No, auto insurance does not typically cover rust damage to a vehicle. Rust is usually just considered normal wear and tear of the car. Collision and comprehensive insurance cover damages to the car from an incident, not rust, which usually appears over time.
If, however, the rust is due to an incident and the repair was not made correctly or you had water damage to the vehicle due to floods, hurricane winds and water, then you could check to see if your Comprehensive cover would cover your resulting rust damage.
Comprehensive insurance normally covers your vehicle for losses from incidents other than collision (OTC).
For example, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car if it is stolen; or damaged by flood, fire, or animals. This optional auto insurance coverage pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose and may over rust damage depending upon how and why it happened.
There are exclusions to OTC, mainly normal wear and tear and mechanical failures not due to a covered event or loss. If the rust is not caused by an accident or other incident covered by your auto insurance policy but is due to normal wear and tear, then the repairs needed would not be covered by your auto insurance policy.
You can read through the terms of your OTC auto insurance policy and speak with your agent to find out if any repairs that need to be made to your vehicle due to rust will be covered since state laws and insurance policies differ.
To cover the repairs you need to make due to the rust on your vehicle, you would need to look at the car’s warranty (if it is still covered and this damage falls into their coverage). Or if you have mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) on it you could see if this type of damage would be covered with the MBI, though again normal wear and tear is not usually covered by this type of insurance.
— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.