It is not uncommon for mechanical car assets to wear down. Over time, the weather, the grinding on surfaces, and the use of some items cause them to function less. Wear and tear, as many call it, can be an important factor to understand. With most types of auto insurance, you do not have coverage for items that suffer wear and tear. What does that mean to you, though?
Your Responsibility in Maintaining Your Vehicle
As you look at your auto insurance policy, you may notice restrictions and limitations on your use of claims. Most policies cover unavoidable and accidental loss. A fire starts due to a lightning strike on your car, for example, is not something you could prevent. However, most types of wear and tear are.
Imagine filing a claim for a tire-related accident. As you were driving down the road, the tire blew out. You slammed into a guardrail. The damage to your car was clear. That accident may be due to a nail on the road, something you could not prevent. It could be due to a pothole that damaged the tire. On the other hand, it could be the result of the tire being old and worn. In that last example, you could have, and should have, taken steps to prevent the events.
Most auto insurance policies provide no coverage for wear and tear. It is the driver’s responsibility to maintain his or her vehicle. If you fail to do so, and an accident occurs, the policy might offer no coverage to you. However, some still will pay. Check with your agent to determine your exact requirement.
How to Determine the Cause of the Incident
In every incident, the determination about coverage involves an inspection of the vehicle. The car insurance company may pay for a mechanic to look at the damage. An insurance adjuster may do this as well. They determine what caused the accident. In some cases, the police officer’s information at the scene of the accident is also helpful.
If the examination determines the damage is the result of a failure due to normal wear and tear, the insurance company may deny your claim. You must then prove it was not. That is not easy to do. If the examination shows you could not prevent the incident, the policy may cover your losses.
As a driver, it is up to you to maintain the vehicle. Routine maintenance is a good way for that to happen. Let your mechanic help you to make sure your vehicle is always in the best possible condition.
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