Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI)

Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) pays for repairs from sudden breakdowns outside of normal wear and tear. The average mechanical breakdown auto insurance cost is between $30 and $100, and you have an option to choose between a $250 and $500 deductible. Mechanical breakdown car insurance isn't available from all companies, so you'll need to search for a company that offers it. Compare multiple companies and shop around to see which companies provide mechanical breakdown insurance.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in sustai...

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Written by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Reviewed by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) will help you pay for repairs due to a sudden vehicle breakdown due to accidents or other mechanical failures.
  • You won’t be able to use MBI from normal wear and tear.
  • Some companies deal specifically with mechanical breakdown insurance.

Mechanical breakdown insurance is one of those services that pay for sudden engine failures once an auto warranty has expired. But how much does it cost? Affordable mechanical breakdown insurance is all over the nation, and we’ll show you which companies provide it along with cheap auto insurance.

If you want to compare mechanical breakdown insurance quotes included with your car insurance, enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool above. Or continue reading through this guide to see where you can get MBI.

What is mechanical breakdown insurance?

Mechanical breakdown insurance is a car repair insurance service that pays for sudden vehicle breakdowns. It’s a beneficial service when your standard auto insurance policy won’t pay for engine failure, a bad clutch, or other expensive repairs.

Some auto insurance companies don’t provide mechanical breakdown insurance, so you’ll have to shop around for a mechanical breakdown insurance company.

What does mechanical breakdown insurance cover?

When you buy mechanical breakdown insurance, you’ll be covered for auto insurance repairs that aren’t caused by normal wear and tear. Therefore, an engine that suddenly fails outside of an accident could be covered by mechanical breakdown insurance.

Does auto insurance cover engine failure? Your auto insurance company will only cover engine failure costs if your vehicle was involved in an accident. However, you need collision coverage if your car was damaged in an accident.

If your vehicle was damaged from an accident that doesn’t involve a collision, you need comprehensive coverage to get help from your car insurance provider.

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10 Things Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Won’t Cover

Here’s a list of maintenance services that mechanical breakdown insurance won’t cover.

  • Brake Pad Installation and Lining
  • Coolant Refill and Other Fluids
  • Cabin Filters
  • New Tires and Rotating Tire Service
  • Oil Changes
  • Spark Plug Replacement and Installation
  • Suspension Alignments
  • Tune-ups
  • Wheel Balancing
  • Windshield Wiper Replacement and Installation

Your auto insurance provider won’t cover these services either. Therefore, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for all maintenance.

Where can you buy mechanical breakdown insurance?

A few auto insurance companies carry mechanical breakdown insurance, but a small number of companies exclusively sell MBI. Here’s a list of those companies.

Auto Insurance Companies with MBI and MBI-Specific Companies
Auto Insurance Companies with MBIMBI-Specific Companies
21st CenturyCarchex
AAAEndurance (VSC)
Liberty Mutual
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Allstate, GEICO, and USAA are some of the best companies in the United States that provide mechanical breakdown insurance. It may add at least $30 per year to your policy, but it’s worth it if your vehicle’s warranty is about to expire.

How much is mechanical breakdown insurance?

A mechanical breakdown insurance policy or add-on will cost between $30 and $100 per year. Cost depends on your deductible, which is between $250 to $500.

Also, be aware of recalls. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), recalls are reported when vehicle models have widespread issues (defects that affected their vehicles at once).

What’s the difference between MBI and extended warranty?

We’ve been asked, “Can I protect my car with an extended warranty instead of MBI?”

Auto warranties and mechanical breakdown insurance appear to work the same, but the coverage limits are much different. What do we mean by coverage limits? Let’s review the conditions of an extended warranty and mechanical breakdown insurance.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance vs. Extended Warranty
SummaryMechanical Breakdown Insurance StatsExtended Warranty Stats
Average CostUp to $100 per YearBetween $1,000 and $3,000
Coverage Limits by Miles or YearsUp to 7 years or Up to 100,000Warranty Lasts for 2 to 7 Years
Deductible$250 to $500$0 to $250
PaymentsPay Per MonthMust Be Paid in Full
Vehicle EligibilityNew Cars and Used Cars with 15,000 miles or lessNew Cars and Select Used Cars from the Dealership
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An extended warranty is more expensive, but it’s more comprehensive than mechanical breakdown insurance. Also, your deductible has a cheaper price range.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Let’s answer a few frequently asked questions before we wrap up the guide. If you want to compare mechanical breakdown insurance rates, enter your ZIP code in the free online tool below for full coverage quotes.

#1 – Is mechanical breakdown insurance worth it?

Yes. If you can’t afford the dealership’s warranty, you can save money by purchasing mechanical breakdown insurance.

#2 – Does mechanical breakdown insurance cover transmission?

Any new car or approved used vehicle can have their transmission repairs covered.

#3 – Is it easy to file a mechanical breakdown auto insurance claim?

Contact the company that handles your mechanical breakdown insurance policy and let them know you want to file a claim regarding your vehicle.

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