Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2020

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Car Insurance Claims Covered Summary
Car Insurance ClaimsDetailsFrom Experts
Pothole damage is usually coveredDepending on where the damage occurred, the city may cover damagesState websites
You encounter contaminated or faulty fuelYou should notify an inspector immediately and report the faulty fuelState websites
A blown-out tire Collision or comprehensive coverages may coverInsurance Information Institute
The statute of limitations in your own state will tell you how soon you must file a claimIf you have been in an accident, notify your insurer as soon as possibleLaw websites
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Stranded by the side of the road, cellphone in hand, you’re making a call to AAA – your car’s engine is blown. After wondering how you’ll get off the road safely, another question comes to mind: Does insurance cover if your engine blows? There are so many claims you may not know are covered — it’s not only time-consuming, but confusing to research which claims are covered by car insurance.

Will insurance cover engine damage? Unfortunately, not all of the damage your vehicle sustains can be paid for by insurance. Cars are expensive to own and maintain, and it’s possible that sudden mechanical failure will render your car undrivable.

In this guide, we will cover claims you may not know are covered. You will also learn about how to report an accident and make a claim. It’s critical to have car insurance that covers you if your engine blows.

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Table of Contents

State Minimum Car Insurance

First and foremost, it’s absolutely necessary for you to have at least the minimum liability insurance that’s required by your state.

Bodily injury and property damage liability are two major aspects of coverage that you never want to skimp on. Purchasing liability coverage will ensure you don’t have your license suspended for driving without insurance.

It’s illegal to drive without the minimum liability requirements. However, this doesn’t stop around 12 percent of drivers in the U.S. from taking to the roads uninsured or underinsured.

Remember, bodily injury liability and property damage liability will cover the third-party’s damages if you are at fault for an accident. But you may still have to pay a large sum for medical bills and car repairs out of pocket unless you purchase comprehensive car insurance and collision coverage.

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Does full coverage insurance cover engine damage?

We briefly touched on how minimum liability insurance won’t fulfill all of your needs after an accident. Wondering if you should pay big bucks for hefty insurance coverage? The video below explains some benefits of comprehensive coverage.

So, will auto insurance cover my car catching fire? If your car has been through a fire, or any other type of natural disaster, comprehensive has benefits. If your car is flooded, comprehensive will cover that too. But how much will it set you back? Let’s look at how much comprehensive insurance costs.

The table below shows the average cost of each type of insurance for a 35-year-old woman with no accidents on her driving record. We also show the protections offered by these coverages in the third column.

Car Insurance Coverage Options and Protections
Coverage TypesAverage Annual RatesProtections
Minimum liabilty coverage $620- Other driver's property
- Other driver's bodily injuries (if you're found at fault in an accident)
Medpay/PIP Depends on the state and your individual limits - Medical costs, including funeral expenses and lost income
Comprehensive coverage $150.46 - Windshield repair
- Damage caused by falling or airborne objects like hail, rocks, or tree branches
- Theft
- Vandalism
- Fire
Collision coverage $305.78 - Hitting a tree or telephone pole
- Colliding with a building
- Rolling or flipping your car
- Hitting a pothole or curb
- Backing into another car
- Being hit by another car
Full coverage $948.84 - Liability
- Comprehensive
- Collision
- Uninsured motorist
- Medical coverage
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We covered the three most common types of coverage: basic liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. But wait…there’s more.

MedPay and PIP (Personal Injury Protection) protect you if you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident.

  • MedPay covers the medical payments of all passengers in your vehicle after an accident that causes injury.
  • PIP covers medical costs regardless of who’s at fault.

Some states require drivers to carry these. MedPay is required in two tort states: Maine and New Hampshire. There are five PIP-mandatory states: Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and Michigan.

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Will insurance cover a blown engine?

Now that we’ve covered types of coverage, you may be wondering: Is a blown engine covered by insurance? Good question. While a variety of things can go wrong with your vehicle, your type of car insurance coverage largely dictates whether or not a claim will be paid out.

So, what happens when an engine blows up? Signs of a blown engine include large puddles of oil or antifreeze underneath your engine, puffs of blue-grey smoke from your exhaust, or anything normally attached to the valve cover popping off from the pressure.

Can a blown engine be repaired? Usually, unless permanent damage has occurred.

