Breakdown Car Insurance

Breakdown car insurance covers more than warranties and helps to cover towing costs, replacement rentals, and the car shop of your choice. If you drive on difficult roads, breakdown car insurance might be right for you.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Breakdown car insurance is not the same thing as an extended warranty
  • Warranties usually do not include all the options that come with breakdown car insurance
  • Routine vehicle maintenance such as oil changes and alignment is not covered by breakdown insurance
  • Compare several companies before committing and buying breakdown insurance

Breakdown car insurance is a wise investment due to life’s chaotic unpredictability. The weather is miserable, the kids are sick and need to go to the doctor, and the car will not start. With breakdown insurance, the kids can get to the doctor and quickly be on the road to recovery.

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Having breakdown coverage for when your car conks out is not mandatory in any state. Yet during a vehicle breakdown, car insurance that comes to your rescue is priceless.

Extended Warranties vs Breakdown Car Insurance

You may wonder if car insurance ever pays for engine failure. Many people confuse extended warranties with breakdown insurance.

Warranties usually come from the manufacturer of the vehicle. It is their way of reassuring you that they have created a good product, one that you can count on — at least for a certain amount of time.

On the other hand, auto insurance is about helping keep the car on the road and protecting the owner.

Depending on what type of breakdown car insurance is purchased for the vehicle, insurance can cover replacement rentals, towing, and the auto shop of your choice.

For some people, having this kind of insurance is better than having to take the car back to the dealer if something goes wrong. If you have an older car, an extended warranty is not a possibility.

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Breakdown Car Insurance Offers More Choices

Warranties are usually provided by either the dealer or the car manufacturer. The price is added to the price of the car and may cost in the thousands.

With breakdown insurance, you have the option of choosing whether you want to pay deductibles or not. A deductible can help lower the cost of your insurance.

You are able to further customize your insurance plan to meet your needs by buying breakdown insurance.

What is Covered by Breakdown Car Insurance?

Your plan should cover mechanical repairs and problems with the electrical system or electronic devices on your car. Breakdown car insurance also covers high-cost items such as:

  • Transmission
  • Engine block
  • Starter
  • Master cylinder
  • Alternator
  • Water pump
  • Carburetor or fuel injector
  • Prop shaft

What is Not Covered by Breakdown Car Insurance?

Prior problems, if any, will not be covered. Repairs caused by misuse or deliberate damage will not be repaired. Regular maintenance such as the following is not covered:

  1. Tune-ups
  2. Body work
  3. Brakes
  4. Batteries
  5. Wiper blades
  6. Spark plugs
  7. Suspension alignment
  8. Balancing the wheels
  9. Filters
  10. Lubrication
  11. Coolant and fluids
  12. Tires

The cost of this coverage will vary depending on the company and policy you choose. Many companies offer different plans at differing rates.

You should compare carefully to make sure of what you are getting. What one company calls the premium plan may not be the same as another company’s plan.

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Who should get Breakdown Car Insurance?

Owners of limited-edition vehicles, drivers who routinely travel on difficult roads, and consumers who feel they can get better coverage with their insurance company than the auto dealer or manufacturing company should consider purchasing breakdown car insurance.

The internet is the best place to go to compare different policies. Unlike the warranty offered by the manufacturer or dealer, you get to shop around for breakdown insurance on your car.

Competition helps keep the price down. There is a good chance the breakdown car insurance will be cheaper than the extended warranty.

Coverage should include roadside assistance, rental vehicle replacement until the car is repaired, coverage for the tires, and coverage to prevent your trip from being interrupted by unplanned stops caused by mechanical breakdowns.

Transportation to your home should also be included. Check to make sure that transport is provided not only for the driver but also for any passengers.

No matter what the coverage, accidents and untimely failure will occur to all vehicles at some point in time. Every car should be equipped with an emergency kit. This kit should have roadside flares or other marking devices to warn other vehicles of the obstacle.

In case of an accident or car failure, never leave the car in the middle of the road if it can be prevented. If the tire blows out, it is better to pull the car of the road as far as possible, even if this may cause damage to the wheel.

Wheels can be replaced; a life cannot. Do not attempt to change a tire on the shoulder of a busy road. Many lives have been lost in this manner.

Breakdown car insurance can give peace of mind, as well as save money. Shop online and compare rates now.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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