Guide to Comprehensive Auto Insurance: Your cover & All You need to know

After reading this article, you should learn about What is Comprehensive Insurance, your cover or what it covers and how to get started with it for your auto mobile or car.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

What is Comprehensive insurance? Answers Explained

Comprehensive insurance is a coverage that helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged in an incident that is not a collision. Comprehensive, sometimes called "other than collision" coverage, typically covers damage from fire, vandalism or falling objects like a tree.

It is a type of automobile insurance that covers damage to your car from causes other than a collision. Comprehensive insurance would cover your vehicle if it was destroyed by a thunderstorm , dented by a run-in with an animal, spray-painted by a vandal, damaged by a break-in or crushed by a collapsing garage, among other causes.
Comprehensive insurance can also be described as a car insurance policy that covers certain damages to your vehicle that are not caused by a collision with another car. It is required on leased vehicles, and on vehicles that are currently being paid for by a loan. Comprehensive auto insurance is supplementary, meaning it is an optional coverage which can be added to an insurance policy. For maximum protection, you can pair comprehensive coverage with liability and collision coverage, or choose classic car insurance that provides flexible usage and coverage designed specifically for classic cars.

Comprehensive insurance is commonly confused with collision. They both insure your car but cover different events. Collision covers car accidents, and comprehensive covers events out of your control. Think of it like this: Collision is colliding with something else (other than animals). Comprehensive is basically all other events. Accidents with animals are covered by comprehensive (and not collision) because these accidents are considered out of your control.

3 Categories of Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive Insurance can actually be broken down into three.
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Collision insurance, 
  • and liability insurance 

All which are three components of an automobile insurance policy. The law requires drivers to carry liability insurance, but collision and comprehensive insurance are optional if someone owns a vehicle outright.

If a person has financed the vehicle, the auto loan company might require comprehensive insurance. If the car owner has paid for the vehicle in full, and they can’t afford comprehensive insurance, they own an older automobile that doesn’t have much value, they think they’re at low-risk of non-collision damage, or they prefer to self-insure, the owner can choose not to purchase comprehensive insurance. On the other hand, even if someone owns an automobile free and clear, if they live in area where collisions with animals are common, in a stormy area that often gets hail or in a higher-crime part of town where break-ins and theft occur regularly, they might want to purchase comprehensive insurance.


2 Types of Auto insurance

Together, these two common types of auto insurance - Collision Insurance and comprehensive insurance offer you protection when your vehicle is damaged. The type of damage they cover, however, is very different. Let’s begin with a description of each:

Collision Insurance Cover
Collision Insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a covered accident involving a collision with another vehicle. This may include repairs or a full replacement of your covered vehicle.

Comprehensive car insurance
Comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by covered events such as theft, vandalism or hail, which are not collision-related.

In some cases, comprehensive insurance covers the situations that collision insurance does not – which is why bundling the two together can work in your favor.

Comprehensive coverage may be a worthwhile investment if you have a newer car and want to help protect your finances in case of theft or damage. Consider whether you can afford to pay for expensive repairs to your car or replace it. If not, comprehensive coverage may be worth the cost for you.

To avoid paying for damages like this out of pocket, you need comprehensive insurance. A windshield shattered by hail would be covered by comprehensive insurance, while a windshield shattered by a traffic accident would be covered by either your collision insurance or the other driver’s liability insurance.
What comprehensive insurance covers

Every accident is unique – whether comprehensive insurance covers your accident is determined by a wide set of circumstances. Here are a few types of damage that may be covered by comprehensive insurance:
  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Contact with animals
  • Falling or flying objects
  • Hail
  • Windshield damage
  • Windstorms
  • Earthquakes

Is there any difference between comprehensive coverage and full coverage

There is an important difference between the two though some people mistakenly use the terms interchangeably. The fact is that most insurance providers do not offer anything called “full coverage.” In other words, there is no single auto insurance policy that covers everything.

As mentioned, comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage that can be added to your state-required liability insurance which provides additional protection for accidents not caused by a vehicular collision. Rather than having one super policy, you can pair different types of coverage.

What are the benefits of fully comprehensive car insurance?

  • With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from on your insurance for accidents that are deemed to be your fault.
  • You can also claim when fault can’t be proven, e.g. if you return to your car after shopping to find that someone has hit your car and driven off.
  • Without comprehensive cover, you risk having to fork out for repairs yourself. Worse still, if your car is written off you’ll have to pay to replace it.
  • A comprehensive policy gives you that added level of protection and peace of mind that you won’t necessarily have to pay for expensive repairs – just your compulsory and voluntary excess.

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