Does Car Insurance Cover Engine Failure?

secure Editorial Standards

SmartFinancial Offers Unbiased, Fact-based Information. Our fact-checked articles are intended to educate insurance shoppers so they can make the right buying decisions. Learn More

If you are experiencing engine issues, you may know that mechanical labor is pretty expensive. Car insurance will only cover engine problems if the issue(s) resulted from a collision or some sort of outside force impacting the engine, like a falling tree or a flood.

If a collision or impact on your vehicle resulted from driving behavior that puts you at fault, you are only covered if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. You may also need uninsured motorist coverage to be reimbursed if your engine started having trouble after a hit-and-run accident. However, a car warranty may cover your engine troubles, if they are not caused by regular wear-and-tear, like the need for new brakes, or if never changed the oil and filter.

Let’s look more closely at when your car insurance policy covers an engine blowout and when it doesn’t, as well as what to do if you experience engine issues and if a car warranty is worth buying.

Does Car Insurance Cover a Blown Engine?

If you were involved in a car accident that blew your engine, you may be covered by car insurance. Let’s look at some scenarios:

Peril That Caused Engine Damage

Which Car Insurance Coverage Pays?

Warranty Coverage

Car accident, other driver at-fault

Other driver’s liability coverage 

Not covered

At-fault car accident

Collision coverage

Not covered

Vandalism of engine 

Comprehensive coverage

Not covered

Hit-and-run crash

Uninsured motorist coverage

Not covered

Engine damage not caused by an accident or covered peril

Not covered

Coverage with specific exclusions, such as wear-and-tear.

Faulty engine unrelated to impact or wear-and-tear (a lemon)

Not covered

Coverage depends on the warranty

Severe Weather 

Comprehensive coverage

Not covered

How Do Car Insurance Companies Treat Engine Failure?

Car insurance companies only look at what caused the engine failure when they determine if you are covered and which type of coverage will pay for it. If the problem arose from an accident, your insurance company will pay and get reimbursed by the other driver’s car insurance if that driver caused an accident. If a falling object damages your engine, an adjuster will examine the damages.

Usually, when engine failure is not caused by impact of some sort, it’s a manufacturer defect or the result of wear and tear. A defect would be covered under a warranty. More on warranties and extended warranties below.

When Does Car Insurance Cover Engine Failure?

  • Collision Coverage: If the engine failure resulted from you hitting another car or an object.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: If an object fell onto your car and damaged the engine.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If your parked car was hit by a hit-and-run driver or you were hit by an uninsured driver.
  • Other Driver’s Liability Insurance: If they were the at-fault party who hit and damaged your car and engine.

When Does Car Insurance Not Cover Engine Failure

  • Regular wear–and-tear.
  • Poor maintenance (i.e. car overheats due to low fluid levels).
  • Issues that are the manufacturer’s responsibility.

Filing a Claim for a Blown Engine After an Accident

You can file a claim after an accident as you normally would, and the fact that your engine is blown will be cited after the car is inspected. Whatever you do, don’t tell the insurance adjuster that the accident caused the engine failure if the problem existed before the accident. Lying to get reimbursement from an insurance company is considered insurance fraud, which is not taken lightly.

Car insurance companies only look at what caused the engine failure when they determine if you are covered.

Everything You need to Know About Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Mechanical breakdown insurance is not offered by all insurance companies. However, when it is offered, it is very inexpensive and can save you thousands of dollars, if you suddenly have a seized engine or transmission issues.

However, you should expect a high deductible, so let’s say you have to pay $1,000 out of pocket for your deductible before insurance starts paying, you may only get coverage for a few hundred dollars from your insurer towards repairs. With that said, if you have to replace an engine, you may be glad you bought mechanical breakdown insurance.

A word of warning: If you have complete engine failure because you don’t change the oil, you may not be covered. As with all types of insurance, the policyholder assumes responsibility for maintaining a car. You are only covered for a totalled car due to an accident, theft or other covered peril. It’s important to keep up with your car’s routine maintenance needs.

Save on Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Do Warranties Cover Engine Failure?

Just as with insurance, if you fail to change the oil and oil filter as specified by the manufacturer in your car’s owner manual, you may not be covered by a warranty or extended warranty. However, you will be covered if your engine seizes, has a blow out or is damaged if your usage of the car is not unusual, such as driving several hundreds of miles per week.

What a Car Warranty Will Not Cover:

  • Engine failure caused by an accident
  • Engine failure caused by neglect
  • Engine failure caused by a falling object
  • Routine maintenance (oil and filter changes)
  • Brakes and brake pads
  • Severe weather

If an object fell onto your car and damaged the engine, comprehensive coverage would pay.

What’s an Extended Warranty?

An extended warranty is a prolonged warranty but may have other stipulations. It’s common for an extended warranty to not cover mechanical failure that is not due to normal usage. Warranties are based on a number of miles driven per year. For instance, if you rack up unusually high miles on your car, and the engine fails, you may not be covered.

Some extended warranties include:

  • Repair/replacement from regular use
  • Regular maintenance (oil changes, etc.)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Powertrain (your engine is included in this)

Pros and Cons of Car Warranties Vs Mechanical Breakdown Insurance


Mechanical Breakdown Coverage



$50-$100 + high deductible

$700-$1200 + low deductible


Very limited


Minor Repairs

Not covered

Covered under some warranties


Not covered

Covered under some warranties

If the engine failure resulted from you hitting another car or an object, collision coverage would pay.

What You Should Do if Your Engine Fails

It can be scary if you’re driving and your engine fails. You may hear a loud noise followed by more noises. Your engine light may go on.

What you need to do is:

  1. Stay calm
  2. Turn on hazards
  3. Shift to neutral
  4. Do NOT brake
  5. Take your foot off the gas and slow to a stop at the side of the road
  6. Call roadside assistance

Blown Engine FAQs

Does gap insurance cover engine failure?

If your claim is accepted, gap coverage will pay if you owe more than the remaining balance on your car loan after. Gap insurance does not specifically cover engine failure.

Does car insurance cover mechanical problems?

Generally speaking, car insurance does not cover mechanical problems that are not a direct result from an accident or severe weather. People buy car warranties and extended warranties that include services for mechanical failures that are not covered by car insurance.

Does insurance cover a blown engine?

Your car insurance will cover a blown engine if the failure was sudden and not due to neglect. You will be covered in the event of an accident (if you have collision coverage), in the event of a hit-and-run (if you have uninsured motorist coverage) or if your engine fails due a flood or severe weather (comprehensive coverage). Some mechanical breakdown coverage policies may cover you as well.

Key Takeaways

  • You may or may not be covered for engine failure, depending on what caused the failure and which types of car insurance you have.
  • Most warranties are based on mileage and normal usage. They do not cover accidents and severe weather damage to engines.
  • Mechanical breakdown coverage is affordable and may cover you for engine failure that is not due to poor upkeep.

Only you know what you put your vehicle through and what kinds of weather and uncontrollable factors affect your car’s engine. If you’re interested in finding a car insurance policy that offers mechanical breakdown coverage or you want to add on options like collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist, you may as well pay the lowest price on the best coverage. Let SmartFinancial help you compare quotes. Enter your zip code and answer a few questions. Next, some agents will call you offering different policies at different prices. You compare and choose what fits your budget and needs. It’s all free! Get started below.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.