Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2021

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • When will car insurance pay for maintenance? Only when you have mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Normally your regular car insurance only pays for damage caused by accidents involving your car or someone else’s car
  • Car repair insurance carries a $250-$400 deductible, and it may cover less than an extended warranty

Will car insurance cover maintenance, and for how long? In short, most forms of car insurance will not pay for car maintenance. Routine maintenance involves brake pad replacement, new tires, and oil changes.

That said, there is one form of insurance that may cover repairs. What is that type of insurance, and what are its limitations? (FYI: It is not in our glossary of insurance terms.)

When will affordable car insurance cover maintenance? Read on to learn more about if car insurance cover maintenance. To see quotes from top companies in your area, please enter your ZIP code into our free tool above.

When does car insurance cover mechanical problems?

When is car maintenance covered by insurance, and what repairs does car insurance cover?

If you want some help paying to fix some mechanical issues with your car, you may need to purchase a mechanical breakdown policy. It is also known as car repair insurance.

Mechanical breakdown insurance may help you pay for money on regular repairs, engine parts, air conditioning system parts, and internal components. You will still need to pay a $250-$400 deductible.

Also, there are some limitations to mechanical breakdown insurance.

  • Mechanical breakdown insurance will not help you pay for major repairs that count as regular maintenance. In most cases, you will still need to pay for parts, like new brake pads and spark plugs
  • Most car insurance companies do not offer this type of coverage. Some top companies (AAA, Allstate, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and Mercury Insurance) do. Even then, you will need a referral to go to an approved mechanic
  • Your car must be relatively young to be covered. You can only keep this coverage until your car is seven years old and has accumulated 100,000 miles

Certain insurance companies may have stricter policies for car repair insurance. With GEICO, you need to apply for this coverage when your vehicle is less than 15 months old and has accumulated fewer than 15,000 miles.

Mercury Insurance may be even stricter. You must perchance car repair insurance within 30 days of your car’s original warranty’s expiration date. Prices will increase the closer you get to that date.

In short, you may be better off buying an extended warranty, which covers most of what mechanical breakdown insurance covers. Plus, the extended warranty might be cheaper.

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What does car insurance cover?

Your car insurance typically covers you in these three areas:

  • Bodily and property damage liability: Required in all states, liability insurance will help you pay for any physical damage you cause to another person or another person’s property in a car accident
  • Collision: This insurance covers repairs to your car after you get into an accident, regardless of who is at fault
  • Comprehensive: Called “other than collision insurance,” this will cover repairs to the car if it suffers damage for things beyond your control, like extreme weather events, accidents with animals, and vandalism

The above coverages comprise full coverage. Comprehensive coverage is helpful because it can cover some mechanical repairs, granted that the damage occurred because of a covered event.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, three more types of insurance will help cover you when the other driver is at fault:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for any bodily harm that an uninsured and at-fault driver causes in an accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage will pay for any property damage that an uninsured and at-fault driver causes an accident
  • Underinsured motorist protection makes up the difference if the other driver is at fault, but the damages exceed their policy limits

Additionally, gap coverage pays for the difference between what you own on your car’s current market value.

Other forms of coverage will cover you and your passengers who suffer injuries in a car accident.

Medical payments insurance pays for you and your passengers’ medical expenses. Personal injury protection only applies to you, but it will also cover medical payments, along with lost wages, childcare, funeral costs, and other losses.

What does car insurance not cover?

Depending on your policy, your car insurance may cover you for a lot of unexpected events. However, these are the things that your regular car insurance does not cover:

  • Mechanical problems: As stated above, your regular car insurance will not cover your mechanical issues. Most likely, these issues arose because of a manufacturing defect
  • Wear and tear: Your regular insurance won’t cover any problems arising from general wear and tear, either
  • Cosmetic changes or upgrades: While your comprehensive insurance coverage will help you pay for damages to your car in certain circumstances, it will not pay for things like a custom paint job or accessories, like a custom tailpipe

The purpose of regular insurance is to cover any damage that arises from accidents. That said, there is a type of insurance that will cover some mechanical problems, and you will need to pay extra to get it.

When does car insurance cover mechanical problems?

When is car maintenance covered by insurance, and what repairs does car insurance cover?

If you want some help paying to fix some mechanical issues with your car, you may need to purchase a mechanical breakdown policy. It is also known as car repair insurance.

Mechanical breakdown insurance may help you pay for money on regular repairs, engine parts, air conditioning system parts, and internal components. You will still need to pay a $250-$400 deductible.

Also, there are some limitations to mechanical breakdown insurance.

  • Mechanical breakdown insurance will not help you pay for major repairs that count as regular maintenance. In most cases, you will still need to pay for parts, like new brake pads and spark plugs
  • Most car insurance companies do not offer this type of coverage. Some top companies (AAA, Allstate, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and Mercury Insurance) do. Even then, you will need a referral to go to an approved mechanic
  • Your car must be relatively young to be covered. You can only keep this coverage until your car is seven years old and has accumulated 100,000 miles

Certain insurance companies may have stricter policies for car repair insurance. With GEICO, you need to apply for this coverage when your vehicle is less than 15 months old and has accumulated fewer than 15,000 miles.

Mercury Insurance may be even stricter. You must perchance car repair insurance within 30 days of your car’s original warranty’s expiration date. Prices will increase the closer you get to that date.

In short, you may be better off buying an extended warranty, which covers most of what mechanical breakdown insurance covers. Plus, the extended warranty might be cheaper.

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The Bottom Line: Will car insurance cover maintenance?

There are relatively rare instances when your car insurance will cover maintenance or mechanical problems. You will need to have comprehensive insurance coverage or mechanical breakdown insurance.

However, you will need to pay for most repairs directly.

If you want to know more about different types of car insurance, you can look at the insurance topics page.

We hope that we have fully answered the question, “Will car insurance cover maintenance?” To see quotes for top car companies in your area, please enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.