Don’t you hate it when one of the kids spills soft drink and stains--often permanently--your expensive leather seats, or worse still, when a moment of carelessness on your part leaves an ugly scrape on your bumper at the local shopping center car park. Mercedes-Benz customers need no longer worry about such hassles as the company now offers an insurance product that covers them.

The automaker, through its Mercedes-Benz Financial subsidiary, now offers “First Class Exterior” and “First Class Interior” paint and fabric insurance programs. Established to meet demand being generated at dealerships, the program is backed by DuPont Automotive, which is the official supplier for the paint and fabric programs.

Branded insurance products can be a lucrative business for automakers, which are already being squeezed tremendously profit margins for new vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz customers can already purchase extended warranties, as well as wheel and tire protection, and the automaker is set to launch even more branded insurance products. Additionally, closest rival BMW is expected to follow suit with its own paint and fabric insurance programs through its BMW Financial Services subsidiary.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]