Car insurance providers are legally allowed to not help pay for damages caused under certain situations. These are call exclusions and can really hit you where it hurts at the worst possible time. In order to avoid these at all cost, you need to first know what the car insurance industry views as standard exclusions.
Some of the most common car insurance exclusions are:
- If you intentionally cause damage to your own car
- If you intentionally cause a collision
- If someone excluded from your policy drives your car
- If your car is damaged during a weather event without comprehensive coverage
- If your car is damaged during war
- If you use your car to deliver goods - even pizza
- If you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If you drive without a valid driver’s license
- If you drive a car that is not legally yours
- If you drive a car that weighs more than 10,000 pounds
- If your car has been broken into without forcible entry (i.e. you left your door unlocked)
While these are the standard exclusions, there are other, lesser known examples that you should still be aware of.
- If you use your car as a taxi or rideshare vehicle
With the rising prevalence of ride-sharing companies, you may think putting your car up for ride services would be an easy way to make money. However, you need to also understand that most insurance companies will not provide coverage if you get into a collision while working for a rideshare company. It’s best to be honest with your car insurance provider and find a more legitimate policy.
- If you race your regular car
If you take your car to the track on weekends, your car insurance might not kick in if you get into a wreck while racing. If you have a dedicated race car however - something that is brought to the track on a trailer - you can seek out speciality insurance from speciality providers.
- If your car is involved in a catastrophe
Most car insurance will not cover damages from catastrophes such as hurricanes, floods, tornados, nuclear blasts, etc. There actually is specialty coverage called catastrophe insurance to protect against situations like these.
- If you modify your car
For cars with custom equipment, such as aftermarket stereo systems or performance parts, it’s highly unlikely that your car insurance will cover the cost of these parts if they’re damaged in a collision, or stolen. Make sure to keep this in mind when you start modifying your car.
Most if not all of these situations and circumstances will make your insurance provider withhold payment or even cancel your policy in the event of a collision or damages. This is why the insurance agent will ask numerous questions when you file a claim so they can make sure they’re not dealing with insurance fraud - something that costs the industry billions of dollars a year.
With this list in mind, you still need to talk to your car insurance provider and ask specifically what exclusions your policy carries. Some providers may be more strict than others, so it’s better not to assume and be safe knowing exactly what situations will negate your coverage.