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Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs? (2024)

Learn about the coverage details of insurance for car repairs, from mechanical breakdown insurance to extended warranty plans and vehicle service contracts.

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03/29/2024 10:37 PM

The Gist:

  • Liability insurance will cover the repairs on the other person’s vehicle in a car accident where you are at fault.
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance will only cover parts of a car that fail due to mechanical failure.
  • What you need for your peace of mind depends a good bit on your car’s reliability.
Endurance
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Coverage: 5.0/5.0
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idée Endurance is our first choice for extended warranties
  • Best Plan Offerings
  • Mileage Covered: 200,000 miles on the odometer
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  • Plan Options: 6 different plans to choose from
  • Longest Plan Term: Up to 8 years
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Plan coverage includes Endurance Elite perks™
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Powertrain plan Tire repair and replacement
Maintenance coverage with Endurance Advantage Key fob replacement
Roadside assistance Total loss protection
Towing Collision discount
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Trip interruption coverage Endurance Protect app

From liability coverage to mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), drivers can choose from multiple types of insurance for car repairs. Liability insurance pays for damages to another person’s car when you are at fault for an accident. Mechanical breakdown insurance pays for auto repairs caused by a parts failure on your vehicle.

In this article, we’ll show you how to take advantage of liability insurance and explain whether MBI is a good idea. We’ll also look into the best extended auto warranty companies to see how their plans compare to mechanical breakdown coverage.

What Is Car Repair Insurance?

Car repair insurance usually refers to mechanical breakdown insurance, which covers the cost of repairs resulting from mechanical failure. MBI differs greatly from standard policies, as most insurance plans pay for vehicle repairs resulting from car accidents, environmental factors, or theft and vandalism.

Insurance for car repairs, such as MBI, is not required in any state. This car insurance coverage is also not offered by all insurance providers, since it’s less popular and pretty similar to extended car warranty plans.


Does Standard Insurance Cover Car Repairs?

Insurance for car repairs and mechanical problems is not included in most car insurance plans. The seven most common types of car insurance are:

Each type of coverage only goes into effect after there has been an accident or external event that damages your vehicle. If your car experiences a mechanical breakdown due to worn, faulty, or malfunctioning parts, a car insurance company will normally not provide compensation.

If you have a new car, mechanical issues may be covered by your manufacturer’s warranty plan. These typically provide three years of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years of powertrain component protection. Here’s a breakdown of how these types  of coverages compare:

Tables showcasing the differences between powertrain warranties and bumper-to-bumper warranties, and what makes them different

For longer coverage lengths, turn to a factory extended warranty, one of the most reputable extended car warranty companies, or a provider of insurance for car repairs.


Top Types Of Auto Insurance

There are many kinds of car insurance packages available. Most states require liability insurance and make other types of insurance optional. See the chart below for a breakdown of the major repairs each type of insurance or vehicle service contract covers.

Type of CoverageWhat It CoversWhen It’s Used
Bodily injury liability insuranceMedical bills for other driversAfter an accident where you are at fault
Property damage liability insuranceDamages to other drivers’ vehiclesAfter an accident where you are at fault
Collision coverageDamages to your vehicleAfter an accident where you are at fault
Comprehensive coverageDamages to your vehicleAfter your vehicle is damaged due to theft, vandalism, flying objects, or natural disasters
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insuranceDamages to your vehicleAfter an accident where the other driver is at fault and doesn’t carry proper insurance
Medical paymentsYour medical paymentsAfter any accident in an at-fault state
Personal injury protectionYour medical paymentsAfter any accident in a no-fault state
Mechanical breakdown insuranceRepair or replacement of covered componentsAfter mechanical breakdown
Extended warranty or vehicle service contractRepair or replacement of covered componentsAfter mechanical breakdown

Of the coverage choices above, only MBI, extended warranties, and vehicle service contracts provide coverage for car repairs. If you’re looking for peace of mind that car components such as your fuel system, electrical system, and air conditioning are covered from mechanical breakdowns, it’s worth checking these options out.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Vs. Extended Warranties And Vehicle Service Contracts

Mechanical breakdown insurance tends to cover many of the same components as an extended warranty or a vehicle service contract. All are designed to provide insurance for car repairs that are not the result of an accident.

MBI policies are sold as insurance through state-licensed insurance companies. As insurance policies, they are subject to state insurance regulations. Extended warranties are offered through dealerships, while vehicle service contracts are sold through third-party companies unaffiliated with the brands they cover.


Is Insurance For Car Repairs Worth It?

