Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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In a Nutshell

  • Car insurance will pay for electrical repair only if it caused by a sudden, unexpected, and covered issue
  • If you want to file a claim against your own policy, you must have comprehensive and collision coverage
  • If a falling object, missile, flood, fire, or live animal damage the electrical system in your car, it’s covered under comprehensive insurance
  • If you crash and a crash then causes damage to any component of your vehicle, it will be covered under collision
  • When filing a claim against your own insurance you will have to pay the applicable physical damage deductible

If your car breaks down, insurance may or may not cover the damages depending on the damage and the types of car insurance coverage you carry. When it comes to problems with your systems, including electric, car insurance companies will only pay for damages in certain situations.

Does car insurance cover electrical problems? When it comes to your car’s electric system, car insurance coverage can be iffy.

Common electrical faults in cars are generally not covered by your car insurance. When your bulbs burn out or an electric motor malfunctions on your sunroof, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to pay for the bulbs, motor, and labor out of pocket.

It’s when an event causes damage to your electrical system that your insurance may wind up paying. Enter your ZIP to compare quotes right here, and find the car insurance that covers electrical problems from accidents.

Does insurance cover electrical problems due to wear and tear?

Does car insurance cover wear and tear? Sadly, there is no such thing as wear and tear car insurance. 

If the breakdown happened because of a worn-down electrical system, the claim won’t be covered. There is a very strict and very specific exclusion built into all property insurance policies, car insurance policies included.

That exclusion says that claims for damage that’s a result of wear and tear won’t be covered.

If you have a full coverage insurance plan it’s frustrating to learn that common issues like these aren’t covered. That’s primarily because car insurance is designed to pay for repairs that are needed as a vehicle deteriorates over time.

Let’s look at the average annual cost of car insurance based on coverage type. This will give you an idea if adding full coverage is worth it for you.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates Based on Coverage Type
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates for High Coverage
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Avg Price$3,754.18$3,961.99$4,143.29
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
Monthly Avg$312.85$330.17$345.27
Get Your Rates Quote Now

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You can see that difference in rates each month is only around $20. That is definitely worth it.

Your car insurance pays for damages caused by sudden and unexpected events only and is not designed to pay for system failures.

Is the breakdown because of wear and tear?

Since a car’s battery is what powers each and every electrical component on a vehicle, from the daytime running lights to the car stereo, the system is put through the wringer each and every time the car is operated.

Unlike transmission or alternator breakdown, problems, and engine defects, there are hardly ever red flags to look for that would signify car electrical problems are on the horizon. Years ago, cars didn’t have computers or fancy electrical features.

Today, the car’s electrical system consists of the:

  • Battery
  • Alternator
  • Headlights
  • Computer system
  • Oxygen sensors
  • Car safety features like cameras
  • Various other parts

It’s not unusual for a vehicle to have electrical problems as it ages. If the cause of the electrical problem happens over time, it’s classified as wear and tear.

If you file a claim for faulty or damaged electrical components in your vehicle, one of the first things your claims adjuster is going to assess is whether or not the system breakdown was caused by wear and tear. Even if your car is a total loss, electrical system problems won’t be covered if it is wear and tear.

As advanced as technology is and as durable as newly manufactured cars are, they still deteriorate over time.

Is there a way to have wear and tear repairs covered?

Car insurance might not pay for your electrical wear and tear, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have any sort of protection.

If your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, you have purchased mechanical breakdown coverage, or you buy a full coverage car warranty through a dealer or credit union, you may be in luck.

It’s wise to do a lot of research on the standard new car warranties and the extended offerings before you decide to buy a specific car at a specific dealership.

Today, warranties offered by the manufacturer have come a long way.

By law, all manufacturers must cover emissions control systems for eight years or 80,000 miles.

Electrical systems are covered under most standard bumper-to-bumper warranties that could last as little as 36 months or as long as ten years.

Most brands only cap the coverage for electrical components to three years, but some of the luxury brands with more solid warranties will extend the electrical coverage to four years.

What does sudden and unexpected mean?

If you’re confused by what type of physical damage is covered by insurance, you’d have to have a deeper understanding of what sudden and unexpected means.

When you file a third-party claim for damaging someone else’s car in an accident it’s pretty straightforward because you know you collided with the other car and you’re liable to pay for the damages.

It’s more complicated when you file a claim for your own car. There are the basic claims for collisions that you can easily grasp and then there are more complicated comprehensive claims.

Accidents with cars or other objects are sudden and unexpected, but other types of damage can be as well. The insurance covers you for damages resulting from collisions and these other scenarios.

“Sudden” is a very important term used when talking about insurance claims.

The reason sudden is used in the definition of covered losses is that it clears up the fact that damage that is sustained over time isn’t covered (wear and tear).

Unexpected clears up the fact that the damage can’t be intentional and must be accidental. As long as these two conditions are met, the coverage should pay for repairs.

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The Type of Coverage You Need to Have Insurance Cover Electrical Problems

The type of coverage that you need to file a legitimate claim for your own damage depends on the events that led to the damage.

No matter what happened, you’ll have to have some form of physical damage coverage for your own policy to pay benefits for electrical repairs. This is where full coverage car insurance comes in handy.

These coverage options consist of the following:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Uninsured Motorist

Watch this video to learn more about the types of car insurance coverages available.

Although additional coverages cost more upfront to add on, the peace of mind you get is priceless.

When does collision insurance cover electrical problems?

There are a few scenarios when collision coverage would pay for repairs to the battery, alternator, or other electrical system components.

The first scenario is when you collide with a car and the car suffers damage under the hood that will affect electrical components in your car.

As long as you’re at fault for the claim, your collision insurance will pay. Coverage might also pay when you’re not at fault but the other party wasn’t insured.

If you have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage, you can file an uninsured motorist claim for repairs and you won’t have to pay any deductible.

When does comprehensive insurance cover electrical problems?

It’s much more common for vehicle owners to file comprehensive claims for their electrical breakdowns. That’s because of the types of perils that are covered under comprehensive.

If your car floods, suddenly catch on fire, or something falls on it, you can file a comprehensive claim. Damage caused by rodents and other live animals is also covered. This is important if mice chew through your wire during winter months. With a car warranty, rodent damage may be covered, but it depends on your policy.

Your car insurance may cover electrical problems if they were caused by a covered peril. If you’ve failed to maintain your system and it breaks down, that is something you’ll have to pay for yourself.

If, however, you experience a sudden loss and you have the right coverage, you may be able to file a claim. Be sure to select the right limits and coverage types when you get your quotes online so that you have sufficient protection.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the coverage that’s right for you for the best rate! Enter your ZIP below to begin getting quotes for car insurance that covers you for electrical problems that are accident-related.

Does insurance cover electrical problems? Frequently Asked Questions

Keep reading for answers to some commonly asked questions about insurance coverage for electrical problems.

Does homeowners insurance cover electrical issues, problems, repairs, and faulty wiring?

Generally, homeowners insurance covers electrical problems, but you may pay higher rates if the wiring in your home is older. The risk of an electrical problem is higher with older wiring.

Does home insurance cover electrical problems in cars?

No, the insurance you have on your home will not cover damage to your car. You must have a separate car insurance policy.

Where do I take my car for electrical problems with my car?

Car electrical repairs should be done by certified mechanics. You don’t want to take a chance with your car catching on fire.