When the forecast calls for a heat wave, long commutes can be made even more miserable by the blazing hot temperatures in your car. But you take solace in knowing that your vehicle is equipped with air conditioning, which will ensure your comfort while you’re driving.
However, when you get into your car and turn on the AC only to find that it’s blowing hot air back at you, your heart sinks. Not only do you worry about your comfort and safety (being confined in a hot vehicle can be extremely hazardous to your health), but you are also concerned about the repair bill. Issues with automotive air conditioning units can be extremely expensive to diagnose and correct.
If you’re experiencing issues with your car’s air conditioning, you might assume that it will be covered by your auto insurance policy. Before you contact your carrier to file a claim, find out if your provider will actually cover the air conditioning.
Will Your Insurance Provider Cover Your Air Conditioning?
Generally (and unfortunately), most insurance providers will not cover your car’s air conditioning. That’s because this issues that usually affect a car’s AC unit are typically considered regular wear and tear.
The most common parts that break in a car’s air conditioning unit include the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator. These components are not meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle; furthermore, you are required to take care of the air conditioner to ensure that it is working properly. If, for example, your AC fails to operate because you neglected to change the air filter, your car insurance provider would not cover the repair, as it would be categorized as “wear and tear”. In this situation, you would be responsible for covering the cost of the repair.
Will Your Car Insurance Company Ever Cover a Broken Air Conditioner?
While usually, the damage to a car’s air conditioning unit is considered normal wear and tear and would not be covered by your auto insurance policy, there are circumstances in which your policy may cover the repair.
For example, if you are involved in a car accident and the air conditioner is damaged, there is a chance that your insurance provider would cover the repair. For instance, if are rear-ended, side-swiped, or hit head-on, and the impact of the collision cracks the compressor, your auto insurance company may cover the damage.
In order to determine if your auto insurance will cover the repairs for your air conditioning, the cause of the damage must be proven to be directly linked to an accident. An auto mechanic and your insurance adjuster will assess your vehicle to determine the cause of the damaged AC and find out whether or not your policy will cover the necessary repairs.
Your Insurance Coverage Counts
Even if it was determined that the damage to your AC was the result of a collision that you were involved in, there’s still a chance that your insurance provider will not cover the cost of the repairs. The type of coverage you have will determine whether or not the repairs will be covered by your carrier.
For example, in order to legally operate a vehicle, you must carry liability insurance; however, this type of coverage will not pay for any damages to your own car. Liability insurance only covers the third party property damages; in other words, it will only cover the cost of damages that someone else’s vehicle sustains if it is determined you are responsible for an accident. But, if you have collision insurance on your vehicle and you are involved in an accident – whether you or someone else is at-fault – your insurance company may cover the cost of a damaged air conditioning. But, the cause of the damage has to be directly related to the crash you were involved in.
With that said, if you are involved in an accident and another driver is responsible – someone rear ends you, for example – and your air conditioning is damaged, the other driver’s liability insurance will likely cover the cost of the repairs.
When to Contact Your Insurance Company
If your air conditioner breaks, it’s important to know whether or not you should contact your insurance provider. For example, if your AC isn’t working because it’s old or it was not maintained properly, there’s no need to contact your carrier, as they will not cover the cost of the repair cost. In these instances, the damage is considered “wear and tear”, and no type of insurance policy will pay for wear and tear damages.
However, if your car’s air conditioning unit breaks as a result of an accident and you carry collision insurance, contact your carrier. If it’s determined that the cause of the damage is directly related to the accident, there’s a very good chance that your provider will cover the damage.