Sad woman talking on cell phone near wrecked car.

When Does Car Insurance Cover Repairs?

By the Mercury Team

Understanding when and how your car insurance covers repairs is crucial for every driver. Whether it’s a minor fender bender, a significant collision, or unexpected damage from a hailstorm, knowing the ins and outs of your insurance policy can save you time, money, and stress. In this blog, we’ll explore the types of car insurance coverage, the conditions included in standard policies, and how to file a claim in the event of an accident.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Understanding the types of car insurance coverage available can help you determine how repairs are covered in the event of an accident or other incidents.

Liability Insurance

Liability coverage helps cover damages and injuries your vehicle causes to others. This coverage is mandatory in most states and offers financial protection if you’re found at fault in an accident. It covers the costs associated with repairing damage to another person’s property and medical expenses due to injuries sustained by others in the accident. However, liability insurance doesn’t cover repairs to your vehicle. Instead, you must cover these costs out of pocket if you’re found at fault.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers your vehicle’s repair costs after a collision with another vehicle or an object, no matter who’s at fault. Its purpose is to protect you from significant out-of-pocket expenses for vehicle repairs or even replacement after an accident. With collision coverage, you can rest assured that your vehicle will be repaired or replaced according to the terms and conditions of your policy once you’ve paid the deductible.

Comprehensive Coverage

Does car insurance cover non-accident repairs? Yes, that’s where comprehensive coverage comes into the picture. It covers damage to your car that isn’t caused by a collision, such as natural disasters, theft, vandalism, or hitting an animal while driving. This type of insurance is essential for complete peace of mind, covering you against unpredictable events that could otherwise lead to significant repair costs.

Conditions for Coverage

When it comes to car insurance, being aware of certain conditions, such as deductibles, exclusions, and preexisting damages, can better prepare you to manage your financial responsibilities and avoid unexpected expenses in the event of a claim.


A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in to cover the rest. Deductibles can vary widely depending on your policy and coverage type. Choosing a higher deductible generally lowers your premium costs, but it means paying more upfront for repairs after an incident.

So, when do you pay the deductible for car insurance? When you make a claim for repairs, you must pay the deductible first. Only after meeting this deductible does your insurance company cover the remaining repair costs up to your policy limit.


Exclusions are specific situations or types of damage that your insurance policy doesn’t cover. Common exclusions include:

  • Damage from normal wear and tear
  • Mechanical problems unrelated to a covered incident
  • Damage from racing
  • Damage from driving under the influence
  • Damage from driving without a license

It’s important to understand these exclusions when purchasing a policy, as they can significantly affect your out-of-pocket costs in case of an incident requiring repairs.

Preexisting Damage

Preexisting damage includes any damage your car had before you purchased the current insurance policy or before you made a claim. Insurance companies usually don’t cover repairs for preexisting damage because it occurred outside the coverage period. When you apply for a policy, your insurer may inspect your vehicle to spot any preexisting damage. If your car has preexisting damage, consider fixing it before getting a new insurance policy. Being upfront about this can help avoid potential disputes when filing a claim.

Process of Filing a Claim for Repairs

When unexpected damage occurs to your vehicle, knowing the steps to file a claim can make the repair process smoother and faster. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved in filing a claim for repairs:

Notifying the Insurance Company

As soon as an incident occurs, it’s crucial to report the damage to your insurance company promptly. Quick reporting can accelerate the claims process and prevent any complications from delayed claims.

You can typically report a claim by calling your insurer’s claims hotline, reporting it online, or through a mobile app, if available. Be prepared to provide your policy number and details about the incident, including when, where, and how the damage occurred.

Assessment and Documentation

Once you report your claim, an insurance adjuster will inspect the damage to your car. This inspection helps the insurance company determine the extent of the damage and the estimated repair cost.

You’ll likely need to provide documentation such as photos of the damage, police reports (if applicable), and any statements from witnesses. Having these documents ready can speed up the claims process.

Approval and Payment

After the inspection and documentation process, the insurance company reviews your claim. If the claim is approved, the insurance company will confirm the amount they will cover for the repairs based on your policy’s terms and conditions.

Payment methods can vary. Some companies pay the vehicle repair shops directly, while others reimburse you after you’ve paid for the repairs. The method of payment will be specified in your policy details.


While car insurance might seem complicated, a clear understanding of your policy can ensure you’re adequately covered and prepared to handle any repairs or damages. Each insurance company may have slightly different policies and procedures, so you should familiarize yourself with your insurer’s guidelines.

Ready to see how you can protect your vehicle with a tailored policy that fits your needs? Mercury is here to help. We offer competitive auto insurance quotes that can be customized to include full coverage car insurance, ensuring you receive the protection you need at a price that fits your budget.

Contact us today for a fast, free quote!

Mercury Team

The Mercury Marketing Team is made up of professionals in the fields of Content Creation, Public Relations and Social Media. The team works together to deliver professionally written and researched content to provide information for consumers.

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