You Won’t Believe What Car Insurance Actually Covers: The Truth Might Shock You

what does car insurance not cover?

What car insurance excludes and includes in its coverage.

What Car insurance excludes and includes in its coverage | photo courtesy | Insurance Guide


Every driver should have car insurance to safeguard themselves and their vehicles against accidents, theft, and other hazards.

However, standard car insurance policies do not cover all scenarios.

There are some cases where you might need to pay expenses out-of-pocket or purchase extra coverage.

This article clarifies what typical car insurance includes and excludes.

It also guides you in selecting the ideal policy for your situation.

We outline which situations fall outside of regular auto insurance when you might require additional coverage and how to pick a plan with sufficient protection for your needs and budget.

About Car Insurance

Car insurance represents an agreement between you and an insurer wherein they pledge to financially compensate you for specific losses or destruction that might transpire during your car ownership or while operating the vehicle.

The quantity and variety of protections included depend on the particular policy you select and how much you pay in premium charges.

Auto insurance can provide coverage for both your own outlays as well as expenses accrued by other parties implicated in a crash that also involves you.

Essentially, you pay regular sums to the insurance provider so that in the event your vehicle sustains damage or you experience liability due to an accident, the insurance company will monetarily indemnify you according to the details stipulated in your policy.

The amount they pay out depends on the type and extent of your coverage.

How does car insurance Work?

Car insurance helps pay for accident, damage, or theft costs related to your vehicle. You pay premiums to an insurer, and they cover losses up to a set limit.

There are mandatory and optional types:

  • Liability insurance covers injury or damage costs you cause others
  • Uninsured motorist insurance covers you if an at-fault driver has no or too little coverage
  • Collision insurance pays for repairs or replacements after you hit an object
  • Comprehensive insurance covers non-collision damage like fire, vandalism, or hail
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection insurance pay medical bills regardless of fault

If you have a claim, contact your insurer with details. They’ll investigate and determine the payment amount. You may also have a deductible for the amount you pay before insurance pays.

The lower the deductible, the higher the premium.

Types of Car Insurance

There are several important types of car insurance, some mandatory and others optional, depending on your state’s laws.

  • Liability insurance covers damages and injuries you cause others. It’s required in most states.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance protects you if an at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance. Required in some states.
  • Collision insurance pays for repairs or replacements if you collide with an object. Usually optional.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers damage from non-collision events like theft or vandalism. Also usually optional.
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection insurance pay medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of fault. Required in some states, optional in others

What does car insurance not cover?

Car insurance does not cover everything.

Key exclusions include:

  • Intentional damage like vandalism or arson
  • Normal wear and tear and routine maintenance
  • Personal belongings stolen from your car
  • Exclude high-risk drivers on your policy
  • Losses exceeding your coverage limits
  • Commercial use of your vehicle, like ridesharing or delivery driving

So when choosing coverage, be aware that you may need to pay some costs out-of-pocket or buy additional insurance for non-covered situations.


What does car insurance cover?

Car insurance covers the losses that are covered by the types of coverage you buy and within the limits of your policy.

Depending on your policy, car insurance can cover:

  • Your medical and property damage expenses if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver
  • Repair or replace your car if it is damaged or totaled by a collision or a non-collision event
  • The medical expenses of you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for an accident
  • The medical and property damage expenses of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians if you are at fault for an accident
  • Your legal fees if you are sued after an accident


Car insurance is crucial protection that can prevent financial troubles or legal issues after an accident.

However, policies do not include all scenarios.

You need to know what your particular plan does and does not cover.

Choosing suitable coverage types and levels means you can have protection that fits your situation and spending.

If you are unclear on car insurance details, you can always reach out to your provider or agent for guidance and to address concerns.

Being informed on exclusions as well as options for additional coverage is key to securing the plan that works best for you.

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