Will Car Insurance Cover a Blown Engine?

Last Updated on December 6, 2023

Your car’s engine stops working. You’re left with a repair bill for thousands of dollars. Fortunately, you have insurance. Isn’t this what car insurance is for? Will car insurance cover a blown engine? Can I claim on my car insurance if my engine blows up?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not car insurance covers a blown engine and other serious car problems.

Ordinary Car Insurance Does Not Cover Engine Damage

will car insurance cover a blown engineFirst, let’s make one thing clear: car insurance does not typically cover engine damage. This includes issues such as a blown engine, a seized engine, engine failure, a faulty transmission, brakes that need replacement, or an engine misfire.

In fact, the average car insurance policy will not cover any mechanical breakdowns on your vehicle – whether it’s a blown engine, a seized engine, engine failure, a faulty transmission, or brakes that need to be replaced.

The reason is simple: car insurance is designed to cover unexpected costs – like the cost of a fender bender or the cost of hail damage to your windshield. You can’t anticipate these costs, which is why you buy insurance to stay protected.

A blown engine may be unexpected, but mechanical breakdowns, in general, are expected on vehicles. Over time, wear and tear will affect a vehicle. You need to maintain your vehicle to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown. Over a long enough period of time, however, your vehicle will inevitably break down.

Mechanical Breakdowns Are Not Covered by Car Insurance

Here are the three types of car insurance coverage typically included with your insurance policy:

Liability Coverage: Liability coverage includes property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. This is the type of insurance you are legally required to have while driving. It does not cover any damage to your own vehicle; instead, it covers damage you inflict upon other people. If you’re involved in an at-fault collision, then your liability coverage would cover the repairs to the other vehicle, the medical bills of anyone injured, and the repairs of any property you damaged.

Collision Coverage: Collision coverage is an optional car insurance policy that covers damage to your own vehicle from a collision. If you’re in a fender bender and your car requires $1,000 in repairs, then your collision coverage would cover this amount. It’s for accident-related damages to your own vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage includes coverage for non-accident-related damages. If your car is stolen or vandalized, for example, then your comprehensive coverage could cover the cost of repairing the damage. Comprehensive coverage can also cover hail damage, fallen tree branch damage, and other damage to your vehicle that occurs outside of an ordinary accident.

The three policies above are typically included in a full coverage car insurance plan. If you have full coverage auto insurance, then your blown engine is unlikely to be covered by your car insurance policy.

As you’ll notice, none of these car insurance policies include mechanical breakdown coverage. A blown engine doesn’t fall into any of the above categories.

If your car’s engine is damaged in a collision, then those repairs would be covered because the damage occurred during a collision.

Fortunately, there are two ways your blown engine could be covered, including mechanical breakdown insurance and warranty coverage.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) Will Cover Blown Engines

Do you want your blown engine to be covered by car insurance? There’s an optional car insurance policy called mechanical breakdown insurance, or MBI. This type of insurance will cover a blown engine.

MBI covers car repairs resulting from mechanical issues with your vehicle. You can make an MBI claim for your brakes, your transmission, your engine, and other items. In addition to these components, MBI policies may also cover complex engine parts like pistons, which are essential for the engine’s functioning but prone to damage due to wear and tear.

If your car breaks down due to normal wear and tear, then mechanical breakdown insurance can cover the cost of repairing that damage.

There are two major conditions with mechanical breakdown insurance:

  • It’s only available for newer vehicles (like vehicles that are 1-3 years old)
  • It’s not offered by all insurance companies

Overall, mechanical breakdown insurance functions in a similar way to a warranty. Your new vehicle gets a warranty to protect against unexpected breakdowns. You might have a 3 year, 25,000-mile warranty, for example. Your warranty will cover any mechanical breakdowns to your vehicle that occur within the first three years or 25,000 miles.

Typically, mechanical breakdown insurance is comparable to an extended warranty. Some car dealers offer an extended warranty that offers additional protection – say, for the first 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Mechanical breakdown insurance may be worth it on some vehicles – especially if you can’t afford an unexpected breakdown. A blown engine can cost thousands of dollars to repair. If you want to protect yourself against unexpected breakdowns and high repair bills, then mechanical breakdown insurance may be worth it.

Of course, it’s also unlikely you’ll ever need to use your mechanical breakdown insurance. MBI is only available on newer vehicles. Newer vehicles are unlikely to suffer a mechanical breakdown – especially something as serious as a blown engine.

It’s also possible to be over-insured: your car might already be covered by a warranty from the dealer or manufacturer for the first 3 years or 20,000 miles. In that case, mechanical breakdown insurance is an unnecessary expense.

Final Word – Will Insurance Cover a Blown Engine?

A blown engine will rarely be covered by ordinary car insurance. The only time engine damage is covered by car insurance is if your engine was damaged during an accident or through some other insurable event – like a tree falling on the hood of your vehicle and causing engine damage.

Generally, blown engines are considered mechanical breakdowns: they’re part of the normal wear and tear of your vehicle. These events are never covered by ordinary car insurance.

You can, however, purchase mechanical breakdown insurance, or MBI. Mechanical breakdown insurance is an optional insurance policy available on newer vehicles. It functions similar to an extended warranty and will cover blown engines and other mechanical breakdown issues.

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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