Question: My car had a gas leak during the night. Is my car insurance supposed to pay for any damage caused by this problem?
Answer: If the gasoline leak from your car is strictly a mechanical problem, then your car insurance would not pay for the gas leak or any mechanical issues that resulted from it.
Mechanical problems not related to an auto accident or covered event are not covered by auto insurance policies, even if you have physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive.
For the gas leak, and resulting damages, to be covered you’d need something like mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI).
Mechanical breakdown insurance covers your mechanical parts that fail due to incidents not related to a motor vehicle accident. With MBI, most of your car’s mechanical parts are covered as long as the repairs aren’t made necessary due to:
- regular wear and tear,
- improper maintenance,
- misuse of your automobile,
- intentional damage, or
For the gas leak to be covered by a car insurance policy you’d have to carry collision and comprehensive, and the leak (and associated damages) would need to due to a covered event. For collision, this would mean something like your gas tank was cracked during an auto accident. A gas leak that resulted from the impact of your car colliding with another car or object would then be able to be claimed.
For comprehensive to cover the gas leak, it would need to be due to something like a vandal drilling a hole in your tank, or a situation where a thief tries to siphon gas from your vehicle and damages your car or even catches it on fire. Comprehensive covers both vandalism and fire damage, so it could be claimed against in these types of situations.
If you are uncertain as to why your car was leaking gas, I’d recommend contacting a reputable mechanic before even starting the car.
If you find that the leak is due to something that isn’t a mechanical issue but could be vandalism, then if you have comprehensive coverage you can contact your auto insurance company to make a claim. A claims adjuster will then investigate your car’s damages and determine if it is covered under the terms of your specific car insurance policy.