1. Damage from a deer attack
If you hit a deer or other animal, you’re likely stuck paying for any repairs to your car unless you’ve added comprehensive coverage to your policy. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage caused by something other than a collision, such as fire, animal-related damage, and theft — including theft of individual things that are considered part of the car, such as airbags or catalytic converters, Heller explains. Drivers hit more than 2 million animals (1.4 million deer) between July 2020 and June 2021 despite ongoing pandemic shutdowns, which was a 7.2 percent spike in the past 12 months, according to Tony Cotto, auto and underwriting director for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
2. Stolen laptop
Even with comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance won’t pay for loss or damage to things that aren’t considered part of the car. Homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance may cover a laptop stolen from your vehicle. Also keep in mind that after-market add-ons are probably not covered by your auto insurance policy. If you transform your car into something of higher value or fit parts that could put it in a higher risk category, you could see any claim rejected if you don’t know your insurance company before purchasing a policy. “If you’re cheating on your vehicle, you need to have that conversation with your insurance company,” says Heller.
3. Rain damage
If you have comprehensive insurance, chances are it will cover damage from a hurricane or tornado. But it doesn’t necessarily cover damage that occurs if you happen to leave a window or sunroof open and it rains.
4. Broken window
Windows are considered part of the car, so in most cases they will be covered by collision or comprehensive insurance. But if you’re locked out of your car and break a window to get in, that’s considered a deliberate act and may not be covered. Policies typically only cover claims for damage caused by others or “accidental damage,” says Heller. You might consider roadside assistance insurance, which usually pays for someone to come out and open your car if you get locked out.
5. Replace worn tires
Auto insurance does not cover basic maintenance, repairs, or general wear and tear on your vehicle. You may be able to get mechanical breakdown insurance, similar to an extended warranty from a car manufacturer, and you can also get roadside assistance coverage for a flat tire, dead battery, or other issue along the way.
6. Side issues
Personal auto insurance generally does not cover commercial use of your vehicle. If you deliver pizza or transport paying customers through a ridesharing service, you need additional insurance, according to the III. “If you drive for delivery or livery[chauffeur] you’ll probably need separate coverage,” says Heller.