Personal Finance

Comprehensive Car Insurance: What does it Cover?

Comprehensive car insurance is a valuable coverage that protects your vehicle if it’s damaged in an event unrelated to a collision. But how exactly does it work? Read on for a complete guide to comprehensive auto insurance.

What is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance covers repairs or replacement if your vehicle is damaged or lost due to non-collision-related incidents. These include:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters
  • Animal collisions

Comprehensive insurance is sometimes called “other than collision” since it covers events other than crashes. It’s an optional coverage, but required by lenders if you finance or lease.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive protects against damage from:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism and riots
  • Storms and natural disasters
  • Fire and explosions
  • Falling trees/branches
  • Glass breakage
  • Collisions with animals

Comprehensive does NOT cover:

  • Collisions with vehicles or objects (collision coverage)
  • Injuries to others (liability coverage)
  • Damage to other vehicles/property
  • Wear and tear

How Exactly Comprehensive Insurance Work?

Here’s how comprehensive insurance works if you need to file a claim:

  1. Document damage and notify insurer immediately
  2. Provide proof of damage (photos, police report)
  3. Pay your deductible amount
  4. Claims adjuster inspects damage and estimates repair costs
  5. Insurer covers repairs above deductible up to ACV of vehicle

Your insurer will pay the shop directly for covered repairs after you pay your deductible.

Comprehensive Insurance Cost

The average annual cost for comprehensive coverage is around $174 nationwide, according to NAIC data. Costs vary by factors like:

  • Vehicle make, model and age
  • Your location
  • Driving history
  • Selected deductible

Higher deductibles (e.g. $1000 vs $500) lower your premiums but mean you pay more out-of-pocket per claim.

Is Comprehensive Insurance Worth It?

Comprehensive insurance can be worth it if:

  • You have an auto loan (required by lender)
  • You drive a newer, higher-value vehicle
  • You can’t afford repairs/replacement out-of-pocket
  • You want peace of mind

It may not be worth it if:

  • Your vehicle has low cash value
  • You can comfortably pay for repairs yourself
  • You have an older car with high mileage

Comprehensive Insurance vs. Collision Insurance

Collision insurance covers repairs/replacement if you collide with another car or object. Key differences:

  • Comprehensive: Theft, vandalism, weather, animals
  • Collision: Crashing into vehicles, objects, rollovers

In most cases you need to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage together.

Is Comprehensive Insurance Full Coverage?

Comprehensive is not full coverage by itself. Full coverage includes:

  • Liability coverage
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Any state required policies like PIP

Full coverage protects you and your vehicle in almost any situation.

How to File a Comprehensive Claim

Follow these steps if your vehicle is damaged:

  1. Document damage. Take photos if possible.
  2. Contact your insurance provider immediately to file a claim.
  3. Provide necessary documents (police report, proof of claim form).
  4. Pay your deductible amount to the repair shop.
  5. Insurance company pays remainder of repair costs above deductible.
  6. Pick up vehicle when repairs are complete.

Comprehensive Car Insurance FAQ

Is comprehensive insurance required?

Comprehensive is optional but often required by lenders when financing or leasing a vehicle.

What is the comprehensive deductible?

Deductible options are typically $500, $1000 or $1500. Higher deductibles lower your premium.

Does comprehensive cover vandalism?

Yes, acts of vandalism like broken windows are covered under comprehensive policies.

Does comprehensive cover theft?

Yes, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen.

Does comprehensive cover windshield replacement?

Yes, cracked or broken windshields from things like road debris are covered under comprehensive.

Jim Collins
Jim Collins is a leading expert in savings accounts, offering profound insights into optimizing financial growth. With a keen understanding of insurance and policies, Jim provides invaluable guidance for securing a stable financial future.

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