Does Car Insurance Cover Engine Failure?

Insurance is one area people often don’t know what to expect or claim for. People either have very high or low expectations. While one group just pays most damages out of pocket others think that they can claim for everything that happened to the insured property or vehicle. Actually, it is pretty straightforward and it is there to pay for sudden, unexpected losses due to clearly defined perils.

Typically, mechanical or electrical malfunction isn’t one of the risks covered by a car insurance policy. Engine repairs isn’t something included, unless it is due to a collision, fire, flood, theft and vandalism. It isn’t something unexpected because motors often fail for various reasons like age, heavy use or technical issues. It is part of owning an automobile and nothing out of the ordinary, although it may come suddenly.

Does Full Coverage Mean Everything?

One of the reasons why people even ask such questions is that there may be confusions around the willy-nilly used term of “full coverage” that can be taken (or sold) as everything. It is true that full coverage auto insurance pays for most losses that may be suffered by a policyholder but it has limits too.

The risks included are well defined and they are Collison, Comprehensive, Liability and commonly Uninsured Motorists. In other words, an insurer will pay for all vehicle repairs (including engine) if it was due to a collision, fire, flood, theft, vandalism, storm and accidental damage. If you or an uninsured motorist (providing it is included) were at fault in a vehicular accident it will be your own provider. If it was the other driver, a third-party carrier will end up footing the bill.

Clearly, mechanical or electrical faults that were due to age, wear and tear and factory defects are not mentioned anywhere above because they are not within the scope of a typical vehicle insurance policy, no matter how good it is. 

Is There Any Coverage for an Engine Blow Up?

Most new automobiles come with warranties from the manufacturers that can be in effect for a certain number of years or miles. For example, it could be up to 3 – 5 years or 50,000 miles. This is not insurance but a promise to fix any problems. Often it covers the motor and its components. It is a way of assuring automobile buyers that they can rely on the manufacturer to fix the problems, should it not live up to the expected quality. Warranties can be extended through dealerships or third-party companies.

Second alternative is called Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) which would pay for repairs and replacements due to mechanical and electrical malfunctions. It can be bought through some insurance companies as an add-on to a standard auto policy. Not all of them provide this option and it may only be available for nearly-new vehicles. It can work out cheaper and more flexible than a warranty.

Still, normal maintenance issues like brake pads, tires, wipers, filters aren’t included in both of them because they are expected wear and tear. If you really want to include everything you will either need to extend the warranty or buy MBI. However, your options may be limited for a vehicle of a certain age.

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