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  • Writer's pictureJeff Guymon

What is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

When it comes to auto insurance coverage, there are a variety of tiers that protect your vehicle against a number of different damages. In this article we will discuss the topic of comprehensive insurance and answer the following FAQs:

What is Comprehensive Insurance?

Also known as “other than collision”, comprehensive auto insurance covers damage to a vehicle caused by events that are out of your control. While comprehensive is an optional coverage, many lenders require drivers who are leasing or financing their vehicles to add comprehensive coverage to their auto insurance policy. Based on data from Progressive customers, comprehensive auto insurance costs an average of $24 per month, which is only about $300 a year more in insurance premiums. In the case of filing a comprehensive insurance claim, many comprehensive deductibles are around $500.

What is the Difference Between Comprehensive and Collision Insurance?

Comprehensive and collision coverage are types of coverage that are frequently confused with one another. They both insure vehicles, but the primary difference between the two are what type of events they protect against. Collision covers car accidents -- colliding with other motorists or something else (other than animals). Comprehensive is considered the catch-all and covers pretty much everything else.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

As previously mentioned, comprehensive insurance protects drivers against vehicle damages caused by events out of their control. The following are common incidents covered by comprehensive insurance:

  • Theft

  • Vandalism, fire, explosions

  • Windshield and glass damage

  • Falling trees/limbs or other objects

  • Rocks/objects kicked up by or falling from cars

  • Natural disasters, hailstorm wind, floods, lightening

  • Damages caused by potholes

  • Accidents involving animals (hitting a deer)

Note: Swerving to avoid hitting a deer and ultimately hitting another car or tree would be covered by collision rather than comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive does require a deductible, and they can vary by insurance company. Often a higher deductible (about $500) saves drivers thousands on out-of-pocket expenses that would otherwise be their responsibility. Many insurers offer free insurance quotes to find the right deductible amount that reflects your car’s actual cash value.

Is Comprehensive Car Insurance Worth It?

When deciding whether or not to add comprehensive coverage, consider the following:

  • Do you want to pay less for insurance and be covered for repairs?

  • Can you afford to purchase a new car?

  • What is the likelihood you’ll need to file a comprehensive claim?

Dropping comprehensive coverage can no doubt save you money each month, but remember, if an unexpected event causes damages to your car, you will be responsible for 100% of the repair costs. Any unforeseen event could easily cause damages to your vehicle that would result in it being totaled. It’s important to consider these scenarios and whether or not you will be okay paying out-of-pocket for a new car. Even drivers with expensive cars will typically add comprehensive coverage because few can afford to pay that much out of pocket to replace it. Whether or not you feel comprehensive coverage is necessary, by dropping it you’re betting against nature. Be sure to consider the value of your vehicle before making any decisions that you may regret down the road.

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