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.
What Car Insurance Never Covers
- Damage caused by normal wear and tear
- Intentional damage (sometimes including DUI)
- General maintenance
- 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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