When it comes to figuring out what your auto insurance policy will and won’t cover, it’s all in the details. Auto insurance will help you pay for a wide range of repairs, including a broken axle.
But that will depend on how the axle broke and what types of cover you have. It may be covered in some situations, but not in others.
When will auto insurance cover a broken axle?
If you have collision coverage, your insurance company will usually pay for a broken axle under certain circumstances.
- Accidents. If you damage an axle in a car accident, hit another car, or hit a guardrail, the insurance company will pay for the repairs.
- Potholes. Driving over a pothole can cause various problems for your vehicle including bent or cracked wheels, suspension damage, misaligned wheels, etc. If a pothole damages an axle, you’re covered.
When you file a collision claim with your insurance company, you must pay your deductible before your insurer helps you pay for repairs to your car. If the cost of the damage is less than your deductible, your insurance coverage will not apply.
When won’t auto insurance cover a broken axle?
There are many reasons why an axle can get damaged, and not all of them are related to accidents and potholes. If your broken axle is the result of any of the following, insurance will not cover the damage.
- Normal wear. Nothing lasts eternally. Wear and tear is a normal part of car ownership. Just as brake pads, belts and hoses wear out and need to be replaced, so do axles. If you need to repair or replace your axle due to normal wear and tear, insurance will not cover it.
- Too much weight. The axles support the full weight of your vehicle, as well as anything you put in it. If an axle breaks because you overload it, insurance won’t cover it. Read our towing capacity guide.
- No collision coverage. Collision coverage is not mandatory in any state. But if you skip it, your insurer won’t cover your broken axle if an accident or pothole caused the damage.
How do I know if I have a broken axle?
A car axle is a bar or rod that turns the wheels of your car. Your axles must be functioning properly to steer and brake. If your axle is broken, you might hear rumbling, vibrating, clicking or clacking while driving, especially when accelerating or turning.
Sometimes if the axle is broken, your car will not move. If you can turn your car on and it seems to be working fine but won’t go anywhere when you step on the accelerator, a broken axle is probably a culprit.
Can I buy auto insurance to cover a broken axle?
If you want extra protection for a broken axle, you have a few options.
When you buy a new (and sometimes used) car, it usually comes with a manufacturer warranty. If your vehicle is under warranty, the warranty may cover the cost of repairing or replacing an axle, depending on the cause of the damage.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI)
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes the cars break down. Mechanical breakdown insurance covers repairs to your axle, as well as the transmission, engine, steering, and other systems that are generally not covered by a standard auto insurance policy. If you choose to purchase coverage, you will likely need to do so as soon as possible. The MBI is often only available for newer low mileage cars. You can buy MBI from a traditional auto insurer, but not all companies offer it.
Vehicle maintenance contract
Known as an extended warranty, a vehicle maintenance contract also pays for repairs that your standard policy does not cover. But vehicle maintenance contracts are not insurance policies.
They are designed to pick up where your manufacturer’s warranty ends when it expires. Unlike mechanical breakdown insurance, you can get a vehicle maintenance contract for an older car with more miles. But vehicle maintenance contracts are generally more expensive than mechanical breakdown insurance.
If you want to purchase an extended warranty, you can usually get one from the dealership when you buy your car. Or you can get one from an independent vehicle service contract company. If you buy a plan from the dealership, they’ll likely add the cost of the plan to financing your vehicle, which means you’ll pay interest on it.