Insurance for car repairs is worth it when drivers are looking for peace of mind that their cars are protected against unexpected and expensive repairs. While the effectiveness of coverage depends on your car’s reliability, it’s usually a good idea to have this backup plan.

Below are some of the pros and cons of purchasing insurance for car repairs:

Insurance For Car Repairs: Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Mostly positive reviews from around the web
  • Peddle will buy working or junk cars
  • Hassle-free vehicle pickup at any location
  • Covers repairs through low monthly payments
  • Helps with planning for unexpected repairs
  • Provides peace of mind on the road
  • Often offers additional benefits such as roadside assistance

Cons

  • No negotiating
  • Won't give you the best prices for newer vehicles
  • Vehicle must be completely paid off before selling to Peddle
  • Doesn’t always pay for itself
  • Has exclusions on certain parts and on routine maintenance costs like oil changes
  • May not be necessary on reliable vehicles

For many drivers, purchasing a vehicle service contract is an excellent way to get insurance for car repairs. Third-party extended warranty coverage keeps policyholders safe while offering peace of mind on the road. Choices from third parties also tend to cost less than automakers’ plans and offer benefits such as rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance.


Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs: Our Take

Whether your car repairs are covered depends on the type of insurance you have. Liability insurance will cover damages to other peoples’ vehicles, while MBI will cover failed parts. For extra peace of mind you can compare different extended warranties. Not every company is the same, so be sure to choose a provider that pays claims out reliably and efficiently. Two of the industry’s top choices are CarShield and Carchex.

CarShield: Month-to-Month Contracts

CharShield has been offering low-cost warranties with generous financing terms for over 15 years. We contacted CarShield for quotes on the Diamond plan, which provides coverage similar to that of some new car factory warranties, for a 2022 Honda Civic. We were offered the following terms:

  • Term length: Unlimited, month-to-month
  • Financing: $149 per month
  • Down payment: N/A
  • Deductible: $200
  • Total cost: Varies
  • Cost per year of coverage: $1,319.88

Carchex: High Mileage Limits

Carchex customer service stands out across the industry, as seen by the company’s A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Coverage terms reach as high as 250,000 miles, and overall costs from Carchex remain low.

We asked Carchex for a quote on the Titanium plan–the company’s highest level of coverage–for a 2022 Honda Civic and were offered the following terms:

  • Term length: Unlimited, month-to-month
  • Financing: $149 per month
  • Down payment: N/A
  • Deductible: $200
  • Total cost: Varies
  • Cost per year of coverage: $1,319.88

Frequently Asked Questions

Do car repairs need insurance?

You are not legally required to purchase insurance for car repairs. Vehicle owners can buy optional mechanical breakdown insurance, which pays repair bills resulting from parts failures or damages.

What happens if I damage my own car?

If you damage your car, comprehensive insurance or collision insurance will cover the costs if you opt for these coverages. Liability insurance will not cover damages you cause to your own car.

What type of auto insurance pays for damages if you’re in an accident?

If you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, the other motorist’s liability insurance will pay for damages to your car. If you’re at fault, your collision insurance will pay for the damages. Collision insurance is not mandatory, and not all drivers have it.

What does car repair insurance cover?

Mechanical breakdown insurance covers replacement and repair costs for specified vehicle components in the event of a mechanical breakdown. Every contract offers a different level of coverage, but normal wear and tear items like brake pads and wiper blades are almost always excluded from insurance for car repairs.

How much does insurance for car repairs cost?

The cost of mechanical breakdown insurance depends on your vehicle and auto insurance policy provider. High-level exclusionary coverage for many years can cost more than $3,000. Basic policies purchased as add-on coverage can cost as little as $100 per month.

What does full coverage car insurance mean?

A full coverage car insurance policy means that you’ve purchased comprehensive and collision coverage on top of your state’s minimum coverage requirements for insurance.


How We Rate Warranty Providers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of extended auto warranty providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a warranty company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Reputation: It’s important that an extended car warranty company is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a long history of reliable service score well in this category. We also evaluate the availability and transparency of each company’s contracts, as well as whether each provider offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Coverage: Our team of experts looks at the number of extended warranty plans available, as well as term limits, exclusions, and added benefits like roadside assistance. Ratings also take into account the availability of maintenance coverage.
  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between providers because so many factors impact vehicle service contract pricing. To determine our cost score, we perform a secret shopper analysis for a variety of vehicles and plans and consider available deductibles.
  • Customer Experience: We listen to real customer sales calls and comb through reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Warranty companies with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the availability of mobile apps and chat features.

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