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Does car insurance cover engine repairs?

Daniel Walker
Licensed Insurance Agent for 15 Years

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • Depending on the circumstances of how your engine was damaged, your car insurance may cover the cost of the repairs
  • If your car engine is damaged as a result of a car accident, minor damage to the engine would probably be covered. However, if the cost of the repair is too high, then your car could be considered a total loss
  • If you have collision coverage, you will have protection for physical damage to your engine in an accident even if you were the cause of the accident. Basic liability coverage would not handle that claim
  • If your car engine is damaged as a result of vandalism, this damage would be covered under a comprehensive insurance policy
  • Your car insurance will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing an engine if it can be shown that failure to properly maintain the engine was a cause of the accident

As a vehicle owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your car engine is properly maintained. If you are in an accident that results in damage to your engine, the damage could be covered by your collision insurance.

When damage involves an engine, sometimes the cost of repair is too high in relation to the overall value of your vehicle. In this case, the car insurance company would determine that your car is a total loss.

Enter your zip code above to find car insurance that covers your car repairs!

Damage Covered Under Your Collision Insurance Policy

Collision insurance is an optional coverage, so you need to check to make sure that you have it before you file a claim. If you are responsible for any of the damage in a car accident, your basic liability coverage only applies to the cost of repair for the other driver’s vehicle. You are on your own for repairing the damage to your own car.

However, with collision coverage, if your engine sustains minor damage from an accident that was your fault, this damage could be covered.

What would not be covered, on the other hand, is any mechanical failure in your engine that is not the result of an accident. If your car is a lemon or if you have a mechanical failure, this is not part of your collision insurance coverage.

Damage Covered Under Your Comprehensive Insurance Policy

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In the event that your car is damaged by vandals and the engine is affected, this could be covered under your comprehensive insurance policy. This is another optional form of coverage that protects you for incidents that do not involve collisions.

For both of these types of coverage, you should ask around to get the best rate possible. You will also need to pay a deductible for your claim, so you should balance out paying a higher deductible with a lower premium for car insurance.

Maintaining Your Car

The burden is on the vehicle owner to maintain the car in a safe and proper manner. If you fail to have regular oil changes or other preventative maintenance performed on your car, this could come into play in determining the fault of the accident and whether your car engine would be covered for repair.

Purchasing Mechanical Breakdown Insurance for Your Car

Mechanical breakdown insurance is offered by some insurance companies to protect you in the event of major mechanical issues with your car.

The specific components of your car that will be covered are listed in the policy, and it is used by some drivers to try to prolong the life of their car. It is also used to supplement an existing car warranty.

When Your Car is a Total Loss

Because engine repairs can be very expensive, your car is likely going to be considered a total loss by the insurance company if there is major damage to your engine.

In this case, the car insurance company offers you a settlement check based on the fair market value of your car. You would no longer be allowed to drive your car, but you could use the settlement check towards the purchase of a replacement vehicle.

The claims adjuster assigned to your case may collect his own estimates on what it will cost to have your car repaired after an accident. You may also want to have your own estimate performed so that you know if you are being presented with a fair settlement offer.

In terms of determining the value of your car, the insurance company will rely on either the National Association of Automobile Dealers or the Kelley Blue Book to come up with a figure.

Wrap Up on Car Insurance Engine Repairs

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Your typical car insurance policy does not cover mechanical failures in your car.

If, however, the damage to your engine was sustained in an accident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs for your car engine. You would file a claim through your collision insurance if you were at fault for an accident in which your car engine was damaged.

Unless you have some other type of coverage, such as mechanical breakdown insurance, you are generally responsible for the cost of all upkeep of your car and fixing any mechanical problems with your engine.

If your insurance will pay out the claim, then a claims adjuster will determine the extent of the damage and a reasonable estimate for repair.

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