Will Auto Insurance Pay for This Repair?

June 3, 2011

Sometimes the first call you make when your car breaks down should be to your insurance man.

If you come out and find two flat tires on the same side of the car – find a good neighbor. If you have a catastrophic loss of motor oil, check with the good hands people. And if you start your car and it sounds like it’s muffler free, it’s time for that lady with the funny hairdo and the very red lipstick.

Yes, sometimes you have to check to see if your car is covered by your auto policy for what may seem like a totally mechanical problem. What may appear to be mechanical may actually be the result of some extraneous hazard and justify a claim.

The work of a vandal

Vandalism is probably the most common cause of damage that may look like it is mechanical. If you do find that two of your tires go flat simultaneously, there can reasonably be only two ways that this could happen and the driver would not be aware of it. Possibly the driver did not realize that he had run over the same object with both tires (a piece of wood with a protruding nail would be an example) or the tires were intentionally punctured by someone.

In the second instance some portion of the replacement of the tires may be covered by auto insurance.

Some hazards are unavoidable

If your red oil light comes on after running over something in the road or you suffer other damage to the underside of your car, you may be covered under provisions of your auto package. If you can safely recover the object that you struck, do so. The insurance company may want to see it when they go to the repair facility to inspect the damage it caused.

You must be aware that sudden loss of fluid, especially brake fluid, can often be the result of a corroded line, which will not be covered. This will be clearly evident upon inspection of the vehicle.

Beware of the thief

Theft of components parts of cars is a growing problem for car owners everywhere. Catalytic converters and airbags which can command high prices in the salvage metal and black markets are often stolen when vehicles are parked in secluded and unlit locations. Both of these thefts are most likely covered by vehicle insurance. Don’t be hesitant to report these incidents, thinking that the claims would be below your deductible, since it is not unusual for this damage to cost over $1000 to repair.

There is no denying that filing an insurance claim is a hassle, but then again so is paying the premiums. If you encounter any of these conditions, it may be wise to consider the possibility that some portion of your repair may be covered under your vehicle insurance. 
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