Among the gravest fears a car owner has is hearing the words, “You need a new transmission.” Repairs on cars can be costly. Few jobs are costlier than restoring a transmission system to its proper operational condition.
Due to the many sophisticated parts that comprise a vehicle’s transmission, minor repairs are rare. A broken transmission does need to be replaced or rebuilt.
The transmission system performs a critical function: it allows the engines and the wheels on a car to work harmoniously. Once a transmission fails, the car won’t run.
With the fearful cloud of a $2,500 transmission repair bill looming over a driver’s head, the question, “Does auto insurance cover transmission repair?” arises.
The answer depends on the circumstances and the type of coverage involved.
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A Duty to Care for a Car
No auto insurance policy is likely to cover any losses due to a lack of routine repair and maintenance.
Vehicle owners do need to care for their car’s transmission. Probably the biggest reason for transmissions to fail would be a lack of flushing or changing the transmission fluid. Someone who never changes the transmission fluid is simply asking for trouble.
Aged, brownish or blackish fluid is not going to lubricate transmission gears properly leading to impurity and friction-related damage.
Transmission leaks could also yield devastation, which is why car owners need to have minor inspections performed at regular intervals.
Would a car insurance policy pay for transmission damage due to an owner being negligent with routine care? No policy would cover such a loss. This fact does not mean there aren’t any circumstances in which a policy would cover repairs.
The Liability Issue
Liability insurance is intended to cover losses to property and bodily harm. If a driver crashes into a vehicle and destroys the transmission, filing a claim against the negligent person’s auto insurance policy may recoup the costs for fixing the transmission.
This claim assumes the person has insurance. If not, then no claim can be filed against the driver’s non-existent insurance company. Vehicle owners who opt to take out uninsured or underinsured auto insurance coverage may be able to file a claim against losses on their own policy.
Comprehensive and Collision
A claim against comprehensive and collision policies may be possible upon suffering transmission woes. If a transmission system is ruined by a flood that causes massive amounts of water to enter the system, filing a comprehensive claim would be feasible.
Similarly, a driver with collision coverage who hits a speed bump at a high rate of speed and wrecks the transmission could file also claim. Whether or not the insurance company chooses to pay out in such a situation is uncertain.
The Totaled Car and the Total Loss
Depending upon how serious the damage is, the insurance company may deem the vehicle a total loss. In short, the car is considered totaled.
If the cost of a car’s resale value is $1,500 and the cost of the transmission repair is $2,500, the insurance company is probably only going to pay for the resale value of the car.
A car worth $3,000 that has suffered $2,500 in damage still may be deemed totaled by the insurance company.
Perhaps in such scenarios taking the settlement and using it as a downpayment on a new or used vehicle would be wiser than fixing the transmission.
A Rare Form of Coverage
Most people are familiar with the following types of coverages:
- uninsured motorist
There is another type of coverage available as an add-on to policies. This addition would be mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI), a type of coverage that might help those whose transmission system is damaged.
Not every insurance company may offer this type of coverage, which is why effective comparison shopping needs to be performed. Through comparing what different policies have to offer, finding a good deal on mechanical breakdown insurance may be possible.
Explaining Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
Mechanical breakdown insurance is similar to a warranty in the sense it covers the costs of repairs to a vehicle that “just happen.”
What will or won’t be covered under mechanical breakdown is going to be clearly spelled out in an auto insurance policy. In New York, the regulations for this type of insurance are strict.
It is important to read policies closely and carefully to understand what the insurance company will or won’t pay for.
Keep these things in mind when performing basic comparison shopping so as to acquire effective the MBI coverage.
MIB insurance is not available for all cars. One company may only cover a new vehicle. Limitations on mileage may be in place. Some may require the original warranty to remain in effect.
This type of insurance could be a good investment for those worried about transmission troubles. Still, the odds of a transmission system failing on a brand new car – or one less than five years old – are very low.
Policies can cover transmission repairs under specific circumstances and depend on the coverage type being accessed for the claim. Routine care of transmissions and costs related to a lack of care, however, fall solely on the shoulders of the car’s owner.
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