No, car insurance does not cover mechanical problems unless you carry mechanical breakdown insurance. Mechanical breakdown insurance is a policy add-on that covers the failure of major vehicle systems such as the engine or transmission.
Standard car insurance policies do not provide this coverage, so if you don’t purchase mechanical breakdown insurance, you will have to pay for the repairs yourself. Several major insurance companies, including Geico and Allstate, offer mechanical breakdown insurance, which only costs about $100 annually.
It should also be noted that while mechanical breakdown insurance pays for system failures, it does not pay for major repairs related to normal maintenance or wear and tear.
Car insurance covers auto theft and vandalism for drivers with comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional and can help replace your car if it’s stolen, replace certain parts of your car that are stolen, or repair damage to your car resulting from theft or vandalism.
The coverage limit for claims related to theft is typically your car’s depreciated value, or actual cash value (ACV). Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a claim. So, if someone steals your car, the insurance company will pay the actual cash value of the vehicle, minus your deductible. The ACV is the car’s market value based on pre-loss condition, age, options, mileage, etc.
If you are financing your vehicle, the amount insurance pays may not be enough to pay off your loan or lease. If you owe more than your car is worth, you should consider gap insurance, which helps cover the difference between your car’s actual value and the balance owed.
You should also keep in mind that comprehensive coverage won’t pay for a rental vehicle as part of your stolen car claim. You’d need rental reimbursement coverage on your policy to help pay for transportation costs related to your car being stolen.
What To Do When Your Car Is Stolen
File a police report as soon as possible—ideally within 24 hours. Not only will this improve your chances of recovering the car, but you’ll also need a police report to file a claim with your insurance provider.
File an insurance claim with your comprehensive insurance provider. Keep in mind that you will need to provide as much information as possible if you want your claim to be solved quickly and fairly.
How Car Insurance Covers Theft
Comprehensive coverage won’t cover theft of your personal belongings, like your phone, laptop, or other valuables. Those items should be listed on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, even if you often leave them in your car.
Normal liability car insurance won’t cover theft because it protects the other driver from bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident you cause.
Yes, car insurance covers engine failure, but only if it was caused by a covered scenario like an accident or vandalism. For instance, if a crash leads to engine failure, the policyholder’s collision insurance will cover repairs, but not if the damage was caused by poor maintenance, negligence or wear and tear. It’s also worth noting that comprehensive and collision are optional according to state laws, so be sure to check your coverage details to see if your policy will apply to the situation.… read full answer
If the engine problem was not caused by a covered scenario, it might still be covered if you have mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI). Comprehensive, collision, and mechanical breakdown insurance are usually subject to a deductible, so you won’t be able to file a claim if the cost of the damage is less than your deductible. Additionally, if the damage is minor, it might not be worth filing a claim, since claims usually cause insurance rates to increase.
Car insurance does not cover intentional damage, general maintenance, or damage caused by normal wear and tear. Minimum car insurance coverage does not cover the policyholder’s injuries or vehicle damage, either, only providing liability insurance to pay for injuries and property damage caused to others.
However, exact coverage exclusions vary between policies. In addition, insurance companies offer extra policy add-ons that can protect you in situations that don’t fall under minimum car insurance coverage.… read full answer
What Car Insurance Never Covers
Damage caused by normal wear and tear
Intentional damage (sometimes including DUI)
Damage that exceeds the limits of your liability policy
Personal belongings stolen from your car
What Car Insurance Does Not Cover Normally
Custom parts and equipment
Liability, comprehensive and collision car insurance do not cover customized parts and equipment, such as undercarriage lighting or third-party sound systems. However, some insurance companies offer add-on coverage to protect those types of things.
Your Car Loan or Lease If Your Vehicle is Totaled
Even if you owe your lender more than your car is worth when it’s totaled or stolen, your insurance company will only cover the replacement cost of the vehicle. Gap insurance is a policy option that covers the dollar-amount “gap” between what a car is worth and what is owed on the loan.
Driving Your Car for Rideshare or Delivery
If you’re driving your car as a way to make money, then your personal insurance policy might not cover you if you’re involved in a wreck on the job. While ridesharing and food delivery companies often offer insurance for their drivers, you can also purchase rideshare insurance for extra protection.
If you experience an engine or transmission failure on the road, your insurance policy won’t usually cover the cost of fixing it. But as a precaution, you can purchase mechanical breakdown insurance, which is similar to an extended warranty from a car manufacturer.
Before purchasing car insurance, it’s important to do your research and get a good idea of what types of coverage you might need beyond what’s required by the state. And before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to read the fine print of the policy so that you fully understand what is and is not covered.
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