Get a quote
Black wrench and gear icon

Can car insurance cover a mechanical breakdown?

Learn how Root can help you if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

What is mechanical breakdown insurance?   

Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) provides coverage in situations where a mechanical part of your car experiences a serious issue, such as faulty brakes, a transmission leak, or engine failure. 

Since MBI is designed to extend beyond the typical coverage, it does not cover “normal” maintenance such as tire replacement, fluid top-offs, or spark plug replacement. You would have to cover the cost of those things on your own.

MBI is only offered by a select few companies, but if you can’t get it with your current insurer—don’t stress. You might not actually need to.

Is breakdown coverage worth getting?  

That depends on many factors, including whether your car is new or used. New cars usually come with a warranty, and extending that warranty can be quite expensive. MBI may be less costly in the long run. 

Mechanical breakdown insurance for used cars, on the other hand, could be more expensive in the long run. The insurance companies that offer this coverage often price their deductibles very high, so you could be paying out of pocket quite a bit if you file these claims frequently.

Ultimately, whether this coverage is worth it or not depends on your situation.

If your car isn’t reliable and breaks down often or you switch cars frequently and don’t plan on being in your current vehicle for long, MBI might not be a great option for you as it could just cost you more money long-term.

Can Root help with mechanical failure?

While Root does not offer mechanical breakdown insurance as an option, we do have other coverage types that could benefit you in the event of an accident. 

Collision insurance, for example, can cover a single-car accident involving only you (if you run into a pole, for instance), a hit-and-run, or a case where you are hit by someone who is not insured. Collision will not cover medical bills, damage to a car that isn’t your own, property damage, or weather damage.

Comprehensive insurance will help pay for damage done to your car that was outside of your control such as flood damage, vandalism, deer damage, or even theft. Comprehensive will not cover personal items inside your car, expected wear and tear, or any type of auto incident. 

Need a rental in the meantime? MBI would not cover the cost of a rental car while your car is in the shop, but Root has a coverage that will. 

We offer Rental Car coverage so you can keep moving even when your car isn’t. Also referred to as “rental car reimbursement,” this coverage would be useful to have on your policy so you can be prepared in the event of an accident.

Not to mention, we offer Roadside Assistance with every Root policy for an extra layer of protection.

Roadside Assistance with Root

At Root, we offer Roadside Assistance as a perk for every policyholder. If you ever find yourself stuck on the side of the road, we’ve got help available to you 24/7. 

Need a jump-start, fuel delivery, or a tow? We can handle that and more.

Other roadside assistance services such as AAA make you pay costly membership fees for their plans. So even if you don’t need assistance all year, you still have to spend money. We don’t think that’s fair, so we do things a bit differently.

How does it work? Requesting a service is easy. You can do it all in our mobile app. Just open up the app, tap “File a Claim,” and then select “Roadside Assistance.” You can pay any balance you might owe through the app as well. 

For all cars named on your policy, we will cover the cost of any service priced up to $100. We can cover roadside services up to three times per vehicle, per 6-month policy period. 

The only time you would need to pay out-of-pocket is if you request assistance more than three times in a policy period or your service costs exceed $100. 

We offer Roadside Assistance for your peace of mind.

Let us assist you and your pockets

Skip the extra fees and switch to Root. We won’t leave you stranded. Get a quote. 

Car insurance FAQCar insurance coverageRenters insuranceHomeowners insuranceClaimsTest driveReferralsContactInvestor relations
PressBlogTerms and conditionsPrivacy policyApp license agreementUGC privacy noticeWeather related eventsNon-weather emergenciesSitemapDo not sell or share my personal informationManage Cookies

Root Inc.

80 E. Rich Street

Suite 500

Columbus, OH 43215

Copyright ROOT 2023. ROOT is a registered servicemark of Root Insurance Company, Columbus, OH. Disclaimer for quotes: We reserve the right to refuse to quote any individual a premium rate for the insurance advertised herein. Disclaimer for coverage: Coverage is available in the event of a covered loss. Exclusions may apply. Not available in all states. Disclaimer for savings: Based on savings reported by actual customers who purchased a new Root policy between October 2019 - July 2020; changes in coverage levels not evaluated. For California residents: Telematics is not used and resulting represented savings are not applicable. Referral program not applicable. Roadside Assistance purchased as separate coverage. Visit for more information. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.