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UPDATED: Jul 5, 2017
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Dead car batteries are one of the more common inconveniences of life as a driver. While car batteries are long-lasting, after three to five years, their useful life is often waning.
Car battery maintenance and replacement when needed can help you to prevent any unfortunate emergency battery incidents.
The winter is a particularly difficult time for car batteries. Starting your car in the cold weather takes more energy and helps to drain the battery more quickly. Hot weather can also help to drain a battery and cut down its effective life.
When car insurance costs are troubling you and you are concerned about maintenance and other expenses, you can shop around to compare prices to find the best insurance products to meet your needs. Get started by entering your zip code into our free rate tool above.
What about when my car battery dies?
You can often get an instant fix for a dead car battery by using jumper cables to start your car from another vehicle. However, if you need to jump your battery on multiple occasions, it’s usually time to plan for a replacement.
While the cost of replacing a car battery is low in comparison to other auto services, it does come with a price. Replacing a battery involves the cost of the battery and a recycling fee.
Many car owners replace a battery themselves, while others prefer to take the job to a shop or their dealer.
Battery replacement costs regularly range from around $75 to around $300. Prices vary based on the brand of the battery and the size required for your vehicle.
Will my car insurance cover the replacement?
In most cases, however, car insurance and even comprehensive policies do not cover this cost of battery replacement. Battery wear and replacement is part of the normal, expected wear and tear of car ownership and is generally outside the framework of car insurance policies.
Battery replacement is generally considered part of routine maintenance for a car.
In general, when a car battery simply dies as part of the normal course of vehicle operation, replacement costs are up to the owner and not the car insurer.
It is best to avoid filing minor claims for small matters. Every claim that you file against your car insurance could raise your risk level and drive up your premiums.
When you shop online for car insurance, you can compare prices and discover how you can cut down on your car insurance premiums based on your driving record and personal situation.
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Roadside Assistance Plans and Car Batteries
Many car insurance plans do come with a roadside assistance program. In this case, policyholders can contact the insurer for assistance with minor roadside issues, including:
- flat tires
- dead batteries
Your insurer’s roadside assistance program will often cover a jump start or even a tow to a local mechanic’s shop or garage to receive a new battery. However, the battery replacement itself is generally not covered by car insurance.
There can be big differences between the roadside assistance programs offered by car insurers. This is one factor you can use when comparing car insurance options from various insurance companies.
When a Battery Is Damaged in a Car Accident
Battery damage as a result of a car accident is a different issue, however. When you have collision coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for the damages to your car as a result.
During the claims process for your collision damage, the insurance company will examine the car or require a body shop to do so. This examination will include recording all of the damages sustained as part of the crash.
In this case, a damaged battery would be covered as part of the entire package of collision damage. Batteries damaged in a car crash are not part of normal wear and tear or routine maintenance.
Collision insurance will kick in and pay for damages after you have paid your deductible. The deductible is an amount of money that you must pay out of pocket before car insurance reimbursement begins. The deductible on most insurance policies ranges from $500 to $1500.
If the other driver was proven to be at fault, their insurance should cover the claim under their liability policy. In this case, you could be reimbursed for your deductible via your own car insurance company.
What about other unusual circumstances?
Comprehensive auto insurance coverage provides protection for your car against a range of other threats. This portion of your insurance premium is separate from standard collision coverage or for basic insurance that covers the other party in an accident.
Comprehensive coverage provides protection for issues caused by the following:
- falling objects
- other natural or weather issues
If your car battery was stolen or removed as part of an overall auto theft or if it was subject to vandalism, it could be included as part of your overall comprehensive coverage for this type of damage.
By comparing the costs of various car insurance policies, you can see what each insurer in your area would charge for comprehensive insurance.
For many car owners, the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive insurance can certainly be worth the cost to maintain full and uninterrupted coverage, especially in high-theft or other risky areas.
Of course, if the only damage you received in such an incident was to the battery, you may wish to not file a claim.
Refraining from filing claims due to minor or inexpensive issues, especially those below the deductible amount, can help to keep your car insurance rates lower as your record will show fewer overall claims and present you as a better risk to car insurers.
Compare car insurance quotes using our free tool below to find the insurer who’s right for you!