The table below provides background on some basic claims that may not be covered unless you have comprehensive coverage.

Claims Covered by Car Insurance
Common Car DamagesCovered by Minimum Liability Insurance?Covered by Comprehensive Insurance?
Faulty/contaminated fuel NoYes
Blown-out tire NoYes, or by warranty
Engine blow-out NoYes
Windshield replacement NoYes, or full glass coverage
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So, why is comprehensive coverage so important? As you can see from the table, there are some pretty common issues that aren’t covered by liability insurance, so it’s a very good idea to spring for comprehensive coverage if possible.

Later in this article, we’ll discuss how to make a blown engine insurance claim.

Gap Insurance

You may be wondering, how does Gap car insurance work, or, does Gap insurance cover engine failure?

Gap insurance is available only if you are the original lease-holder on your vehicle. The video below helps to explain Gap coverage.

Gap insurance is an optional car insurance coverage that helps pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled or stolen and you owe more than the car’s depreciated value.  So, it will not directly pay for your engine if it blows unless you also have comprehensive insurance.

How Car Insurance Claims Work

It may seem pretty basic, but filing auto insurance claims can become very stressful. In this section, we’ll cover some dos and don’ts for filing a claim, whether you can claim on car insurance for repairs, along with some basic tips to help you in the long run.

Whether or not you’re at fault in an accident scenario, it’s probably a good idea to call your insurance company. If you don’t know if you’re at fault, your insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine this.

After calling your insurance company, follow the steps listed below.

These will help ensure that your claim is verified through your insurance company, and fault can be properly determined.

Do Not Admit Fault

Your rational mind may take the backseat, causing you to wonder: If someone hit my car, do I call my insurance or theirs? Call yours, but don’t admit fault.

It’s best to leave the decision of who is at fault to your insurance company. It is them you should call after an accident.

Your insurance company represents you, and you only. By calling the other party’s insurer, you run the risk of a claim denial or being held at fault for the accident.

Exchange Information

Wondering how you’ll get back in touch with the other party involved in the accident? First, you should exchange insurance information and phone numbers. It’s also an excellent idea to take a photo of their driver’s license. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their information as well.

Take Pictures

Today, smartphones have the ability to document anything and everything with the push of a button. It’s important to take photos of the damage to your vehicle, as well as any skid marks or damage to the road.

Document Your Medical Expenses

A lawyer will tell you that it’s highly important to document any medical expenses after an accident. Emergency room visits, physical therapy appointments, or any referrals to other care you receive should be kept in a journal or electronic document.

These medical expenses are important for your personal records and for your insurer, attorney, and the court.

One common mistake people make is waiting too long to file a claim. So, how long after an accident can you file a claim? To have any chance of recovering medical expenses or property damage payments, claims must be made according to the statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations

If you’ve ever been in a minor accident, you may want to know how long an auto insurance claim can be open. Each state has its own statutes of limitations, each corresponding to different types of claims. Most states give you a window of two to three years to settle your car insurance claim.

If you file after the window of the statute of limitations, the court will reject your claim, even if you only miss the deadline by a few days. After a claim is reported, the insurer will investigate to confirm the damage and make sure it coincides with the loss facts.

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Tire and Wheel Insurance

Damage to your tires, rims, or wheels may cause you to wonder if you need tire and rim insurance. Blow-outs are scary, and they can easily cause extensive damage to your vehicle. Even if you manage to stop the car safely, the shredded rubber may dent the body panel of your car, and the wheel or axle may be damaged.

If the blow-out causes your vehicle to lose control and you run off the road or hit a fixed object, the claim will be filed under collision coverage, and it will be listed as an at-fault collision.

If you manage to get the car off of the road safely but it sustains damage from the shredded tire, the claim will be paid under your comprehensive coverage. So, should you call your insurance company if your tire blows out?

If there was no damage to the car, just the tire, it would often not be considered a covered circumstance. However, if you believe the manufacturer is responsible for the faulty tire, you may be covered by liability insurance coverage.

Why did my tire blow out?

A number of things can cause a tire to have a blowout:

  • Low tire pressure
  • Driving on tires that are worn out
  • Engineering or manufacturing concerns
  • Driving in high temperatures for a long period of time
  • Hitting a curb and puncturing the tire

Whenever your vehicle is involved in a blowout, it’s a good idea to file a claim so that you can have the vehicle thoroughly inspected for damage.

