can car insurance cover repairs

Can Car Insurance Cover Repairs

Car insurance can help cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle in certain situations. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, your insurer will assist with paying for repairs if your car is damaged in an

accident or by other covered events like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. However, the amount your insurance company contributes will depend on your deductibles and policy limits. You may still have significant out-of-pocket expenses depending on the severity of the damage.

Understanding exactly what your car insurance does and does not cover for repairs is important so you know what to expect if you need to file a claim.

Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs?

The short answer is sometimes. Whether your car insurance helps pay for repairs depends on several factors:

  • What type of policy you have
  • If the damage is caused by a covered peril
  • If you have the right endorsements or add-ons
  • The extent of the damage
  • Your deductibles

To get a better idea of when repairs are covered, let’s take a closer look at how standard auto insurance policies work.

Repairs/IncidentsCar Insurance Coverage
Accident RepairsCovered by collision/comprehensive with a deductible.
Mechanical BreakdownsNot covered; consider extended warranties.
Regular MaintenanceNot covered; owner’s responsibility.
Wear and TearNot covered; considered normal vehicle aging.
Natural DisastersCovered by comprehensive with a deductible.
Vandalism and TheftCovered by comprehensive with a deductible.
Manufacturer DefectsNot covered; check vehicle warranty.
Non-Collision IncidentsCovered by comprehensive with a deductible.
Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs?

What Does Car Insurance Cover?

There are several different types of car insurance coverage to choose from. The broadest auto policies are known as full coverage. Full coverage insurance includes liability, collision, and comprehensive.

Liability Coverage

Liability insurance is required in most states. It covers bodily injury and property damage that you cause in an at-fault accident. Liability coverage helps pay for

others’ medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and car repairs. However, liability only pays for damage to other vehicles and does not cover repairs to your own car.

Liability Coverage
Liability Coverage

Collision Insurance

Collision is an optional coverage that pays for repairs to your vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault. For example, if you crash your car into a tree, collide with another car,

or roll your vehicle over, collision helps pay for repairs. Collision comes with a deductible, usually $500 or $1,000, which is what you pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive is also optional and covers damage to your car that is not a result of a collision. This includes theft, vandalism, fire, flooding, hail, falling objects, and collisions with animals. Like collision, comprehensive has a deductible that must be satisfied first before coverage applies.

What is NOT Covered by Car Insurance?

While collision and comprehensive cover many repair scenarios, there are also damage types that standard auto policies do not cover:

  • Mechanical breakdowns or failed parts
  • Wear and tear
  • Gradual damage from the environment
  • Damage related to lack of maintenance
  • Damage caused by vermin
  • Damage from nuclear fallout

Additionally, liability only insurance does not pay for any repairs to your vehicle at all. Liability covers the other parties’ vehicles, not your own.

What Is Not Covered By Car Insurance?
What is NOT Covered by Car Insurance?

How Much Does Insurance Pay for Car Repairs?

The amount your insurer contributes to repairs depends on a few key factors:

Deductible Amount

Your deductible must be paid out-of-pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. If you have a $500 deductible and the total repair bill is $3,000, you will pay $500 and your insurance company will cover the remaining $2,500. Higher deductibles reduce your premiums but mean you pay more upfront for repairs.

Policy Limits

Auto policies have coverage limits per accident or claim. A common limit is $25,000 for repairs. If repair costs exceed your limits, you would be responsible for the overage. Custom parts, older cars, and significant damage can lead to repair bills that exceed limits.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost

Insurance can pay claims based on actual cash value or replacement cost. ACV is the car’s value at the time of loss, factoring in depreciation. Replacement cost pays the amount to replace it with a similar make and model without deducting for depreciation. ACV will pay less than replacement cost.

Does Car Insurance Cover Major Repairs?

Major repairs are defined as those costing more than your car’s value or repairs to major components like transmissions, engines, or electrical systems. Whether major repairs are covered depends on your policy and limits.

For older, low value cars, repairs exceeding the vehicle’s ACV are generally not covered, even if damage is from a covered peril. It would not make sense for insurance to pay $5,000 to repair a car worth only $2,000.

