Comprehensive Car Insurance: What It Covers – Credible
Comprehensive auto insurance helps pay to repair damages to your vehicle caused by virtually anything other than a collision.
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If you drive a car, having the right auto insurance coverage is imperative. You can choose from several different types of auto insurance coverage, including comprehensive coverage.
While sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, comprehensive and collision insurance are two different types of optional coverage. It’s important to understand the distinction when purchasing car insurance.
Here’s what you need to know about comprehensive car insurance:
Comprehensive insurance is an optional type of car insurance coverage designed to protect your own vehicle against damages or loss from events other than car accidents (e.g., a tree falling on your windshield). Comprehensive coverage can step in to help with the expense of repairing or even replacing your vehicle following a covered incident (any event that your auto insurance policy covers).
While most states require liability coverage for drivers, comprehensive auto insurance is usually optional. You can purchase it for an additional cost, but unlike liability coverage, there aren’t set policy limits to choose from. Instead, your limit is usually the actual cash value of your vehicle.
Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by a number of non-collision events. Some common reasons for claims that comprehensive insurance covers include:
Learn More: Full Coverage Car Insurance: What Does It Mean?
So, if a bear gets into your car at a campsite and destroys the interior as it searches for snacks, you’re probably covered. The same is true if a fly ball goes rogue at your kid’s Little League game, smashing your windshield.
Your comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover everything. Here are some events that your coverage typically excludes:
If you have damages that qualify for reimbursement from comprehensive coverage, you’ll need to file a claim against your own insurance policy. The steps for this process vary by insurer, but you’ll generally do the following:
Check Out: What Is a Diminished Value Claim?
The average cost for comprehensive auto insurance coverage in the U.S. was $171.87 in 2019, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
You typically purchase comprehensive coverage as an add-on to a car insurance policy, rather than as a stand-alone product. Your comprehensive insurance premium depends on many factors. The price of comprehensive car insurance coverage can vary based on your:
Both comprehensive insurance and collision insurance are optional coverages designed to protect your own vehicle. This differs from liability coverage, which is designed to protect you financially if you damage another driver’s vehicle or cause bodily injury in an accident.
While comprehensive and collision coverage are often confused, one easy way to keep the two straight is to remember that collision coverage is for, well, collisions that occur while you’re behind the wheel. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, is for nearly everything else.
Here’s a look at the different events that comprehensive and collision insurance cover:
Unlike state-mandated liability coverage, buying comprehensive auto insurance is usually optional. However, you may want to consider adding it on, especially in these scenarios:
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Stephanie Colestock is a Washington, D.C.-based writer who has more than 11 years of experience in writing about investing, business, and personal finances. She’s contributed to outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN, Investopedia, Credit Karma, Credible, and more.
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