What is covered under auto insurance?

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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: Dec 7, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The minimum coverage as required by most states is for liability coverage only
  • Fraud can also be a single client lying or omitting information that could impact his premiums
  • Car insurance does not cover mechanical repairs that are caused by regular wear and tear

Knowing what is and what is not covered under a car insurance policy can save your time money and frustration down the road.

A car insurance policy covers a variety of different eventualities that may occur in the operation of your vehicle. However, it does not cover everything. There are exceptions to all types of insurance protection.

Read on to learn all about what is and is not covered under an auto insurance policy and then enter your zip code above for free car insurance quotes!

The Type of Policy You Have


Depending on the type of car insurance coverage you purchase, you may or may not have medical coverage for yourself or property damage for your own vehicle. The minimum coverage as required by most states is for liability coverage only.

This protects other drivers and their property if you are at fault. In some states, Personal Injury Protection and/or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is required and they give you some added coverage for yourself and your vehicle.

If you want to be confident that you have the maximum amount of coverage possible, it is important to invest in a full-coverage insurance policy.

Such a policy will typically provide liability coverage, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM), Personal Injury Protection (PIP), collision, comprehensive and possibly other types of coverage. These will give you more than the basics of property damage coverage and bodily injury coverage for all parties in an accident.

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Deliberate Acts and Fraud

One thing that is never covered by car insurance is a deliberate act. If you intend to damage your vehicle for any reason, your car insurance provider should and will reject any claims that arise from it.

Car insurance is not a way to afford another vehicle if you discover that you no longer want the one you have. It is simply a form of security to protect you in the case of an accident.

Fraud is a huge problem in the car insurance industry. Many people attempt to “pull one over” on their insurer and often justify it as a David and Goliath situation. They believe that such actions are victim-less crimes and insurers can easily afford it.

However, insurance rates are constantly rising because of such incidents. Insurers also take more time to pay claims in many situations because they need to investigate each one to ensure that no fraud is involved.

Fraud can involve a variety of different things. Some of the more serious cases involve crime rings that stage accidents and even have doctors and other professionals involved.

However, fraud can also be a single client lying or omitting information that could impact his premiums. If your insurer finds out that you have not been completely honest with him, you can expect to have claims not paid or your policy may even be canceled.

Other Things That are Not Covered by a Car Insurance Policy

Man stealing car with crobar

Car insurance does not cover mechanical repairs that are caused by regular wear and tear. If your vehicle needs to be repaired but the problem resulted from regular use, your visit to the mechanic will not be covered.

Even if you have comprehensive insurance coverage, personal property that is stolen from your vehicle will not be covered.

Even though comprehensive coverage provides for theft, it is only for theft of the vehicle itself or for things attached to the vehicle, such as stereos.

If you have left a collection of CDs or other items in the car and they are stolen, you will need to make a claim under your home insurance.

Another consideration with car insurance policies is the limit of coverage. This means that even if your policy pays a claim for loss, it will not pay more than the policy limit. Therefore in serious accidents you may come up short on coverage with your car insurance policy.

If your vehicle is financed, you will need to carry collision and comprehensive coverage to protect it. However, if the vehicle is a total loss, the insurer will pay out based on the blue book value of it, not the amount you have outstanding on the note.

Therefore, it is important to invest in gap insurance to make sure that your insurer will cover your total loss and you will not be stuck paying off a car you no longer have.

Apart from these general guidelines, there may be some individual differences in what a car insurance policy from one insurer to another covers.

This is because the definition of full coverage varies slightly between companies, with some companies giving more extensive coverage than others. In order to make sure you know what is and what is not covered under your car insurance policy, you should talk with your insurance agent.

Finding the Best Car Insurance Policy

If you are in the market for a new car insurance policy to protect you, a great place to start looking is online. Use a free online rate quote tool to get the quotes you need on car insurance. Compare and contrast the differences between the prices, the coverage and the companies before making a final decision.

This will help you get the best policy possible, and you can do it today!

Enter your ZIP code into the below for free quote in our insurance comparison tool now!

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