On newer cars with higher values, insurance is more likely to cover major repairs up to your policy limits. However, you may still be responsible for any overages beyond what the insurer pays.

Some add-ons like car replacement coverage guarantee repairs or replacement up to a set amount, even if repair bills exceed your car’s value. This is advantageous for major repairs on newer vehicles.

Does Car Insurance Cover Major Repairs?
Does Car Insurance Cover Major Repairs?

Does Car Insurance Cover Normal Wear and Tear?

Normal wear and tear is not covered by standard auto insurance. Gradual damage that naturally occurs as the car ages and breaks down does not qualify for repairs under a claim.

Wear and tear includes things like:

  • Paint chipping/fading
  • Upholstery wear
  • Suspension aging
  • Tire damage

Insurance is designed to cover sudden, accidental damage from collisions and external forces, not incremental deterioration over time. Mechanical breakdown from routine operation is also not covered.

However, additional coverages like an auto warranty or mechanical breakdown insurance can help pay for repairing general wear and tear. Car replacement coverage offered by some insurers covers wear and tear for certain newer vehicles as well.

Does Car Insurance Cover Normal Wear And Tear?
Does Car Insurance Cover Normal Wear and Tear?

Does Car Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Damage?

Pre-existing damage refers to any damage, flaws, or mechanical issues your car had before you took out the insurance policy. All standard auto insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. The insurer is only responsible for sudden damage that occurs when the policy is active.

This means you need to be thorough when inspecting a new or used car before purchase. Carefully note any prior damage or mechanical problems so you do not falsely attribute them to an insured incident later on.

Can I Get Coverage for Pre-Existing Damage?

Though uncommon, you may be able to get an endorsement to cover pre-existing damage, for an additional premium. To qualify, you generally need:

  • A professional appraisal proving the damage occurred before the policy started
  • Documentation showing the damage has been repaired

Coverage applies only to the same part that already had damage, not to other areas of the car. This option is very limited and not available from all insurers.

Does Car Insurance Cover Normal Wear And Tear?
Does Car Insurance Cover Normal Wear and Tear?

What Repairs are Covered in an At-Fault Accident?

If you cause an accident, repairs to your vehicle are covered under your own collision insurance, subject to your deductible and limits. The at-fault driver’s liability coverage does not pay for damage to their own vehicle in a claim – only for harm caused to others.

Collision coverage follows your car, so your insurer will handle repairs to your vehicle even if the accident was your fault. The other party’s liability would cover damage to the other vehicle(s).

What Repairs are Covered in a Not-At-Fault Accident?

If another driver causes an accident, repairs to your vehicle are covered by their liability insurance. You start a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Their insurer will review the accident details to confirm fault. If their insured driver is liable, the other company accepts responsibility for damage costs, including repairs to your vehicle, medical bills, etc.

This is an advantage because you do not need to use your own collision coverage and pay a deductible. The at-fault party pays for all repairs to your vehicle through their insurer. Make sure you get their insurance and contact information at the scene.

What Repairs Are Covered In A Not-At-Fault Accident?
What Repairs are Covered in a Not-At-Fault Accident?

Can I Choose the Repair Shop?

Yes, you have the right to choose where your car is repaired after an insured incident. Insurance companies often have affiliated repair shops they recommend, but you can go elsewhere. However, the insurer will only pay for reasonable costs, not any inflated amounts charged by the repair facility.

Insurers require you get a few repair estimates before approving a claim payment. They may also want to inspect the vehicle themselves first. As long as you choose a licensed, professional repair shop, the insurance company will cover justified expenses.

Are OEM or Aftermarket Parts Covered?

OEM parts are made by your vehicle’s original manufacturer. Aftermarket or recycled parts are produced by third parties. Insurance companies often specify that cheaper aftermarket components can be used for repairs, which lowers their costs.

However, laws in some states require insurers to pay for OEM parts under certain conditions. For example, if OEM parts are required to maintain the car’s warranty,

or for new vehicles within the first two years. Beyond legal requirements, you can negotiate with the adjuster to try to get OEM parts approved.

