When Does My Car Insurance Cover Repairs?

(Get all your answers from an expert and find the coverage you need.)
Written by Sara East
Written by Sara East

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Sara East to be our BA insurance writer. Maggie specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

Ask an Insurance Expert graphic


When does my car insurance cover repairs?
How does my insurance cover repairs?
How much of my repairs are covered by my car insurance?
How much do I have to pay if the repairs are not fully covered by my insurance?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

When does my car insurance cover repairs? 

I recently had to replace my breaks. When I went to get them fixed, I learned that my car insurance does not cover that. It got me thinking, when will my car insurance cover repairs? 

You're right, insurance does not cover general wear and tear on your vehicle, like your breaks needing to be replaced. In fact, the only time that your insurance would cover general repairs to your car is if the damage is the result of vandalism, an accident, or outside factors, like bad weather. 

In these scenarios, your insurance will only cover these repairs if you have certain insurance add-ons. Let me explain.

  • Collision insurance: This insurance covers your vehicle should it collide with another vehicle or an object, such as a tree. 
  • Other than collision insurance: This insurance, also called comprehensive insurance, covers damage to your vehicle that is the result of anything other than a collision. An example would be a tree falling on your car. 

If the damage to your car is not a result of general wear and tear and falls under your collision or other than collision insurance, then it will be covered. But you have to purchase collision and other than collision coverage in addition to your general liability insurance. 

How does my insurance cover repairs?

My car was parked on the street during a crazy rainstorm and I got water in my car. As a result, I need some general repairs to my vehicle, how will my insurance cover this? 

In this case, if you have purchased other than collision insurance, then your insurance will cover the repairs to your vehicle. 

When you call your insurance to report the damage, they'll open a claim and investigate the cause of the damage. If it falls under your comprehensive coverage, they'll set you up with an approved repair shop and you'll be able to take your car to get fixed.

From there, you aren't responsible for much more other than waiting to hear that your car has been fixed. Your insurance company will take care of the heavy lifting. 

How much of my repairs are covered by my car insurance? 

I was recently in an accident where I slid on some ice. I ended up hitting a pole and my car needs a new bumper, new breaks, and some repair work on the body. How much of these repairs will be covered by my insurance? 

Once again, if you have the proper collision coverage, then your insurance will cover 100% of your repairs, as long as the repairs don't add up to be more than the cost of your vehicle. If the repairs are more than the value of your vehicle, your insurance company may choose to total your car.

But let's say they don't total your car and your repair costs aren't that expensive. Then you'll be covered 100%, minus your deductible. Deductibles can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the type of insurance policy you purchased. 

If you did not purchase collision coverage, then you'll be fully responsible for the price of your repairs. 

How much do I have to pay if the repairs are not fully covered by my insurance? 

I found out that I need to get new tires on my car. I don't think that my insurance will cover the cost to replace my tires. How much do I have to pay if my insurance company won't cover my repairs?

If it's determined that the repairs you need are covered under your insurance, you will only need to pay your deductible. If you have repairs that are not covered under your insurance, you'll be paying for those repairs fully out of pocket. Pricing will depend greatly on the type of repair you need and the age and model of your car. Here is a breakdown of few common car maintenance repairs and their cost.

  • New breaks: $200-$300
  • New tires: $600-$1000
  • Oil change: $60-$150
  • New catalytic converter: $1,000-$2,000
  • Ignition coil replacement: $200-$300
  • Spark plug replacement: $300-$400

If basic car insurance doesn't cover repairs, what will? 

I understand that no insurance will cover wear and tear on my vehicle, but I want to make sure that I am covered for repairs that I could be covered for. So if my basic insurance doesn't cover repairs, what should I look into buying? 

If you want to make sure you're covered for certain repairs, then talk to your independent insurance agent about purchasing collision and other than collision coverage. Both of these policies will provide added protection against common scenarios that auto drivers encounter. Plus they're beneficial for a lot more than just covering repairs. 

You can also look into purchasing mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) to cover the cost of repairs for any mechanical issues your car might experience. Another option is to look into an extended warranty. This is usually offered when you purchase your car and can cover you against unique issues that happen with your car, mechanical or otherwise, within a certain time frame or mileage. 

Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn