Will Auto Insurance Pay for an Oil Change?

Last Updated on November 3, 2023

Auto insurance typically does not pay for an oil change.  Oil changes are considered a component of vehicle maintenance, so auto insurance policies do not cover their cost.  Oil changes do not fall under the umbrella of collision, comprehensive, liability, or any other auto insurance coverage.  In the vast majority of instances, the owner of the vehicle will have to pay for oil changes as opposed to the insurer of the vehicle.

Oil Changes and Accident

oil change and auto insuranceOftentimes, people assume flawed oil or a shortage of oil that leads to an auto accident will prompt payment from the auto insurance provider to cover the cost of subsequent oil changes as well as the damages stemming from the accident.  However, even if there is a leak in the oil pan that is unnoticed or oil that is flawed in another manner, it is still the driver’s responsibility to pay for the oil change as opposed to the insurance provider. Furthermore, if oil leaks out of the car after you are involved in a collision and you continue to operate the vehicle, any resulting damage is not covered by the insurance policy.  In fact, driving a vehicle leaking oil or driving a vehicle that is unsafe in any other manner will likely result in a claim denial by the insurance provider as opposed to payment for an oil change.

What About Engine Damage Resulting from Lost Oil?

If your vehicle’s engine is damaged as a result of lost oil, the auto insurance provider may cover the cost of repairs.  If your automobile is repaired after an accident and the body shop does not replace the oil, that body shop might be found liable for damage to your vehicle.  The auto insurance provider, as well as the body shop, will have to hash this matter out to determine which party will cover the cost of the damage.

It is also possible that you will take your vehicle to a mechanic for an oil change that is performed incorrectly.  If the damage is caused to your automobile after a faulty oil change, the insurance company might be on the hook for the cost of resulting damage.  Though you can file such a claim on your auto insurance policy, the cost of damages will likely be handled by the negligent group that erred in the first place.

Repair Programs Similar to Auto Insurance Policies

There are some programs available to help drivers cover the cost of routine automobile repairs.  Such programs are not exactly the same as traditional auto insurance. However, repair programs function fairly similarly to conventional auto insurance plans.  Here is how it works: the driver pays a monthly premium, agrees to a deductible, and the repair program provider covers the cost of repairs to the vehicle. However, repair programs are not always worth their cost as it is typically cheaper to pay for an oil change and other regular maintenance out of your own pocket rather than paying a monthly auto repair club.

Does Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Low Oil?

In general, auto insurers will not cover the cost of damage caused by insufficient oil.  It is up to the driver to determine if the vehicle’s oil is low. Get into the habit of saving for your vehicle’s routine maintenance and you will be able to cover the cost of oil changes and other necessary auto maintenance without unexpected financial strain.  So don’t assume you will be off the hook for damages resulting from unchanged oil or insufficient oil. It is up to you and only you to determine when your vehicle’s oil needs to be changed and which parties are trustworthy enough to do the work.

Embrace DIY Oil Changes

When it comes to oil changes, it is best to embrace the DIY (do it yourself) approach.  Learn how to measure and change your vehicle’s oil on your own. This way, you will not have to worry about compromising your car’s engine simply because your vehicle’s oil was not replaced in a timely manner.  Change the vehicle’s oil and oil filter with regularity and the engine will wear slower, run more efficiently and ultimately require fewer repairs as time progresses.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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