Engine Damage from Low Fluids

Some of the most serious damage to your engine can be avoided by one simple maintenance trick: checking your fluids.

Did you know that low engine coolant, oil, or transmission fluid can wreak havoc on your car? What you may not know is that, depending on the reason for the lost fluids, some damages may be covered.

For example, if you are involved in an auto accident that causes your oil pan to leak, you may not immediately realize that you have low oil and will continue driving the vehicle. The resulting damage could be considered part of the initial accident.

It’s super important to document all medical and property damages after an accident. If you notice a leak that’s due to the negligence of another driver, be sure to notify your insurance company ASAP.

Hydrolocked Engine Insurance Claim

If you suspect that water has been introduced into the combustion chamber of your engine, the consequences for your vehicle could be devastating. Damage may mean that you need to partially or fully replace its parts.

If you think that you have a hydrolocked engine insurance claim, it will most likely be covered by your provider.

So, if you drove through a puddle and flooded your engine, or water damaged your engine and it stops working, the damage will be covered by the applicable coverage on your policy.

“Warning Light Is On” Inspection Service

Always keep an eye on your fluid levels and stop driving immediately if the car feels different or if you sense that any levels are low. Many cars will alert you to low oil or coolant levels, so there’s no excuse for continuing to drive and causing further damage.

Does car insurance cover transmission damage? Low transmission fluid is just one potential issue that could be affecting your engine.

The biggest culprits for the message “Service Engine Soon” are listed and described as follows. As you can see, it’s important to regularly check your fluids to ensure this message doesn’t turn into a blown engine.

Dashboard Warning Light Meanings
Warning Light Symbol:Meaning:Fluids/Devices to Service:
Engine temperature warning light Engine temperature has exceeded normal limitsCoolant level, fan operation, radiator cap, coolant leaks
Battery charge warning lightCar’s charging system is short of power or is not charging properlyBattery or alternator
Oil pressure warning lightLoss of oil pressure, meaning lubrication is low or lost completelyCheck the oil level and pressure
Brake warning lightIndicator light turns on when the handbrake is on; could mean pressure in brakes is bad, or a fluid leakCheck fluids in brakes
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You probably know this, but it’s still worth stating: if you drive a car without the appropriate levels of oil, transmission fluid, or coolant, it will destroy the car’s engine or transmission.

Pothole Damage

Pothole damage is often grouped with curb damage. So, if you hit a curb or pothole with your vehicle, you may be wondering if you can file a claim and which kind of insurance will cover the damage.

So, does my auto insurance cover damage caused by potholes? According to the Insurance Information Institute, collision coverage will likely pay for damage caused by any unforeseen run-ins with a pothole. In especially treacherous states, collision coverage may save your vehicle from pothole damage. The video below explains.

If you live in a state with frequent snowfall, it’s likely that the asphalt has seen some serious fluctuations. Expansion and contraction of materials due to temperature changes are the number one cause of potholes, which are often overlooked by the state.

If you think that a pothole has caused significant damage to your vehicle, you should first file a claim with your insurance company. In addition to this, there may be another option worth looking into.

In some jurisdictions, like Chicago and New York State, your local government may pay for pothole damage in certain cases. If you think this might be the case where you live, call the state or city department responsible for the road and inquire about compensation for pothole damage, or ask your insurance company about this option when you call to file a claim.

Is bad fuel covered by insurance?

Have you ever suffered from an unexplainable car breakdown, only to learn later that it was caused by faulty or contaminated gas? Here is where gas insurance, for lack of a better term, comes into play — big time.

Sending anything but gasoline through your vehicle’s fuel system is a surefire way to destroy the car, so bad gas can lead to major expenses. Most of the gas you get at the pump is high quality, but occasionally a batch of bad gas will come through the line.

This gasoline may be contaminated with water or another substance, or it may simply burn improperly and cause damage to your vehicle. Let’s examine a scenario in which someone’s vehicle was contaminated with bad fuel.

The video above is a report from Orlando, Florida, where bad fuel was discovered at a 7/11 store. If you drive a car that uses diesel, contaminants like sand or water can easily take out your fuel system, including your injection pump. Fortunately, you can file a claim for this type of situation.

