Will Auto Insurance Cover Gas Tank Water Damage?

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If you have car problems and discover the issue is water in the gasoline, what do you do? Will your auto insurance policy cover it?

Water in your fuel tank is bad news. But when it comes to insurance, who’s responsible? It’s not quite as simple as a fender bender.

Read on to learn more about the nuanced legality of car damage caused by water in gasoline.

What Happens If There’s Water in the Gas Tank?

If there’s water in your gas tank, it has the potential to cause serious damage. Water can get in your tank due to rainy weather, poor-quality gas or even condensation buildup in the tank.

Symptoms of water in the tank include:

  • Engine won’t start
  • Trouble accelerating
  • Jolting and sputtering while accelerating
  • Gas mileage worsens

Will Auto Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Gasoline?

No, according to Nathan Marcus, an Allstate representative. Your auto insurance policy, no matter who it’s from, is not likely to cover water damage caused by gasoline issues.

The responsible party, he says, is the gas station.

Insurance companies are “going to cover exterior damage. Usually you hit something or something hits you.” Gasoline that you bought from the gas station is not exterior damage.

“If they’re able to prove that there was water in the gas, no, they’re not going to cover it. It’s going to fall back on the automobile owner.”

What to Do If Water in Gasoline Breaks Your Car

If you think there’s water in your gasoline and it’s messing up your car, what you need to do is go back to the gas station with proof, according to Marcus.

“Siphon some gasoline out, put it in a mason jar and it won’t take long to separate. At that point, you go back to the gas station. They’re the ones on the hook.”

Be sure to keep your receipt that proves you bought the gas there. Take photos. Then, the gas station in question can help navigate the discussion with your insurance company.

So if you suspect there’s water in your gasoline tank, pay attention to the symptoms and see a mechanic as soon as possible. Using your insurance in this kind of situation is complicated, so it’s best to address the problem before any serious damage occurs.