Are Oem Or Aftermarket Parts Covered?
Are OEM or Aftermarket Parts Covered?

Getting the Right Coverage

To get the repairs you need covered, it is essential to have adequate coverage amounts and the right add-ons:

  • To ensure full car repair coverage:
  • Check coverage limits for total loss adequacy.
  • Consider lower deductibles for comprehensive coverage.
  • Add gap insurance to cover loan balance.
  • Inquire about OEM parts coverage.
  • Ask about diminishing deductibles for claim-free benefits.
  • Understand policy exclusions like wear and tear or natural disasters.
  • Bundle with home/renters insurance for discounts.
  • These tips enhance your auto repair protection. Need more advice?

Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV): The ACV is the value of your vehicle at the time it is totaled or damaged, factoring in depreciation. ACV on an older car will be lower than a new car.
  • Replacement Cost: This pays the amount it would take to replace your vehicle with a similar make/model, without deducting for depreciation. Replacement cost coverage pays more than ACV.
Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost

How Deductibles Work

A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket towards a claim before insurance coverage kicks in. Common deductibles are $250, $500, $1,000 or more. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums.

You pay your deductible once per accident claim, no matter how much the total repairs cost. If repairs cost less than your deductible, you pay the full amount. If they exceed the deductible, you pay the deductible amount and insurance covers the rest.

Add-On Coverages

Collision and comprehensive coverage – These pay for repairs from accidents and other covered perils. Rental reimbursement – Pays for a rental car while yours is in the shop. Gap insurance – Covers the “gap” between what your car is worth and what you owe if it’s totaled.

Car replacement coverage – Provides a new car of the same make/model if yours is totaled, even if repair costs exceed the car’s value. Mechanical breakdown insurance – Covers repairs of mechanical parts and systems.

So in summary, ACV vs replacement cost determines how repairs are valued, deductibles set your out-of-pocket contribution, and endorsements like rental coverage and gap insurance provide additional repair protections. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!


Will insurance cover a blown engine?

A blown engine is typically not covered by standard auto insurance. However, you may be able to get coverage through an endorsement or add-on like mechanical breakdown insurance or an extended car warranty. This provides coverage for major mechanical failures like a blown engine after you pay your deductible.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that is not from a collision, including theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire, and collisions with animals. Comprehensive coverage pays for repairs to your car after covered incidents, but you must pay your deductible first.

Will my insurance go up if I hit a deer Progressive?

Hitting a deer is considered a comprehensive claim with Progressive. Comprehensive claims do not count against you for rate increases in most cases. As long as you have not had multiple comprehensive claims within a short period, your rates should not go up after hitting a deer.

Does Geico insurance cover transmission failure?

Geico does not cover mechanical breakdowns like transmission failure under a standard policy. You would need to add specific coverages like mechanical breakdown insurance or an extended car warranty to get coverage from Geico for major transmission repairs or replacement.


Car insurance generally covers repairs for damage resulting from collisions, vandalism, natural disasters, etc. This is part of the collision and comprehensive coverage in an auto insurance policy.

Collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle if you collide with another car or object. Comprehensive covers damage from non-collision events like theft, vandalism, hail, floods, etc.

The amount the insurance company will pay depends on the type of policy you have. With a traditional policy, repairs are covered up to the actual cash value of the car. With a stated value policy, repairs are covered up to an agreed-upon value.

Insurance will pay for repairs up to the value of the car. If the repairs exceed this amount, the car will be considered a total loss and the insurance company will pay out the value of the car rather than repair it.

You will need to pay your deductible before insurance kicks in to cover repairs. A higher deductible lowers your premiums but means more out-of-pocket expense for you.

To get repairs covered, you will need to file a claim with proof of damages. Your insurance company will then evaluate the damage and decide on the payment for repairs. Not all repairs are covered. Maintenance issues like oil changes or new tires are your responsibility. Damage from wear and tear is also not covered.

So in summary, car insurance generally covers repairs for damage from covered events like collisions or natural disasters, minus your deductible, up to the value of your car. Maintenance and wear and tear are not covered.

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