Will car insurance cover a bad engine? (Coverage Options)

Car insurance will only cover a bad engine if it's damaged in a collision, or if you have the right breakdown insurance. A car warranty can offer extended protection for your engine.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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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...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Jun 13, 2020

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Common Car Insurance Engine Coverage Questions
Common QuestionsAnswers
Will my insurance cover my engine?No, insurance does not cover a bad engine.
What if I am in an accident?It's possible, but dependent on your coverage level.
Can I elongate my engine's lifespan?Absolutely, with regular maintenance.
What is a "seized" engine?Your engine did not have sufficient oil pressure and its parts began scraping against one another.
Is an overheating engine immediately the end of my vehicle?Not necessarily, if you catch it early enough it could be as easy as replacing a leaky hose.
How much does it cost to fix an overheated engine?Anywhere from $100 to $10,000
How much does it cost to fix a broken timing belt?Anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500

If an engine blows out on you, know that — at best — a used engine is $3,000. That blows right through the vacation fund, doesn’t it? The fair question to ask now is, can my insurance help me out here? Does car insurance cover a bad engine or motor? or does car insurance cover blown engine?

Whether your car is new or old, has low or high mileage, the last thing you want is to have a bad engine or motor. Although most motors are meant to withstand hundreds of thousands of miles, there is no guarantee how long they will actually last.

If your car develops a bad engine or motor while it is under warranty, you may be financially okay; if your car is out of warranty when your engine goes, then you will have to decide if you want to spend the money to fix it or move on to another car.

There are different types of car insurance but this is really your only option, no matter how old your car is and how much car insurance you have. Unless you are in a car accident, your car insurance will not cover a bad engine or motor.

Enter your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool above to compare car insurance coverage options from multiple companies.

Car Insurance Coverage for Engines

While you can purchase liability, fully comprehensive, collision, and a host of other optional possibilities, ranging from uninsured motorist to rental car and towing, you cannot purchase car insurance to cover maintenance on your car. So, my engine is blown, will insurance cover me at all?

Some insurance companies do offer mechanical breakdown insurance. This can cover some mechanical issues, including engines blocks and transmissions. Not all companies offer this coverage. Does insurance cover motor failure if you have this coverage? It might, depending on the specifics of the policy.

Here’s a brief explanation of the different types of car insurance coverage:

What does fully comprehensive car insurance mean? It repairs or replaces damaged property that is damaged from floods, fires. etc.

Can I claim for a new engine on my car insurance? If your engine goes bad due to poor maintenance or just natural causes, you will be responsible for the costs incurred by fixing your car unless you are covered by a warranty of some sort.

There are a couple of situations where your car insurance company may pay for a bad engine or motor.

  1. If your motor becomes damaged due to a car accident, you may be covered.
  2. Unfortunately, repairing damages of severe nature usually exceed the insured value of the car and therefore, the car gets “junked” by the insurance company, in which case you would be reimbursed for your car’s value if you carry collision coverage.

A junk title, or salvage title, is issued to a car that is considered not worth fixing by the insurance company. If your car becomes totaled, your car insurance company will not pay for the repair to the motor or any other damage, but they will pay out per your policy coverage, instead.

By taking good care of your car, you can prolong your investment and enjoy your ride for many, many miles.

Since car insurance doesn’t pay for a bad engine or motor, and a warranty usually expires before an engine goes bad, Edmunds notes, it is a good idea to follow your car manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines to keep your vehicle running strong for as long as possible.

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Motor Maintenance

Like The EPA Blog reports, cars need maintenance, much like the human body does. They need to be taken care of, sheltered from harsh elements, and washed regularly. Healthy checkup visits are also instrumental in keeping a car well maintained and running smoothly.

Here’s a video with some tips that may help your engine last longer:

This is the best way to prevent any unexpected mechanical breakdowns and reduce your expenses as well. It is often cheaper to fix a failing part than it is to replace a failed one.

Popular Mechanics knows that proper care of your car can certainly help extend the life of your car’s engine, but just like every other mechanical device, it can break down unexpectedly, despite all of your best efforts.

Depending on your car’s age and the mileage and value of the vehicle, you may want to pay to fix or replace the engine. If a motor goes bad after a long time of normal wear and tear, such as 500,000 miles of use, then you may want to consider trading it in for a newer car.

Although you may be able to replace your engine for anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, at this stage in your car’s lifetime, there could be much more additional mechanical work needed.

For example, it is never a good idea to replace the motor and leave an old transmission, so that alone could cost you an additional $3,000 to $6,000.

Furthermore, say you’ve been driving around with a consistent and awful smell. That is probably the clutch. The clutch alone can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to fix.

The clutch can be expensive to fix, especially if you are forced to pay out of pocket. In some situations, though, car insurance may cover a clutch replacement.

Unfortunately, clutch damage is fairly common in manual transmission cars. With that being said, if you have a new car, chances are you don’t operate it manually, as manual-shift models now only account for about 2 percent of cars new-to-market.