It will be covered under your comprehensive coverage, and you may be able to hold the gas station liable for damages so you can get your deductible reimbursed.

If you choose to file a claim, it’s important you notify your state’s department (ex., through a site like this from the Tennessee State Department of Agriculture) immediately, while keeping careful notes of when and where you bought the gas in question.

North Carolina has a similar process. After a local woman began experiencing issues with her vehicle, she sought help. A local expert in this instance noted that the damage could cost more than $1,000 depending on the vehicle. The sooner you call, the quicker they can send an inspector to mediate the situation. You can also email your state department using the contact information on its website.

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Does car insurance cover towing for bad fuel?

You’re driving down the highway when your car suddenly experiences a few of the symptoms listed below:

  • Difficulty starting up
  • Pinging sounds
  • Stalling
  • Check engine light illumination

These are all symptoms of faulty or contaminated fuel.

So, does your insurance cover a tow home or to the repair shop?

While you may receive towing services through your insurance company after an accident, you may need to have roadside assistance coverage for towing under other circumstances.

If you notice any irregularity or strangeness in the way that your car drives after refueling, be sure to take it to the shop immediately to prevent further damage. You should then get your vehicle inspected and notify someone from your state’s applicable department and your insurance company.

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Claim Denial

What is a claim? A claim is a request by a policyholder to an insurance company for coverage or compensation after a damage-causing event. This event may be a collision with another vehicle, a hail storm that dented your hood, a blown engine, etc.

After you report a claim for an accident, your adjuster will take a look at the circumstances and determine who caused it and what repairs should be made. If you’re found to be at fault (and haven’t purchased comprehensive or collision as part of your policy) the cost of repairs to your vehicle will come out of your pocket.

If your claim involves low oil, bad gasoline, or something similar, you may be found negligent if you continue to drive your vehicle after becoming aware of the problem.

This negligence will reduce your ability to benefit from the claim; the insurance company will deny the claim if they feel that you contributed to the damage.

Your insurance company may be able to extend coverage for many circumstances that you might not think would be covered. If you’re ever in doubt about a claim, it’s always worthwhile to call the insurance company and check with them.

The agent or claims service representative will happily discuss your coverage with you and let you know for sure whether it would be worthwhile to file a claim. If you’re paying for auto insurance, you may as well use it whenever you have the opportunity.

Non-Accident Related Damages

Non-accident related damages include most of the things discussed in this article, as well as damage to your vehicle caused by storms or other circumstances that are completely outside of your control.

If you’ve had a run-in with a pothole, or suffered from your car breaking down because of bad fuel, contact your insurance company immediately. There are many situations involving damage to your vehicle that may be covered by your insurance policy that you don’t even know about.

Now that you know more about claims you may not know are covered, are you interested in comparing car insurance rates to find the best policy for you? Just enter your ZIP code to get started.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Claims You May Not Know Are Covered

There are many topics to cover when discussing blown engine coverage. We’ve included some frequently asked questions to make sure no stone is left unturned.

Is a car engine covered under insurance?

A car engine is typically considered a routine repair and should be maintained by the car’s owner. If a claim is filed after an accident and an impact or collision has been found to have damaged the engine, collision or comprehensive may pay for it.

Does State Farm cover engine failure?

Does State Farm cover blown engines? Yes, if you have State Farm® Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers a vehicle that’s stolen or damaged by something other than collision or rolling over – like a blown engine.

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Does Progressive cover engine failure?

Progressive insurance, like other companies, will not cover engine failure if it was caused by a failure to maintain your vehicle.

From Progressive’s website: “A blown engine caused by neglect can cost a car owner thousands. Keeping up with your car’s maintenance schedule can enhance the resale value of your car. Kelly’s Blue Book estimates that good maintenance can translate into a $1,000 difference in a car’s value.”

Does insurance cover if your car breaks down?

Mechanical damages such as wear-and-tear and usually not supported by insurance. In some rare cases, however, collision or comprehensive may pay for a breakdown.

Does Allstate cover a blown engine?

Their website states, “Whether it’s routine maintenance, mechanical failure, or a blown engine, car insurance will most likely not cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.”

If the damage is a result of a collision or another covered incident, then collision coverage would foot the costs.

We hope that this guide has provided the information you need to cover your engine if it breaks down. The best option is to carry comprehensive coverage, which will almost always cover your blown engine.