that panel so that they do not have to paint any nearby panels.  In this case, since the damage is less than 18 inches from the rear door, the painter cannot fade in the color. The rear door will then be blended to match the color.

The fender in front of the door will not have to be painted as the damage is far enough from the fender allowing the painter to blend the color within the front door panel.  It is important to understand that a body shop can rarely mix paint perfectly enough to paint one panel and not another without blending in an area of repair.

Rear bumper egged with damage in its center.   

Since the damage was in the center most part of the rear bumper, none of the adjacent panels had to be blended for color matching.  The bumper also did not have any trim pieces on it which would add to the cost of taking it apart.

     Rear bumper repair
  $50   1 hour body labor to repair damage
  $125   1.5 hours body labor to remove the bumper from the vehicle  
  $200   2.5 hours paint labor to refinish bumper  
  $325     Total  

How can I Repair Egg Damage to my Paint?

  1. Spray the egg residue with a warm mixture of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water until it is soaked.  

  2. Once the egg is soft and runny, spray it with a garden hose under light pressure.
  3. Remove any residue with a towel, but make sure there are no egg fragments left on the surface so as not to push them into the paint and create any scratches.

  4. Clean the surface with the warm vinegar mixture again until completely clean, then rinse with water.  

  5. Look for any damage to the clear coat.  Eggshell damage will result in a starburst like pattern of chips. If you find chips that are deep enough to catch your fingernail, then that panel will need to be repainted.  

  6. If the chips are shallow and do not catch your fingernail, then you can attempt to polish them out.  You can apply rubbing compound (link to Amazon) with a buffer pad drill attachment (link to Amazon) in a circular motion over the scratches. Some scratches will require light surface sanding with 3000 grit sandpaper (link to Amazon) and then moving onto 5000 grit sandpaper (link to Amazon). Finally, use rubbing compound across the repair area again and then wax it for a bright finish.

Is it Worth Making a Claim for Egg Damages to My Car?

Check with your agent to see if you have comprehensive coverage and how much your deductible is, but do not make a claim yet.  Make sure to thoroughly inspect your vehicle, you can assign an average price of $350 for every panel that has a damaged clear coat.  

If the damages exceed your deductible then it can be worthwhile to make a claim though I caution people from proceeding if the damage is just barely above the deductible.   

A comprehensive claim should not raise your rates, but this can never be said with certainty.  Insurance companies will never 100% confirm or deny if your rates can increase because the formulas that they use to rate customers are proprietary and the rating system variables are always changing.  

In my opinion, any claims paid out on a policy could be grounds for an insurance company to increase your rates.  So, proceeding with a claim for $550 in damage, when you have a $500 deductible, might not be worth the risk.

How to File an Insurance Claim for Egging Damage to Your Vehicle.

Once you have determined it is worthwhile filing a claim, call the insurance company to start the process.  The insurance adjuster will ask you the date and approximate time of loss, where you and your vehicle were, and for a description of the damages.  Take pictures if possible before removing the egg residue and photograph all damages for your records.

Inspection Process

An appointment for an inspection will be set up, either to bring your vehicle to a body shop or have the adjuster come to your location.  If an appointment is set up at a body shop, you are not obliged to have the repairs completed there. You can simply ask for an estimate and then bring it to the shop of your choice.  There is no law anywhere in the U.S. obligating you to repair the vehicle at your insurance company’s body shop.

The adjuster can also come to your home, workplace, or body shop of your choice to complete an estimate.  Despite the insurance company’s efforts to schedule you at one of their inspection facilities, you do not have to agree to their schedule.  Insist on having the adjuster come to you instead.

Identifying the Damages

At the inspection, the adjuster will take pictures of your vehicle and write an estimate. Make sure to familiarize yourself with all of the damages on the vehicle and to review these with the adjuster during the inspection so that they do not miss anything related to the vandalism.  

You can mark all of the damage on your vehicle with an automotive pen (see price on amazon) so that nothing is missed.  The ink from these pens is designed to write on a vehicles surface and washes off easily.

Also ask the adjuster to review the estimate with you before it is finalized.  Finalizing an estimate is known as “locking” and requires extra steps to rewrite it after the estimate is locked. Sometimes the adjuster cannot change the estimate after they lock it, so it is important to review beforehand to make sure you have all of your damages covered.

If additional damage is discovered by your body shop of choice, they will request a supplement from the insurance company.  A supplement is an amendment to an adjusters estimate. An insurance adjuster will then go to the body shop to reinspect these damages and modify the estimate once they come to an agreement with the body shop.

Sometimes the adjuster might ask the shop to send them invoices and photos of damage as proof, which would speed up the process, but this depends on the insurance companies inspection policies.

Damage Disagreement

Occasionally the auto damage adjuster and the customer might not agree on what is related to the claim.  This is more common on vandalism claims such as eggings because almost any damage that does not look like it was from a car accident, can be claimed to have happened during the vandalism.  Who’s to say that your car was also not keyed or kicked during the vandalism?

If you did not notice the scratches or new damages on your vehicle previously, make sure the adjuster includes it in their estimate.  If the adjuster is adversarial and specifically denies damage from your estimate, check out this article on how to negotiate with an adjuster to have your demands met.

Getting Paid

If you own your vehicle outright then you can ask the insurance company to issue the check directly to you.  You do not ultimately have to repair the vehicle, because in the eyes of the insurance company, you have been made whole by being paid for the damage repair.

Keep in mind the insurance company will make it difficult to pay for any additional damage, unless the adjuster missed obvious damage, until repairs are started.  So if you do not repair the vehicle, the adjuster will not be able to negotiate labor times or part prices until repairs are started.

If you do not own the vehicle, since you are leasing it or still have a loan on it, then they will not issue a check directly to you.   You will receive a dual party check with the bank’s name and your name on it. You will have to get the check endorsed by the bank before you can cash it, but I have seen very few banks agree to this.

Another option is to have the insurance company issue the check to you and your body shop of choice or even directly to your body shop.  

An Aftermarket Paint Warranty can Cover Egging Damages to your Car.

If you do not have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy, check your purchase documents from the dealership.   New and used car dealers will often sell an aftermarket paint warranty to cover damages such as bird droppings, tree sap and even vandalism.  

Aftermarket paint warranties usually cost between $300 to $700 and can be in effect for 5 years or more from date of purchase.  Call the warranty company to review their claims process, as there might be a deductible or limit to coverage.