What doesn’t car insurance cover?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

As everyone knows, it’s important to be safe on the road because you never know what could happen. A report issued by the Insurance Information Institute states that in 2017 there were 37,473 traffic deaths and the fatality rate per 100,000 registered vehicles was 12.79.

How much insurance you purchase should depend on both your needs and your worries, but to make an educated purchase, you need to know what your auto insurance policy does and does not cover.  

Many people know the basics of what insurance takes care of, but what doesn’t car insurance cover? Find out so you can get the protection you need.

What isn’t covered by car insurance?

Normal auto insurance does not cover the following:

  • Other people driving your car
  • Ridesharing
  • Regular Repair
  • Damages that exceeds your limits of liability
  • Exotic and performance cars

Other people driving your car

Will your car insurance insure someone else driving your car? The answer is a little complicated. Ultimately, it depends on your policy. 

Some companies have stringent rules and will only insure people who are specifically named in the policy, while others say friends and family are fine as long as they don’t live at the same address as you. If they do live at the same address and they want to drive your car, they must be named on the policy. 

However, there’s not a universal answer about how your provider will treat someone else driving your car. You need to call your insurance provider and ask what would happen if there was an accident with someone else driving your car.

The worst case scenario is that you could face a fine for allowing an uninsured driver to operate your car or you could be forced to pay for all damages out of pocket. 

Ridesharing

Ridesharing is when you use your car for companies like Uber or Lyft. Someone pays you a fee in exchange for transportation. 

The problem with ridesharing is that most policies won’t protect you should you be in an accident while you’re ridesharing. Most insurance policies don’t include ridesharing as part of your protection, and the insurance you get through the ridesharing company doesn’t always apply. You need a specific policy for ridesharing to be fully insured while you’re driving.

Regular repair

Regular repair boils down to about anything you would take your car to a repair shop for outside of accident repairs. Your car insurance will not pay to fix your brakes, replace your tires or tune up your engine. It also won’t pay for an oil change.

If you have a comprehensive policy, your car insurance will likely cover:

  • Collision repair
  • Animal damage
  • Fire
  • Damage from vandalism
  • Damage from a falling object
  • Hail
  • Glass damage

Without a comprehensive policy, you’re on your own for these issues as well as general maintenance. 

Exotic and performance cars

Many insurance companies will not insure these types of cars. You will need to find a specialized coverage from a company willing to insure your car. These cars need different insurance because they require specialized parts and are more prone to vandalism and theft. Many companies simply consider them too expensive to cover.

However, it is possible to find an insurance provider to cover your exotic or high performance car.

Progressive, Hagerty, Trusted Choice and Classic Insurance are a few examples of insurance companies willing to insure exotic and high performance cars.

Damages that exceeds your limits of liability

You may have asked, “What doesn’t car insurance cover, the person or the car?” or “What doesn’t car insurance cover in an accident?” 

What you’re asking is whether there are different types of auto insurance. The answer is yes, there are. Each covers a different thing.

Car insurance is broken down into the following categories:

  • Bodily injury liability: Should you cause damage to someone else while driving, bodily injury liability will cover any expenses up to a certain amount. It’s important to have a good amount of bodily injury liability because if you get into a serious accident it’s possible you could be sued for more than your liability would cover you for. If that happens, any assets you have (such as your home) could be taken away from you to pay the damages.
  • Property damage liability: This type pays for damage you might cause to someone else’s property. This can be their car, home, fence or any other type of structure.
  • Personal injury protection: Also known as medical payments, this type of protection will cover for the medical payments or any lost wages of anyone in the policyholder’s car at the time of the accident. 
  • Uninsured/ underinsured motorist: Should you be the victim of a hit-and-run or are hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver, this type of coverage will reimburse you for any losses you may incur.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance reimburses you if you are the victim of theft or damage with something other than a car. Whether you hit a deer or your car is damaged by hail or an earthquake, comprehensive will protect you. 
  • Collision: Collision covers you from damage caused by things like potholes, a crash with another car or a collision with an object such as a tree or road sign. 

Each type of coverage is priced differently, and there are differences among each when it comes to policy limits and pricing. Those differences aren’t only among different states, but between each company, as well. Each state has a minimum for liability that it requires insurance companies to match, but everything else can vary 

When buying car insurance, you choose the amount of coverage you want to be insured for (the higher the protection, the higher the cost). However, if the damages are more than your policy limits, your insurance will only give you the amount on your policy, which means you would have to pay the remaining amount out of pocket.

What to do about things your car insurance doesn’t cover

The first place to start is to ask your insurance provider about your policy. Make sure you understand everything there is to know about your policy. 

From there, tell your agent what you’re looking for in a policy. Explain what you have, and talk about what worries you have as a driver. He or she will most likely be able to point you to a policy more tailored to your needs and wants.   

The takeaway

If you’re worried about what doesn’t auto insurance cover, contact your provider and discuss different policy options and pricing models. A good rule of thumb is to always pay for as much insurance as your budget will comfortably allow. Insurance protects us against life’s unforeseen events, and you can’t predict what you’ll need or not need.

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