8 Surprising Things Car Insurance Covers

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How well do you know your policy?

Here are 8 surprising things that car insurance covers (and four things it doesn’t).


When it comes to auto insurance coverage, most Florida drivers are aware of the basics. After all, a quick glance at your Declarations page should tell you everything you need to know about what your car insurance covers, right?

While it’s true that your Dec page (or agent) can confirm which types of coverage you carry, there is a lot more to your policy than meets the eye.


What Does Car Insurance Cover?

As with any type of insurance, it all depends on your policy.

For example, if you only have the bare minimum coverage required by law—Property Damage Liability and Personal Injury Protection (PIP)—that’s the only coverage you will receive. However, if you have more plentiful car insurance coverage, you would have protection against a wider range of damages.

In other words, you’ll have to check your Declarations page or speak to your agent to be absolutely sure of the coverages you have.

That being said, many Floridians hit the road every day without realizing that their car insurance covers some unexpected claims.

1. Weather Damage

Here in Florida, severe weather is a year-round concern. And if hurricanes weren’t bad enough, we often receive thunderstorms that spawn hail, tornadoes, and worse.

If you have Comprehensive Coverage, there’s a good chance that your car insurance policy protects against weather-related disasters like floods, hail, falling trees, earthquakes, meteors, and volcanoes.


2. Wild Animals

From a deer in the road to a bear looking for a snack, wild animals can pose a threat to your vehicle. However, it isn’t just rural populations that need to be concerned—animals live everywhere!

Even smaller animals—such as rats, mice, and squirrels—can do a lot of damage. From chewing on wires to digging holes into your upholstery, rodent-related auto damage can cost thousands of dollars to rectify.

If you have a Comprehensive policy, however, this damage may be covered by your insurance. Check your policy for specifics, as rodent damage to property is a common insurance exclusion.

3. Pet Injuries

It’s a nightmare no one wants to consider: you’re driving to the dog park with your furry friend and you get into an accident. Because of the lack of dog- and cat-friendly seatbelts, pets are very likely to become injured in a collision.

Although rare, some standard Collision policies will cover pet injuries for dogs and cats, as long as they were injured in an auto accident (and not from falling down the stairs, for example). For other insurance companies, you may need to add pet injury coverage to your existing policy.

If this is a concern of yours, it’s definitely worth looking into. Double check with your agent and upgrade your policy or get good pet health insurance to be on the safe side.


4. Lost Wages Due To An Accident

In Florida, all drivers must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, which pays for your medical expenses if you’re injured in a car accident. However, most people aren’t aware that PIP also can cover your lost wages as well.

If you are unable to work due to your car accident injuries, PIP will cover up to 60% of your lost wages, up to the limit specified on your policy.

5. Pothole Damage

We’re all familiar with the jolt of driving over a pothole, but damaged roads can do a lot more than spill your drink.

Potholes have been known to bend tire rims, damage suspension systems, and throw off your car’s alignment. In fact, the average cost of a pothole damage repair is roughly $600.

If you have Collision coverage, your car insurance likely covers damage from potholes and other damaged roads.


6. Rental Car Reimbursement

Whether or not you’re eligible for a rental car reimbursement depends a great deal on your individual policy. In most cases, it’s offered as an additional coverage, so you’ll have to check with your agent to be sure.

An important thing to remember is that this type of car insurance coverage will only cover a rental car if your car is being repaired due to a covered loss (such as an accident). You won’t be entitled to a rental car if you’re simply installing a new stereo system or fixing your catalytic converter.

7. Vandalism

Hopefully you don’t have any enemies, but if your car is vandalized, your Comprehensive policy should cover you.

“Vandalism” refers to intentional damage caused by someone else without your consent. Common forms of car vandalism are broken windshields, graffiti, and stolen or slashed tires.


8. Sinkholes

Sinkholes are incredibly common throughout the state of Florida, and they don’t only pose a threat to your home. A large enough sinkhole can swallow an average-sized sedan, leaving you without a ride.

Fortunately, most Comprehensive policies offer coverage for sinkhole damage, up to your policy limit.

What Car Insurance Won’t Cover

It might be called a “Comprehensive” policy, but that doesn’t mean your car insurance covers everything.

While every insurance policy is different, there are a few things that are not typically covered at all.


While it is likely that your Comprehensive policy will reimburse you if your car is stolen, it will not typically reimburse you for personal items that were stolen from your vehicle.

The good news is that theft outside the home is covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

Flat Tires

At some point or another, just about everyone has driven over a nail and gotten a flat tire. While slashed tires due to vandalism may be covered under your Comprehensive policy, a flat tire is not.

Unless your flat tire is the result of a covered accident, you’ll have to pay for the new tire (or patch) out of your own pocket.

Wrong Fuel

Pumping premium gas instead of unleaded likely won’t do lasting damage, but what if you accidentally put diesel fuel into your gas-fueled car?

Driving with the wrong fuel can cause lasting damage to your car. Even if you catch the mistake right away, you’ll have to have a mechanic drain the gas tank and fuel lines.

You’ll likely have to pay for these repairs out of pocket.

Wear and Tear

As any car owner can tell you, vehicle repairs can get expensive, but this is not an area where you can expect to depend on your car insurance policy.

Repairs due to regular wear and tear are not covered by auto insurance and will have to be handled from your own bank account.


Are You Covered?

We receive dozens of calls every day from drivers who are searching for the cheapest car insurance, but in our experience, it’s far more worthwhile to focus on getting great coverage.

Having plentiful car insurance coverage (that is, coverage that goes beyond the state requirements) can help pay for damage, cover medical expenses, and even reimburse lost wages. Try that with your typical “bare bones” policy!

At Harry Levine Insurance, we’re dedicated to connecting Floridians with the policies that make sense for their needs as well as their budgets. From the very start, we’ll take the time to discuss your lifestyle, risk tolerance, and goals to build a customized policy that offers you peace of mind.

Call today for a free quote.

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