Does car insurance cover mechanical faults?

Last updated on 31 August, 2023
Are mechanical faults covered by car insurance? We break down the difference between a mechanical fault and an insured event, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.
Car broken down in a rural setting with the bonnet raised
Car insurance covers you financially if something, defined as an insured event, were to happen to your vehicle. But did you know that not all events are covered by car insurance? This is particularly true when it comes to problems that are caused by mechanical faults or failure.

Let’s start with the basics. We offer two types of car insurance. Each type provides a different level of cover and will suit different needs and budgets.

  • Comprehensive Car Insurance offers the broadest range of cover. It covers your car for loss or damage following an insured event. It also covers damage you cause to someone else’s car or property.
  • Third Party Property Damage Insurance won’t cover loss or damage to your car, but it will cover the cost of accidentally damaging someone else's car or property.

You might be wondering whether your car insurance covers you for mechanical faults. But what exactly do we mean by mechanical faults, and how do they differ from insured events?

Insured events are the incidents that your insurance policy covers you for. You can find a list of insured events in the insurer’s product disclosure statement, but they generally include things like accidents, fire, theft, storm damage, and malicious damage.

Mechanical faults are mechanical or electrical failures that can happen to your car as a result of general wear and tear or a defective part. For example, engine failure, faulty brakes, or a flat battery are considered to be mechanical faults. Often, mechanical faults are caused by common issues like corrosion, friction, leaks or rust.

While mechanical faults can be unexpected and render your vehicle unsafe to drive, they’re not considered to be an insured event – meaning your car insurance policy won’t cover them. That’s because mechanical problems may not be unforeseen and can often be prevented. An insured event, on the other hand, is an accidental, unexpected or unforeseen event, and is therefore covered by insurance.

Good news if you drive a newer car. Mechanical issues are often covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning the manufacturer will cover faults and defects if they’ve been discovered within the warranty period.

If your car breaks down by the side of the road, your car insurance won’t cover you for the repairs. However, if your broken-down car is then involved in an accident, your car insurance may cover you for the damage that resulted from the accident – but not from the mechanical fault that caused the breakdown.

Similarly, if your brakes fail while you’re driving and cause you to crash into a tree, the damage caused by the collision may be covered by your car insurance, but the replacement brakes won’t be. Brake failure is considered to be a mechanical fault as it could have been anticipated and potentially prevented.

Keep in mind that if your vehicle isn’t roadworthy, or you were aware of the mechanical problems and chose to drive it anyway, your insurance claim could be rejected by your insurer.

It may sound obvious, but it’s your responsibility to make sure your car is roadworthy so it’s not a danger to you, your passengers or other road users. The best way to do that is to adopt a regular inspection and service schedule of your car. Most manufacturers recommend a service every six months to make sure any potential issues are spotted before they become major problems.
Before you purchase car insurance, take some time to compare car insurance policies and understand which events are included – and not included and which cover is right for your needs. Learn more about our Car Insurance or contact us.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.


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Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

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