Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 20, 2022

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The lowdown

  • Modern cars have complex electrical systems that are easily damaged, but damage can be hard to detect
  • As long as you have the right policy, your car insurance will cover most electrical problems
  • Car insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, so it’s essential to keep your engine maintained

Facing an electrical problem in your car can be a nightmare. From your overhead light to the computer system that tells your car how to drive, electrical problems can affect nearly every part of your vehicle.

It’s especially frustrating when problems seem to pop out of nowhere. Electrical issues in your car rarely wave a red flag to let you know they’re coming — one minute your car is fine, and the next, you’re on the way to the mechanic.

Drivers facing an issue in their vehicle usually wonder if car insurance covers electrical problems. The good news is that your policy covers most types of damage as long as you have the right coverage.

The damage also needs to be sudden or unexpected, meaning your electrical problem can’t be from normal wear on your car.

Learn more about which types of coverage protect your vehicle from electrical damage below. Then, compare prices with as many insurance companies as possible to find the best rates.

If you are concerned for your car’s safety and want better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today! Enter your ZIP code above to begin!

Does car insurance cover electrical problems?

Modern cars have more electrical parts than ever before. From backup cameras to safety features that prevent you from hitting another driver, newer cars have a lot of computing power.

The electrical system also includes the battery, starter, alternator, and all the wires that feed your lights, radio, and anything else that needs electricity.

With the increasing number of parts that go into it, many things can damage your electrical system. From car accidents to normal wear and tear, keeping your car’s electrical system safe can be a tough job.

The good news is that your car insurance often covers problems in the electrical system. All you need are the right types of coverage in your car insurance policy.

There are five primary types of car insurance, which cover different kinds of damage. To understand what you need in case of an electrical issue, you should know what each insurance covers.

  • Liability. Liability coverage helps pay for damage you cause in an accident, both to people and their property. Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage before you can legally drive.
  • Collision. This optional coverage helps pay for damage to your car in an accident, even if you are at fault.
  • Comprehensive. There are many things that can damage your car other than an accident. Comprehensive insurance helps repair your vehicle after damage from an unpredictable event.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. If you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, you’ll be stuck with the repair bill. This coverage will help repair your car if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Personal injury protection. Medical bills get expensive after an accident, but personal injury protection helps pay for medical expenses, physical therapy, and lost wages.

While there are many add-ons you can buy for a car insurance policy, these are the primary forms of coverage. Electrical damage caused by an event covered in any of the above policies will be covered.

When does collision insurance cover electrical damage?

As stated above, collision insurance helps pay for damage to your car after an accident. Collision insurance covers accidents involving other drivers and stationary objects (like trees). It doesn’t matter who is at fault — collision insurance will help you with repairs no matter what.

Today’s cars have complex electrical systems easily damaged after a collision. Unfortunately, electrical problems don’t always immediately present themselves. After an accident, you should have your car examined by a mechanic to ensure everything is still in working order.

If an accident causes damage to your electrical system, there are a few avenues that will help pay for repairs. Your collision policy will pay for repairs if you are at fault, while the other driver’s liability will cover you if they cause the accident.

Finally, if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and a driver with inadequate coverage hits you, your policy will make up the difference in the price of repairs.

When does comprehensive insurance cover electrical damage?

Comprehensive insurance covers unforeseen events. You’ll need to check with your insurance company to see what’s covered, but most comprehensive policies cover the following incidents:

  • Hitting an animal
  • Objects falling on your car, like a tree branch
  • Extreme weather, including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

You can file an insurance claim for an electrical fault with comprehensive coverage if it was caused by one of the events listed above. For example, water can cause significant damage to electrical systems. If your car was partially submerged in a flood and some wires shorted out, comprehensive insurance would cover it.

Does car insurance cover electrical fires? Yes, an electrical fire in your car is covered by insurance under your comprehensive policy, if you have one. Comprehensive insurance typically treats spontaneous fires similarly to weather or flood damage.

What is mechanical breakdown insurance?

Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is an add-on you can purchase for your primary policy. MBI covers mechanical issues in most systems of your car, including the following:

  • Electrical system
  • Exhaust
  • Cooling and heating systems
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain

Finding a company that sells MBI can be difficult, and they aren’t permanent fixtures for your policy after you buy it. MBI is usually only renewable for a few years, and only newer cars are eligible.

Another important thing to remember is that MBI doesn’t cover parts that need to be replaced periodically or routine maintenance like oil changes. It won’t cover electrical parts that degrade over time, but it will help if you have a sudden failure due to reasons not covered by your primary insurance.

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How much does insurance for electrical damage cost?

Typically speaking, comprehensive insurance is cheaper than collision insurance. However, there are many factors that go into determining the price of your insurance. There’s no way of knowing exactly how much you’ll pay without a quote.

Full coverage typically includes liability, comprehensive, collision, and uninsured/underinsured coverage. It costs more to buy full coverage compared to the state minimum requirements, but it’s the only way you get protection for your electrical system.

You can get an idea of how much coverage might cost you by looking at the average monthly prices from some of the biggest car insurance companies.

Average Monthly Price of Car Insurance Coverage by Company

Company Minimum coverage Full coverage
GEICO $30 $102
Travelers $37 $118
Allstate $54 $166
Nationwide $45 $111
Farmers $53 $145
American Family $49 $121
State Farm $39 $115
Progressive $52 $144
USAA $33 $103

As you can see, the difference between the minimum and full coverage can be substantial. However, the additional coverage can save you thousands if you ever need to make a claim.

When does insurance not cover electrical damage?

Unfortunately, there are times when your car insurance won’t help cover electrical problems. Wear and tear like rust damage or worn brakes are not covered by car insurance, no matter what insurance policy you have.

Your car is subjected to stress every time you drive it, and that’s especially true for your sensitive electrical system. However, electrical problems don’t usually present themselves in an obvious way like other engine problems.

Sometimes your check engine light will come on, but you can’t rely on that because electrical damage could prevent it from lighting up. As your car gets older, it’s good to have your mechanic occasionally look everything over.

Electrical problems are common as a car ages and wires start breaking down. If you file a claim for electrical damage, the first thing an insurance adjuster will check is if the damage was caused by normal wear and tear.

However, you can still have protection for your electrical system through warranties. When you buy a car, you usually have the option to purchase an extended warranty that will cover the electrical parts of your vehicle for years.

Protect Your Car From Electrical Damage With the Right Insurance

Making an insurance claim for an electrical fault is easy when you have the right coverage. Whether the damage comes from an accident or an unexpected incident, collision or comprehensive coverage can protect your car.

If you want to find insurance that protects your car from electrical problems, comparing quotes from multiple companies is a great place to start. Shopping for full coverage quotes will also help you find the best rates possible.

Start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates by entering your ZIP code below!