Does car (auto) insurance cover engine failure?

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Does car (auto) insurance cover engine failure?

SOS: My Engine Failed!

One minute you’re cruising along, top down, wind in your hair, when all of the sudden, BAM, the car is out of your control. Engine failure is intense and scary, to say the least! 

But despite the chaos that engine failure generates, most engine problems have rather banal causes: forgetting to change the oil, filters, and coolant, not to mention failing to check that the clutch, spark plugs, and breaks are all in working order. 

But if proper care isn’t taken, the results can be catastrophic for both you and your car. A failed engine could cost you upwards of $2,500, not to mention cause bodily harm to you and any of your passengers. And if the damage is beyond repair — well, you’re looking at a whole new car. 

Insurance can help keep engine failure from being a total nightmare — or at least save you some cash while you’re dealing with your car. How much you’ll pay, however, depends on the type of policy you purchase. So let’s get into when your insurance will help cover the cost of engine failure. 

Does Insurance Cover Engine Failure? 

No, not outright — except when the engine failure results from something that is covered by your insurance, such as a car accident, theft, or vandalism. And policies definitely don’t tend to include coverage for mechanical problems that occur due to negligence or regular wear and tear. So if you’re driving your dad’s 1972 Ford Torino, it’s on you to make sure that everything is running smoothly and up to scratch. 

Car insurance policies are designed to cover accidental, sudden, or unanticipated damages. And yes, for most people, sudden engine failure feels like it should fall into that category. But unfortunately, life just isn’t always fair! 

That said, there are certain policies that could cover engine failure, depending on the circumstances. Let’s break them down.

What Type of Insurance Covers Engine Failure?

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

When buying car insurance, you can opt for mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) that covers engine failure. Similar to a car warranty, mechanical breakdown coverage is valid for a set period of time. In other words, the MBI works as an extended warranty for auto parts. This could be one of the most sure-fire ways to ensure you’ll be covered if you experience engine failure.

Collision Coverage

If you’ve got collision coverage, you’re in luck: this type of policy pays for damages if the vehicle is hit, no matter who is at fault. If you happen to be the kind of person who rear ends cement pillars (we’re looking at you, Marble Member Jasper), collision coverage will pay for repairs — once you’ve hit your deductible, of course. This means that if your engine failure is caused by a car accident, your collision policy will help pay for the damages and replacement. 

Collision coverage is optional if you own your car outright; if you lease or have a loan for your car, your lender will probably require you to purchase collision coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage

Most policy holders buy their collision policy along with comprehensive coverage, which protects you in case of everything excluding a collision. For example, if your engine fails because someone tampers with the car while trying to steal your catalytic converter, then your comprehensive coverage will pay for the replacement. The same holds true if your car is battered in a hail storm, stolen, flooded, struck by a fallen tree owing to some other natural phenomena, or any damage caused by a named peril. So read your policy closely!

However, how much your policy covers and how much you pay depends upon your deductible. But as a general rule of thumb, remember that the higher the deductible, the lower the premium tends to be.

Liability Coverage

If you have liability coverage, insurance will pay for the damages if the accident is your fault. This means that if you happen to cause someone else’s engine to fail, your liability policy will pay for the replacement parts, as well as any medical expenses. (And the same would be true if your engine fails due to an accident — if the person who hit you has liability coverage, that policy would cover your engine failure). Just keep in mind that you’re responsible for any amount above the insurance coverage limit. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

According to the Insurance Information Institute, around one in eight drivers in 2019 were on the road and uninsured. That’s a lot of people driving without protection, especially since nearly every state has a minimum requirement for car insurance. 

With that in mind, you may want to consider an uninsured motorist policy, since it pays for the expenses if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance and cannot pay themself. When it comes to engine failure, this type of coverage may cover repair costs only if the failure can be linked directly to an accident with an uninsured driver.

Find the Coverage You Need with Marble

Engine failure can be scary and unexpected — and while there’s no way to predict car failure, at least there’s insurance for when life gets messy. So if you want to make sure you’ve got the right coverage no matter what the emergency, make sure to read through your documents closely. And if you’re not satisfied with the insurance you currently have, we recommend you shop around and compare what’s out there. 

One way to do that: Sign up for Marble, where you can compare rates and view coverage options so that you can find the best plan for your budget and your engine. Then, keep track of all your policies in a digital wallet and earn rewards just for having insurance.