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Car insurance isn’t the same thing as a car warranty. Some people are confused by this and wonder why they’re paying insurance premiums to a company that seemingly doesn’t do anything for them. Most policies have car insurance coverage limits. These limits often depend on the type of car insurance policy chosen, but there are some specific items that your insurance doesn’t cover.

1. Your car insurance policy doesn’t cover general wear and tear

You can’t turn to your car insurance company to pay for new tires, brakes, and windshield wipers, or to cover the general maintenance of your vehicle. This is not what insurance is for. Collision coverage pays to repair your car when damaged in a collision, provided the cost of the damage isn’t greater than the value of your vehicle. You won’t get the insurance company to buy you a new set of tires, but you can try.

2. Uninsured motorists could cause you to face high repair bills that aren’t covered

Car Flipped Over After an Accident
Car Flipped Over After an Accident | Getty Images

A 2017 report conducted by the Insurance Research Council showed that one in every eight drivers in the United States was uninsured in 2015. You’ll be stuck with the bill when in an accident with one of these drivers. For this reason, it’s important to check your car insurance policy to increase your coverall limits to handle such an event. Without proper coverage, you’ll be stuck with a high repair bill and no way to get them paid.

3. Your personal belongings aren’t covered

Most types of car insurance don’t cover personal items inside your car. This insurance policy is generally limited to the vehicle itself and not items inside. That said, some homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies cover this type of loss. Figure out which policy covers the items inside the vehicle when a theft occurs.

4. Does your car insurance policy cover your side hustle?

Woman Driving While Using GPS
Woman Driving While Using GPS | Getty Images

If you drive for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Spark, Grubhub, Shipt, or any other delivery company, your car insurance might not cover this side hustle. Most personal insurance policies only cover your normal use, which most report as daily commutes, weekend travel, and errands. Using your vehicle as a business tool means you need supplemental insurance.

5. Those aftermarket customizations aren’t covered

Custom Car With Expensive Graphics
Custom Car With Expensive Graphics | Getty Images

Car insurance companies use your VIN to determine the value of your vehicle. This doesn’t take into account the cool wheels, fancy graphics wrap, or LED light show that you’ve added to your car. Sure, you can customize your vehicle as much as you’d like, but your insurance policy won’t cover these upgrades. If you want these items covered, you’ll need to purchase customized equipment insurance.

6. Does your car insurance policy cover other drivers in your household?

This is a tricky one because it’s hard to understand. If your parent or other relative visits for a few days and gets into an accident using your vehicle, the car insurance company will cover the accident as if you were behind the wheel. On the other hand, your policy might not cover a teenage child or roommate that shares an address with you but isn’t on your policy. Some states avoid this problem by requiring residents to list all driving-age residents on an insurance policy.

If you’re concerned about what your car insurance policy covers, discuss your coverage with an agent. This will ensure you’ve got the proper coverage.

Next, check out why some drivers have recently been denied insurance coverage, or learn more about what your car insurance might not cover in this video below:


Auto Insurance Terms: What Does Non-Standard Auto Insurance Mean?