What is comprehensive insurance coverage?

cracked windshield

Simply put, car insurance is protection for you and your car. And when some people think of car insurance, they assume having car insurance means their car is protected for any potential damage. But, depending on the type of coverage you have and how your car is damaged, you may or may not be fully covered by your car insurance policy in the event of an emergency.

Under the most basic car insurance policy, you’ll likely be protected if you damage another person’s car in an accident you cause or for any injuries you cause to another driver or their passengers. But without collision or comprehensive insurance, you won’t be covered for any damage to your own car. Comprehensive insurance coverage is an optional add-on to your car insurance policy that covers your vehicle in the event it is damaged in another way other than a collision, such as a tree falling on it, or if it’s stolen.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers a variety of situations that your vehicle might be damaged in, besides a collision. Comprehensive insurance can cover:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism, or damage from a riot
  • Fire
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters
  • Animal damage, such as hitting a deer
  • Windshield and glass damage

Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your car in situations out of your control. It’s sometimes confused with collision insurance, which covers your car in the event of a crash with another car or object.

Why would I buy comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance protects your car from the unknown. You can’t predict a tornado, hurricane or other emergency that might damage your car, and you want to know you won’t have to pay the cost of fixing or replacing your car entirely out of pocket. If you live in an area with a high rate of car theft, or a high deer population, you should definitely consider buying comprehensive coverage.

Although comprehensive insurance is not required by your state, it will most likely be required by your leasing or financing company if you’re leasing or financing your car. Until you fully own your car, your lender will want the vehicle to be completely protected, and you will most likely have to purchase additional collision and bodily injury liability insurance.

How much does comprehensive insurance cost?

The cost of comprehensive insurance will be dependent on a variety of factors, including the value of your car and your own personal driving record. Comprehensive insurance coverage will also have a deductible, which you select. The cost of comprehensive coverage can be dependent on how high or low your deductible is. The Insurance Information Institute suggests that if your car is worth less than 10 times the cost of your premium, it may not be worth it to have comprehensive insurance coverage.

Comprehensive insurance coverage is an add-on that most drivers could benefit from, even if it’s just the peace of mind of being protected from the unknown.

Shopping for car insurance? Narrow down your search by checking out which insurers customers rate as the best car insurance companies in your state.


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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