Just as the engine may only be covered by insurers should it be damaged in a severe accident, the clutch may only be covered by auto insurance in special situations. Normal wear and tear damage to the clutch will not be covered, but auto accident insurance claims can only be filed should it be damaged in an accident, there is a good possibility it will be covered.

Generally, a clutch lasts about 50,000 miles or five years of an average amount of driving a vehicle. Should it wear out faster than this expected amount, you may be able to file a manufacturer warranty. Whether or not it is accepted is decided by the manufacturer, partially based on how long you have owned the vehicle.

Let’s say, for the sake of clarity, that the clutch is damaged in quite the severe fender bender. Even basic coverage would cover a clutch repair. With that being said, in an accident, it’s not as if the clutch is the only part of the vehicle that would be damaged. You may need transmission work, for instance, and body-work.

Liability insurance provides the insured party with protection, should they be legally liable for an injury or any damage to people or property. The following table shows the average liability premium for the years 2011 to 2015.

Average Annual Liability Car Insurance Coverage Rates by State
StateAverage Liability
Coverage Rates
North Dakota$282.55
South Dakota$289.04
Iowa$293.34
Wyoming$323.38
Maine$333.92
Idaho$337.17
Vermont$340.98
Kansas$342.33
Nebraska$349.07
North Carolina$357.59
Wisconsin$359.84
Indiana$372.44
Alabama$372.57
Ohio$376.16
Arkansas$381.14
Montana$387.77
New Hampshire$393.24
Tennessee$397.73
Missouri$399.41
Virginia$413.12
Illinois$430.54
Mississippi$437.38
Minnesota$439.58
Oklahoma$441.57
Hawaii$458.49
New Mexico$462.21
California$462.95
Utah$471.26
Colorado$477.10
Arizona$488.59
Georgia$490.64
Pennsylvania$495.02
South Carolina$497.50
Texas$498.44
West Virginia$501.44
Countrywide$516.39
Kentucky$518.91
Alaska$547.34
Oregon$553.43
Washington$568.92
Massachusetts$587.75
Maryland$599.48
District of Columbia$628.09
Connecticut$633.95
Nevada$647.07
Rhode Island$720.06
Michigan$722.04
Louisiana$727.15
Delaware$776.50
New York$784.98
Florida$845.05
New Jersey$865.55

As you can see, the countrywide average for liability coverage is $516.39. Where does your state fall in comparison? Are you paying too much for liability coverage?

Now, let’s move on to collision coverage, which helps repair or replace your car, should it be damaged in an accident with another car or an object. This coverage is where the clutch or engine would be applicable. Let’s take a look at a table to see the collision coverage averages for each state.

Average Annual Collision Car Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Collision
Coverage Rates
South Dakota$200.10
Iowa$207.10
Idaho$209.00
Wisconsin$209.93
Oregon$212.47
Minnesota$214.02
Nebraska$223.50
North Dakota$227.44
Indiana$237.19
South Carolina$247.62
Maine$249.00
Washington$250.13
Florida$251.30
Kansas$251.46
Ohio$252.21
Utah$254.41
Montana$254.90
Kentucky$255.33
Arizona$259.31
Missouri$259.65
Colorado$263.36
North Carolina$264.58
Virginia$264.70
New Mexico$267.48
Wyoming$270.48
Vermont$278.38
New Hampshire$281.70
Illinois$284.92
Tennessee$290.39
Nevada$293.78
Delaware$296.60
Hawaii$297.75
Oklahoma$298.21
Alabama$299.10
Countrywide$299.73
Mississippi$302.96
Arkansas$304.87
Pennsylvania$307.31
West Virginia$319.10
Georgia$320.45
Maryland$331.72
Texas$340.51
Connecticut$348.70
New York$358.45
Massachusetts$358.68
Alaska$360.18
California$364.56
New Jersey$365.23
Rhode Island$377.06
Michigan$383.21
Louisiana$391.03
District of Columbia$449.27

As you can see, the countrywide average for collision coverage is $299.73. Where does your state fall in comparison?  Are you paying too much?

Keep in mind this table shows rates for basic coverage; upgrading to a higher tier could serve you well, should you find yourself in a situation where your engine has been damaged in a car accident.

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Next, let’s take a look at averages for comprehensive car insurance. Imagine a tree falls on your car while it is parked in your driveway. This is what comprehensive car insurance covers.

Engine damage could be covered by comprehensive insurance as well.  For instance, vandalism, flooding, or an outside force that is out of one’s own control are all situations in which the damage would be covered. Keep in mind, such an instance would be outside of normal wear and tear.

