9 Claims Auto Insurance May Not Cover
1. Damage from a deeper strike
If you hit a deer or other animal, you’ll likely be stuck paying for any need repairs to your car unless you’ve added comprehensive coverage to your policy. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by something other than a collision, such as fire, animal-related damage, and theft — including theft of individual things considered part of the car like airbags or catalytic converters, Heller explains. Drivers struck over 2 million animals (1.4 million deer) between July 2020 and June 2021 despite ongoing pandemic closures, which was a 7.2 percent spike over the previous 12 months, according to Tony Cotto, director of Auto and Underwriting Policy for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
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2. Stolen laptop
Even with comprehensive coverage, your car insurance won’t pay for loss or damage to things that aren’t considered part of the car. Homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance may cover a laptop stolen from your vehicle. Also consider that after-market add-ons likely aren’t covered by your car insurance. If you transform your car into something of higher value or install parts that may put it in a higher-risk category, you could see any claim denied if you haven’t clued in your insurance company before purchasing a policy. “If you trick out your vehicle, you’ll need to have that conversation with your insurance company,” Heller says.
3. Rain damage
If you have comprehensive insurance, chances are it will cover damage from a hurricane or tornado. But it won’t necessarily cover damage that occurs if you happen to leave a window or sunroof open and it rains.
4. Broken windows
Windows are considered part of the car, so they’ll be covered in most cases with either collision or comprehensive insurance. But, if you’re locked out of your car and break a window to get inside, that would be considered a purposeful act and may not be covered. Policies typically cover only claims for damage caused by others or “unintentional damage,” Heller says. You may want to consider roadside service insurance, which usually pays for someone to come out and open your car if you get locked out.
5. Replacing worn tires
Car insurance isn’t going to cover basic maintenance, repairs, or general wear and tear on your vehicle. You may be able to add mechanical breakdown insurance, which is similar to an extended warranty from a car manufacturer, and you can also get coverage for roadside assistance for a flat tire, dead battery or other problem while on the road.
6. Side hustles
Personal car insurance typically won’t cover commercial use of your vehicle. If you make pizza deliveries or transport paying customers through a ridesharing service, you’ll need supplemental insurance, according to the III. “If you are driving for purposes of delivery or livery[chauffeur] you are going to likely need separate coverage,” says Heller.
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