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Auto Insurance FAQs

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

Yes, but only if you have comprehensive coverage. This is optional coverage that pays for damages if someone intentionally damages your car—e.g., spray paints the body, keys the door, or smashes your window.

Does car insurance cover hail damage?

A heavy hailstorm can do serious damage to your car, resulting in dings and dents or cracked windshields. If you have comprehensive coverage, though, you’re golden. This optional coverage compensates you for the needed repairs.

Does car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

Yes. In many cases, it does. 
  • If another driver hits your car and cracks your windshield, that driver’s liability coverage pays for your repairs.
  • If you cause a car crash that cracks your windshield, and you have optional collision coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.
  • If your windshield gets cracked from something other than a car crash—like a falling tree branch, a rogue baseball, or debris from the freeway—you’re protected if you have optional comprehensive coverage.

Does auto insurance cover theft of my personal items?

If a thief grabs personal belongings that were left in your car, such as your phone or laptop, most auto insurance policies don’t cover it. But some offer a small amount of coverage, so check your policy.

The good news is that most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover theft—even if the thief swiped the items from your car. So if you have home insurance, you’ll likely be compensated for your loss.

Does car insurance cover the car or the driver?

It might cover both, depending on your policy.

Some policies protect the car. If you have an accident and your car gets dinged—or worse—optional collision coverage will help pay to repair or replace it. Comprehensive insurance, which is another optional coverage, applies for non-crash-related hazards. So if a storm floods your car, a squirrel gnaws on your wiring, or loose bricks fall onto your hood, comprehensive coverage will help pay for the repairs. And liability coverage, which is required in most states, pays for the damage to another driver when you are responsible for an accident. 

Other policies may help pay for medical costs if someone gets hurt in a crash. If another driver hits you, for example, their liability coverage may extend to your accident-related injuries. And depending on the state you live in, your health care provider can secure a lien for the full amount owed for bodily damages.

Does car insurance cover natural disasters?

Tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, hail—there’s no shortage of natural disasters that can wreak havoc on your vehicle. But if you have comprehensive auto insurance, the damage will likely be covered. 

Does car insurance cover water damage?

Water damage can require expensive repairs. If you have a comprehensive policy, you’re covered if the damage was caused by a natural flood or something else beyond your control. And while accidents are covered, intentional acts are not.

Does car insurance cover tire blowout damage?

Sorry, but no. Tire blowout damage is usually caused by normal wear and tear, which isn’t covered by insurance.

Does car insurance cover lockouts?

Some auto insurance policies may cover lockouts under their roadside assistance plan. AAA Member benefits, for example, include car locksmith service. 

Does car insurance cover bumper damage?

Yes. If you are in an accident, collision insurance covers bumper damage.

Does car insurance cover car wash damage?

It might, depending on the circumstances. If your vehicle collides with another car or crashes into a wall at the car wash, your collision coverage—if you have such a policy—will pay for damages to your car. But if you’re at a car wash and the machines malfunction, damaging your bumper or scraping your paint job, the car wash may be liable for the damages.

Does car insurance cover roof racks?

If you have an accident that damages your roof rack, and you have collision coverage, you’re likely covered. This type of coverage will pay for the damage regardless of whether you collide with another vehicle or are hit by some other object. 

Does car insurance cover rust damage?

No, most auto insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by normal wear and tear, such as rust damage.

Does car insurance cover acorn damage?

Yes. If you have comprehensive coverage, you can file a claim for car damage caused by falling objects—such as divebombing acorns. 

Does car insurance cover hitting a garage door?

Yes. If you hit your garage door, any damage sustained to your vehicle is covered by your collision policy.

Is car insurance cheaper if you park in a garage?

No, not usually. 

Does the cost of car insurance go down when you have a baby?

No, having a baby doesn’t affect your insurance rates.

Are convertible cars more expensive to insure?

Not necessarily. Convertibles do tend to have extra parts—such as the mechanisms that control the top—which might cause your rate to creep up a bit. But overall, your rate depends on a range of factors, including the model you have. Insurance for some convertibles is actually quite affordable.

Hardtops, for example, are less expensive to insure. For one thing, thieves have more trouble getting into a hardtop than a soft-top. And soft-tops can tear and let rain in, causing damage, while hardtops tend to offer better weather protection.

If you have a high horsepower sports car, you’ll have a blast on the road—but you’ll also pay more for auto coverage. In fact, any pricey car usually comes with higher insurance rates. 

Does the cost of car insurance go down when you own your car?

Owning your car is cause for celebration, but it won’t automatically cause your insurance rates to drop. However, when you finance your car, your lender might require you to carry a policy with lower deductibles—and thus higher premiums. So if you’re willing to raise your deductibles, you may be able to lower your monthly payments.

Talk to your insurance agent, who can help you make any changes while ensuring that you’re adequately protected. Your agent will also remove your lender from your policy. That way, if you have an accident and need to file a claim, the money will go to you—and not your lender. 

Do I need full coverage insurance on a used car?

No, you’re not required by law to get full coverage for a used vehicle. If you’re leasing or financing the car, however, your lender may require it.

Does wrapping a car void insurance?

It depends on your insurance company. Some companies will hike up your insurance rate or even cancel your policy if you customize your vehicle with wrap film. 

Do I buy insurance before registering a car?

Yes, it’s required by law in most states that you provide proof of insurance to register your vehicle. 

Will insurance total my car if airbags deploy?

Not necessarily. In some cases, the cost of replacing a deployed airbag will exceed the value of the car, but not always. 

Can you use an address other than your home address for car insurance?

Yes, you can use a different address at which to receive mail. However, your vehicle must be rated at the address where it’s garaged. 

Can you insure a car for weekends only?

No, AAA and other major insurers don’t offer weekend-only coverage. 

Can someone who doesn’t have a permanent address get car insurance?

Insurance rates are set, in part, based on geography. Insurers generally offer coverage only if you have a verifiable address where your car will be garaged or parked.  

Will insurance total my car for a blown engine?

Auto insurance only covers damage caused by an accident. It doesn’t cover damage due to wear and tear, such as a blown engine. 

Can you show proof of car insurance on your phone?

Yes, if you get pulled over, you can show proof of insurance on your phone. If you have AAA coverage, you can display your insurance card on the AAA Mobile app.