Average Annual Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage Rates by State
StateAverage Comprehensive
Coverage Rates
Oregon$89.66
Maine$96.66
California$99.29
Hawaii$100.09
New Hampshire$103.03
Washington$104.11
Utah$106.57
Florida$110.12
Idaho$110.78
Ohio$112.74
Delaware$113.23
Indiana$115.02
Nevada$116.79
Illinois$117.98
Vermont$118.31
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
Connecticut$126.02
Wisconsin$126.34
Massachusetts$128.92
Virginia$129.89
Kentucky$130.15
Pennsylvania$132.01
Tennessee$135.62
Countrywide$138.87
Alaska$141.08
Alabama$146.28
Maryland$146.77
Michigan$147.02
Georgia$153.61
New York$156.66
Colorado$158.34
South Carolina$165.38
Missouri$166.34
New Mexico$166.89
Iowa$171.58
Minnesota$173.04
Arkansas$183.36
Arizona$184.20
Texas$186.70
Mississippi$194.74
West Virginia$195.04
Montana$199.87
Oklahoma$201.56
Nebraska$206.24
Louisiana$208.59
Wyoming$222.86
Kansas$225.34
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25

As you can see, the countrywide average for comprehensive coverage is $138.87. Are you paying too much for comprehensive coverage in your state?

Finally, let’s look at all three coverages put together with a table that analyzes full coverage rates for each state as well as the District of Columbia.

Average Annual Full Coverage Car Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Full
Coverage Rates
West Virginia$1,015.57
Texas$1,025.64
Alaska$1,048.60
Nevada$1,057.63
Massachusetts$1,075.35
Maryland$1,077.97
Connecticut$1,108.67
Delaware$1,186.33
Florida$1,206.46
Rhode Island$1,219.29
Michigan$1,252.27
New York$1,300.09
District of Columbia$1,307.62
Louisiana$1,326.78
New Jersey$1,353.96
Idaho$656.95
Iowa$672.01
Maine$679.56
Wisconsin$696.11
South Dakota$717.73
Indiana$724.65
North Dakota$737.63
Vermont$737.67
Ohio$741.11
North Carolina$745.17
New Hampshire$777.98
Nebraska$778.81
Virginia$807.71
Wyoming$816.71
Alabama$817.95
Kansas$819.14
Tennessee$823.74
Missouri$825.40
Minnesota$826.64
Utah$832.24
Illinois$833.44
Montana$842.54
Oregon$855.57
Hawaii$856.33
Arkansas$869.37
New Mexico$896.58
Colorado$898.79
Kentucky$904.39
South Carolina$910.51
Washington$923.16
California$926.79
Arizona$932.10
Pennsylvania$934.34
Mississippi$935.08
Oklahoma$941.34
Countrywide$954.99
Georgia$964.70

The average for full coverage countrywide is $954.99. If your rate is above this, you may be paying too much.

Now that we’ve gone over insurance, let’s move on to what your car’s warranty covers.

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Warranty Coverage

There are a few common warranty options:

  • New car — Almost all new vehicles come with a warranty. Typically, a warranty covers up to ten years or 100,000 miles on the drive train and up to five years or 50,000 miles bumper to bumper.
    • With all warranties, they expire with whichever comes first, the years or the mileage.
    • So, if you reach 50,000 miles in the first three years your bumper to bumper warranty will expire even though it is under the five-year warranty period.
    • Extended warranties are usually available at the time of purchase for various lengths of time with ranging price options.
  • Used car — Some pre-driven cars also come with a warranty, which is typically the remaining life of the manufacturer’s warranty or of the extended warranty.
  • Pre-certified car — Many pre-certified cars also have a limited warranty available, such as 30,000 miles on the power train and 12,000 miles or one-year bumper-to-bumper from the time you make the purchase.
  • Old car — Used cars that have exceeded their warranty do not come with any warranty and are usually sold “as is” with no guarantees expressed or implied.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Does car insurance cover a bad engine?

Below are some common questions about insurance, both in general and related to bad engines.

#1 – Can I claim engine failure on my insurance?

In most cases, no.

#2 – What is not covered in car insurance and is there insurance for car repairs?

Gradual wear and tear is not covered by car insurance. Car repair insurance, or mechanical breakdown coverage, is available from a few insurance companies like Geico.

#3 – Does gap insurance cover engine failure?

No, it does not cover mechanical breakdowns.

#4 – My engine was blown, will insurance cover it? Does State Farm cover blown engines? Does Allstate cover a blown engine? Does Progressive cover engine failure?

Will car insurance cover a blown engine in any situation? Regardless of the company, insurance won’t cover a blown engine. Some coverage for engines may be available if you purchase mechanical breakdown insurance.

#5 – Does insurance cover engine failure in the UK?

Just as in the US, it is only if the accident was caused due to the engine failing.

#6 – Does insurance cover a broken axle?

Ordinary car insurance would not cover a broken axle.

#7 – Does car insurance cover non-accident repairs?

Only if those repairs are needed as a result of an accident, vandalism, or some kinds of bad weather. This is covered under comprehensive.

#8 – Does ATV insurance cover a blown engine?

Like car insurance, ATV policies don’t cover engine damage unless it’s related to an accident.

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