Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Mechanical breakdown insurance coverage may sound like roadside assistance coverage, but the difference is important. Roadside assistance will get you off the side of the road, but mechanical breakdown insurance coverage will help pay for the repairs needed to get your car back in good working order. Mechanical breakdown insurance is worth it if your car is no longer covered by a warranty, but be careful. Some companies offer cheap mechanical breakdown insurance that has lots of fees and extra costs that make it much more expensive than seemingly higher-cost options. Learn more about mechanical breakdown insurance and if you need it below.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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We understand if you’re a little bit unclear about what mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is, and why someone might purchase it.

But if you’ve found this page, you won’t be confused for very long. We can explain to you what MBI is, how it compares to other auto insurance coverage options such as comprehensive coverage or roadside assistance, and whether or not it can benefit you if you decide to add it to your policy.

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Explaining mechanical breakdown insurance

Mechanical breakdown insurance is a type of coverage that can protect you in the event that your vehicle spontaneously breaks down.

It’s especially helpful for avoiding economically disastrous situations if your vehicle is no longer under warranty with the dealership you purchased it from, or if the breakdown was the result of something which cannot be covered by your comprehensive coverage (assuming you have it in the first place).

Average MBI Car Insurance PremiumsLegend: Average Premiums Average Premiums with MBI TexasCaliforniaFloridaNew York 153045607590105120135150165180195210225$87$99$162$171$115$135$226$239

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It’s also important to explain what mechanical breakdown insurance will not cover. As we’ve hinted that already, mechanical breakdown insurance is usually not necessary if you are still under warranty with your dealership.

Mechanical breakdown insurance will not pay out claims on routine maintenance, like scheduled part replacements, oil changes, or tire rotations, to name a few. You also won’t be able to file a claim against your MBI coverage if your car “breaks down” and won’t run due to something caused by an act of nature, such as a flood.

For that, you would file a claim against your comprehensive coverage with your auto insurance company.

Average MBI Car Insurance PremiumsLegend: Average Premiums Average Premiums with MBI MarylandWashingtonKansasMassachusetts 153045607590105120135150165180195210$204$210$94$105$97$108$205$216

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Is MBI Car Insurance Worth It?

There are many different scenarios in which mechanical breakdown insurance can save you hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars in the unfortunate event of an unexpected breakdown.

But there are other circumstances under which mechanical breakdown insurance can be more expensive than alternative forms of coverage, or rendered completely unnecessary buy coverages you may already have, but not know that much about.

Average MBI Car Insurance PremiumsLegend: Average Premiums Average Premiums with MBI ColoradoArizonaGeorgiaMissouri 153045607590105120135$137$141$95$115$110$125$64$78

There are three ways you can get mechanical breakdown insurance (or something exactly like it):

  • Purchasing an extended warranty from a dealership
  • Purchasing mechanical breakdown insurance coverage from your current auto insurance provider
  • Purchasing a mechanical breakdown insurance plan from an independent entity

For some people, purchasing an extended warranty from a dealership — especially the dealership they purchased their vehicle from in the first place, or a dealership that they trust — is the better option.

Not only will the extended warranty (in most cases) cover unexpected repairs, it also helps you cover the price of routine maintenance to help ensure that these breakdowns are fewer and farther between.

However, many motorists are turned off by the high price tag that some of these warranties come with.

You may also want to purchase mechanical breakdown insurance from an independent insurance company that specializes in this type of coverage. This can be a practical choice if the coverage they offer is more affordable than an extended warranty, and/or if your current auto insurance provider does not offer MBI.

However, this is one of those financial products where the old cliche “buyer beware” is especially important. Some of these companies are legitimate entities that want to provide their customers with good service at a fair rate.

Other companies, however, may not be so transparent. Complicated payment plans and hidden fees can dramatically raise the price of a seemingly affordable MBI policy if you don’t read the fine print.

Be sure to do your research and protect yourself from making a bad investment before you decide to go with an independent MBI insurance provider.

Of course, the easiest — and often, the most affordable — option is to purchase MBI coverage from the auto insurance company which is managing the active policy on your vehicle. They will appreciate the extra business, and usually, give you a discount on adding this type of coverage to your policy.

You won’t have to deal with a separate company or worry about expensive up-sales which you might face at a dealership.

It’s a very straightforward type of coverage: if your car breaks down and you file a claim, your insurance company will do its best to help you take care of the problem so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Many major providers, such as Geico, State Farm, Nationwide, Progressive, Mercury, and many others will give you the option to add mechanical breakdown insurance coverage to your policy.

You should talk to your insurance agent today or call up a customer service representative and ask them about your MBI coverage options, especially if you have an older vehicle.

Of course, if you want a good price on mechanical breakdown insurance — or any other type of auto insurance coverage — then you’re going to have to compare policies from one provider to the next.

And the best way to do that is with car insurance comparison websites like ours. We can get you almost as many quotes as you can handle and just a matter of minutes — and all you need to get started as your ZIP code!

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