mechanical breakdown insurance ( MBI ) is an optional part of car insurance mean to cover trips to the mechanic not caused by an accident .
For case, a broken locomotive or puncture in your breeze conditioner hose will be covered by MBI. While the coverage seems reasonable in principle, many experts question its value. Car breakdowns can be expensive, but the frequency at which they happen is low. Comparing rates from multiple insurers, however, is one of the best ways to find cheap coverage .

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presently insured ? In this article, we break down the benefits and detriments of MBI, and how it is different from an offer guarantee .

What is mechanical breakdown insurance?

mechanical breakdown policy covers major failures that can occur in your car, which are often excluded in basic car insurance. Whether it ‘s bad brakes, infection issues, the electrical system or any other major vehicle system malfunction, MBI covers the repairs. File an on-line claim like you would with any car-related exit, and the ship’s company will reimburse you for the cost of repairs .
MBI does not, however, cover routine tune-ups, run down issues or damages caused by poor sustenance on the driver ‘s part. Any repairs caused by a cable car accident or crash go through your collision or comprehensive examination coverage .
Unlike better-known types of car indemnity, MBI is not offered by every company, nor does every car qualify .

  • The largest company to offer MBI is Geico
  • Smaller companies that offer it include Mercury Insurance. Mercury’s plan is a bit broader and will accept a wider range of cars, so long as they are under warranty.
  • Progressive21st Century

true, there is a distribute of overlap between MBI and your car ‘s guarantee in terms of coverage. Many of the things that can break down with a new car will be covered by the guarantee. On the other hand, MBI plans are a bite broader than a regular guarantee and may cover breakdowns that do n’t match the specific descriptions laid out in a guarantee. MBI plans besides final longer than warranties, which are normally for three years .
unfortunately, you have to buy MBI coverage while the guarantee is inactive in impel, in anticipation of its eventual ending. Geico ‘s and Mercury ‘s MBI plans are good for periods of six to seven years, or 100,000 miles, whichever comes beginning .

How much does mechanical breakdown insurance cost?

Compared to the cost of insuring a car, MBI is normally not excessively expensive. We found quotes from New York, where it only costs $ 30 per year for a 2016 Ford Edge with a $ 250 deductible. A Wall Street Journal probe found policies could be $ 75 a year with deductibles up to $ 400 .
Below we list the annual monetary value of MBI for cars ranging in value from about $ 24,000 to $ 64,000. Cars with greater values, like the Tesla Model S ( $ 70,000 and improving ) and the Audi R8 ( $ 160,000 ), may not be covered by MBI plans. When we contacted Geico, the company informed us that cars of besides high a value may not qualify for MBI .

Car model

MBI annual cost

2016 Ford Edge $30
2016 Toyota Camry $30
2016 BMW M3 $30

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Mechanical breakdown insurance vs. extended warranty

basically, MBI is the lapp thing as an prolong guarantee, but they operate in a few different ways .
The independent advantage of MBI over extend warranties is that MBI is normally less expensive .
A Consumers Reports study found that that the modal initial monetary value of an extended guarantee was $ 1,214 for a three-year plan. Based on the prices we found, MBI costs would come out to about $ 180 to $ 450 for the six years the policy is in impression .
early significant points of comparison admit :

  • Extended warranty plans require you to pay the amount up front, as opposed to in installments.
  • MBI plans tend to have more flexibility in where you can bring your car for repairs. Extended warranties may require you to only use certain mechanics and garages.
  • Extended warranties tend to have smaller deductibles. In the New York quote for MBI mentioned above, we were unable to adjust the $250 deductible. An extended warranty will usually have a deductible under $100.
  • Lastly, as stated above, high-value cars may not qualify for MBI, while they may qualify for an extended warranty.

Is mechanical breakdown insurance worth the price?

For MBI to be worth it, you would need to have a breakdown that exceeds the compound price of the plan and the deductible .
Assuming a $ 75-per-year plan for six years and a $ 250 deductible, you would need a breakdown of greater than $ 700 in those six years for it to be worth it. If you do experience a system failure in your fomite, the cost of repairs will most likely exceed $ 700. A blow transmission costs on median between $ 1,800 and $ 3,400 to replace, while a break head gasket could cost $ 1,200 to $ 1,600 to fix. then, if one of those were to happen, you would save anywhere from $ 500 to $ 2,700. If a major breakdown did happen, you could save a lot of money with MBI — it comes down to the likelihood that your car will have a non-accident dislocation and the value of the peace of mind .

Type of repair

Cost of repair

Cost of MBI(deductible + six-year premium)


Blown head gasket ~$1,400 ~$700 $700
Blown transmission ~$3,000 ~$700 $2,300

How can you measure your chances of having a major car malfunction ? The first thing to consider is how long you are going to use your car. Newer cars tend to break down less often than older ones, so you should entirely get MBI if you plan to keep your vehicle for more than five years. Remember though, Geico will entirely insure the vehicle up to 100,000 miles. If you anticipate hitting that number barely as your initial guarantee ends, then there is no point in purchasing the coverage.

The future thing to consider is the dependability of your car. In the Consumer Reports cogitation of cover warranties, BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners were more quenched with their design. Those cars break down more frequently, so customers were able to use the guarantee. If the type of cable car you drive has a commemorate of going many years without breaking down, then there is a smaller probability you will need to use MBI. fortunately, you do n’t have to guess at the dependability of your car, as you can look it up with Consumer Reports or TrueDelta .
last, you should remember that MBI will not cover minor — and consequently more likely — repairs. These plans come with $ 200 to $ 400 deductibles, then unless the cost of covered repairs far exceeds those amounts, the coverage won ’ thyroxine be worth it .


To find the average price of breakdown indemnity, we collected sample quotes for three 2016-model cars in New York country : a Ford Edge, a Toyota Camry and a BMW M3. All quotes are from Geico and include a $ 250 deductible .

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