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We buy auto insurance with the hope that we have a reliable safety net for the unexpected. And because we often focus on getting a good price and what the policy covers, we tend to overlook what it doesn’t cover.

Things stolen from your car

Your auto insurance policy does not cover items stolen from your car. Theft of personal belongings such as an iPhone or a computer will not be covered by auto insurance, but they would be covered by your owners or Tenant insurance Politics.

For example, suppose your vehicle has been stolen, along with your personal belongings. You would present two insurance claims: one under full auto insurance (if you have it) for the vehicle and home or tenant insurance for your property.

Comprehensive coverage will also cover the theft of individual items that are considered part of the car, such as stolen airbags.

Mechanical breakdowns or routine maintenance

A basic car insurance The policy covers repairs resulting from an accident. It does not cover repairs due to wear or mechanical failure.

But there are ways to fill these gaps, if it’s important to you:

  • Mechanical breakdown insurance may sometimes be added, depending on your insurance company. It will cover repairs such as engine problems and air conditioning issues. Extended warranties can also lessen the blow of these types of repair costs.
  • Roadside assistance coverage will come to the rescue if you need a tow, run out of gas, get locked out of the car, and have any related issues.

Driving across the US border

Your US auto insurance policy will cover you if you drive in Canada, with the same coverage limits as in the US. Make sure you have your auto insurance ID, vehicle registration, and proof of US residency when you arrive at the border.

Driving in Mexico is not so easy from an insurance standpoint. Your policy in the United States may have “limited coverage in Mexico”. This generally extends your coverage within 25 miles of the US border and for a trip of 10 days or less. But it is important to confirm this with your auto insurance agent.

If your US policy doesn’t cover Mexico, it’s important to purchase a Mexican auto insurance policy, especially because you could end up in a Mexican jail without it.

Using your car for business

Your auto insurance policy is intended to cover “personal use” of your vehicle, such as commuting, shopping, and road trips in the summer.

Professional use of the vehicle is generally excluded from coverage. So if you’re delivering food for work, for example, you’re probably not covered.

Water damage from leaving your windows open

Many drivers like to leave their windows down in hot weather. But leaving your window down can expose you to damage that auto insurance won’t pay for.

For example, comprehensive insurance covers damage to the car caused by flooding, but it probably won’t cover damage caused by rain entering through an open window or sunroof.

Intentional damage to the vehicle

No insurance policy will cover damage that an insured has intentionally caused to their own vehicle, home or property. So if you have taken a hammer on your car in a fit of rage, the repairs will be at your expense.

But intentional damage to your vehicle caused by others i.e. vandalism is covered by comprehensive insurance.


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