Does Insurance Cover a Broken Axle?

By Jennifer Brozic 08/02/2021 12:00pm

Broken axle: Does insurance cover it?

When you need to determine what your auto insurance policy will and won’t cover, it’s all in the details. Car insurance will help pay for a wide range of repairs, including a broken axle.

But whether it will depends on how the axle broke and what types of coverage you have. It might be covered in some situations, but not in others.

When Will Car Insurance Cover a Broken Axle?

If you have collision coverage, your insurance company will typically pay for a broken axle under certain circumstances.

  • Accidents. If you damage an axle in an auto accident, whether you collide with another car or hit a guard rail, the insurance company will pay for repairs.
  • Potholes. Driving over a pothole can cause a range of issues for your vehicle, including bent or cracked wheels, suspension damage, misaligned wheels, and more. If a pothole damages an axle, you’re covered.

When you file a collision claim with your insurance company, you must pay your deductible before your insurer helps with the cost of car repairs. If the cost of the damage is less than your deductible, your insurance coverage won’t kick in.

When Will Car Insurance Not Cover a Broken Axle?

There are many reasons an axle might be damaged, and they’re not all related to accidents and potholes. If your broken axle results from any of the following, insurance won’t cover the damage.

  • Wear and tear. Nothing lasts forever. Wear and tear is a normal part of owning a car. Just as brake pads, belts, and hoses wear out and need to be replaced, so do axles. If you need to repair or replace your axle due to normal wear and tear, insurance won’t cover it.
  • Too much weight. Axles bear the full weight of your vehicle, plus everything you put inside it. If an axle breaks because you’re overloading it, insurance won’t cover it. Read our towing capacity guide.
  • No collision coverage. Collision coverage isn’t mandatory in any state. But if you skip it, your insurer won’t cover your broken axle if an accident or pothole caused the damage.

How Do I Know If I Have a Broken Axle?

A car axle is a bar or rod that makes your car’s wheels spin. Your axles need to work properly to steer and brake. If your axle is broken, you might hear rumbling, vibrating, clicking, or banging while driving, especially when you’re accelerating or turning.

Sometimes, if the axle is broken, your car won’t move. If you can turn your car on and it seems to be running fine but won’t go anywhere when you hit the gas, a broken axle is a likely culprit.

Can I Buy Car Insurance to Cover a Broken Axle?

If you want added protection for a broken axle, you have a few options.


When you buy a new (and sometimes used) car, it typically comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. If your vehicle is under warranty, the warranty might cover the cost to repair or replace an axle, depending on the cause of the damage.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI)

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes cars break down. Mechanical breakdown insurance covers repairs to your axle, as well as transmission, engine, steering, and other systems that aren’t typically covered by a standard auto insurance policy. If you choose to purchase coverage, you’ll likely need to do it sooner rather than later. MBI is often only available for newer cars with low mileage. You can buy MBI through a traditional auto insurer, but not all companies offer it.

Vehicle Service Contract

Known as an extended warranty, a vehicle service contract also helps pay for repairs your standard policy doesn’t cover. But vehicle service contracts aren’t insurance policies.

They’re designed to pick up where your manufacturer’s warranty leaves off when it expires. Unlike mechanical breakdown insurance, you can get a vehicle service contract for an older car with more miles. But vehicle service contracts typically cost more than mechanical breakdown insurance.

If you want to purchase an extended warranty, you can usually get one at the dealer when you buy your car. Or you can get one from an independent vehicle service contract company. If you buy a plan from the dealer, they will likely add the plan’s cost to your vehicle financing, which means you’ll pay interest on it.