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Does my car insurance cover engine failure?

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Things to remember...

  • Car insurance does not typically cover engine failure
  • Engine failure might be covered by insurance if the damage resulted from a collision or comprehensive loss
  • Some insurance companies can add mechanical breakdown coverage on your policy
  • An extended warranty may cover engine failure

In most cases, engine failure is not covered by your car insurance. Car insurance policies must provide required coverage which can include liability for bodily injury, liability for property damage, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage.

None of those four required car insurance coverages applies to your insured vehicle. So, those four do not cover your insured car and will not pay for engine failure.

You can purchase additional insurance coverage for collision, comprehensive, and GAP insurance. Each of these three extra options provides coverage for your listed vehicle. When you read your car insurance policy, there are exclusions.

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Collision Coverage Can Cover Some Types of Engine Failure

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Collision coverage usually covers for the direct and accidental loss to your vehicle when you have a collision with another object. Coverage for wear and tear and mechanical breakdown get listed as exclusions in most car insurance.

The exception will be when the loss is the result of an event that is covered somewhere else in your insurance policy. That event would be when you have a collision that results in damage to the engine.

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Comprehensive Coverage Might Cover Engine Failure

Comprehensive coverage usually covers loss to the vehicle when it is not part of a crash. The kind of loss for this coverage of insurance could include a loss from:

  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Explosion

If your engine has failed after your car burned in your garage as a result of a house fire, the comprehensive coverage may cover the motor damage. If someone steals your automobile and the engine fails, that may be a covered loss.

Those types of engine failures would need to be directly related to the event.

Losses Insured by Comprehensive Coverage

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There may be additional problems with a failed engine where coverage could apply.

If a problem develops with a car after an accident or comprehensive loss has happened, you would have to prove to the insurance company that the damage to the engine is the direct result of the events causing the loss.

A good mechanic can determine what caused the problem, such as one that could develop on a lower portion of your engine after hitting a huge pothole.

If your mechanic can prove that the engine problem started after the accident, then you could get the insurance adjuster to pay for the engine damage. You need to show records to the adjuster of the following:

  • Required maintenance completed by due dates
  • Recent mechanic reports showing no problem with the system under question
  • Regular monthly maintenance completed
  • Plus other factors

To convince an adjuster, you need a mechanic to provide proof to the insurance company that engine damage resulted from the accident or comprehensive loss.

Alternative Coverage for Engine Failure

When your car insurance policy does not provide coverage for engine failure, there may be an alternative coverage. Some of those coverage options could include:

  • Automobile manufacturer bumper to bumper warranty
  • Vehicle manufacturer powertrain warranty
  • Extended Warranty
  • Secondary market warranty or mechanical breakdown warranty

Car Manufacturer Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty

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Automobile manufacturers provide a warranty that covers a vehicle. The length of the warranty is often a combination of months and miles driven. It is common today to see a bumper to bumper warranty last three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Some of the exclusions to the bumper to bumper warranty are for:

  • Accident
  • Misuse
  • Alteration
  • Insufficient or improper maintenance
  • Bad fuel
  • Chemical or environmental damage

If your engine fails during that bumper to bumper coverage period, and the cause is not one of the listed exclusions, the warranty should cover your engine failure.

Car Manufacturer Power Train Warranties

Many automobile manufacturers now offer a powertrain warranty that is even longer than the bumper to bumper coverage. Companies like Chevrolet provide powertrain warranty coverage for five years and 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The power train under the Chevrolet warranty includes the following components:

  • Engine
  • Transmission and transaxle
  • Transfer case
  • Drive systems
  • Emission control systems

If your engine fails in the first five years or 60,000 miles, you will have a powertrain warranty coverage through your car manufacturer to cover engine failure.

Factory Extended Warranties

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Car dealerships sell extended warranties backed by the manufacturer. These extended warranties can cost from $1,000 up to $2,200 or more, depending on the type of vehicle you buy.

Consumer Reports states that 55 percent of extended warranty policy owners never used their coverage during the life of the warranty.

Consumer Reports went on to say that the people having the most satisfaction from buying an extended warranty were those people that used the warranty most frequently.

If you had purchased an extended warranty, check with your warranty company to determine your coverage for an engine failure.

Insurance Company Mechanical Breakdown Warranties

Some insurance companies offer a rider on your car insurance policy that will cover mechanical breakdowns.

There are additional costs added to your car insurance policy for this kind of coverage. Adding this coverage is often restricted to new vehicles. This warranty can be renewed for up to seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Third-Party Extended Warranties

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A third-party warranty is an extended warranty not purchased from the factory. Consumer Reports states that the satisfaction of buyers of third-party warranties is 41 percent, and those buying factory warranties is 53%.

If you purchased an extended warranty from any third-party warranty company, you might have coverage for your engine failure.

When you have an engine failure, you will probably not be able to get coverage through your car insurance company. There are some exceptions, and they would include damage that was the direct result of an accident or comprehensive loss.

You may also have purchased mechanical breakdown insurance from your insurance company.

If your car insurance company does not cover your engine failure, you may have other options. If you bought an extended warranty, you might have coverage for your engine failure.

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