Does Car Insurance Cover Engine Failure? What You Need To Know

The words "engine failure" easily rank among the most feared that a car owner can hear a mechanic utter. That's because those dreaded words tend to mean: First, you may be without a functional vehicle for an extended period of time. And second, you're likely also facing a pricey repair bill to get your car back on the road. You may even need to pay for a rebuilt or remanufactured engine altogether.

As far as those issues go, there's not much you can do to expedite the process or cost of repairing or replacing a blown engine. That makes it all the more important that you avoid the bad habits that may contribute to your engine failing in the first place. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of hearing those two fateful words from a mechanic, your financial recourse may be more limited than you realize. It's more likely than not that your automobile insurance will not cover any of the expenses. 

That is par for the course with most insurance policies because, well, despite what you might believe, "comprehensive coverage" for your car is not really that comprehensive. In fact, most insurance policies will only cover engine damages incurred in the course of an accident, vehicle theft, or some calamitous extreme weather event. So, if your engine has failed for any reason outside of those fairly standard coverage parameters, you will be largely on your own to pay for repairs.

One specific type of insurance may cover engine failure

That may make things sound pretty bleak for anyone who's forced to deal with the failure of their automobile engine, and if you're not covered by some sort of manufacturer warranty, it can certainly feel that way. However, there is one type of coverage you can purchase to ensure you're not entirely out of pocket in paying for repairs. That coverage is called Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and as its title denotes, it is a coverage designed to protect your vehicle should it experience major mechanical issues not included in other plans.

As with most policies, Mechanical Breakdown Insurance will still require you to pay a deductible at the point of repair, but the rest should be covered by the provider, which is a pretty good deal when you're facing such an expensive issue. However, MBI will likely only be available after any warranty covering your vehicle has expired. Likewise, there's no guarantee that your current insurance provider even offers MBI coverage. So, if you're interested in adding it to your plan, you'll first need to make sure you actually can.

Rates for MBI coverage will also vary by insurance provider, so make sure you're getting a competitive quote before adding it to your plan. Whatever the rate, it may be worth it to have that peace of mind, even for car owners who are taking active steps to protect their engine over the long-term.