Learn about comprehensive car insurance and why you need it.

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While shopping for car insurance, you’re bound to come across confusing terms in both the regular and fine print. One term that is often misunderstood is comprehensive car insurance.

Just what exactly is comprehensive car insurance and is it worth getting? Read on to learn more.

 

In this article:

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance

Many people think that comprehensive car insurance is an all-encompassing type of coverage that includes liability, collision, and more. But this is not true. While comprehensive insurance does cover a lot, it doesn’t protect your vehicle in accidents.

Comprehensive car insurance covers damages to your car caused by non-collision damage that are out of your control, such as damage received during a storm, a fire, or from theft. This coverage is usually optional, but you may be required to carry it if your car is financed or leased.

What’s Covered By Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Regardless of which car you have or insurance company you choose, comprehensive car insurance plans generally cover the following types of incidents:

  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Fire and explosions
  • Damage from hitting a deer or impacts with other animals
  • Acts of terrorism

How Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Work?

Filing comprehensive car insurance claims should be fairly simple. Depending on your carrier, however, the follow-up may require your time and more management. You’ll need to stay in touch with the insurance company’s representative or agent until you receive your insurance check or your car is repaired.

Unless your vehicle was the victim of a natural disaster or similar mishap, you’ll first need to get a police report. You should provide that along with any other documents your insurer requires while filing a claim.

A claims adjuster will then be assigned to your case. They’ll assess the car and your paperwork before approving or denying your claim. If your claim is denied and you believe the decision was wrong, you can contact the insurance company or agent for dispute assistance. If approved, you’ll be reimbursed, or your insurer will directly pay the repair shop.

Are Comprehensive And Collision Insurance The Same?

Both comprehensive and collision coverage are types of auto insurance, generally optional, that provide physical protection for your car. But the similarities end there.

 

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Collision Car Insurance

What’s Covered

This coverage pays for non-collision damage including natural disasters and theft.

This coverage pays for damages after you crash into another vehicle or fixed object.

Effect on Coverage Premium

Comprehensive claims are usually made due to things outside of the driver’s control. As a result, these claims won’t drastically affect your premium.

Collision claims are usually made when you are at fault in an accident. This can affect your premium, as violations and accidents are associated with bad driving habits.

 
 

As you can see, comprehensive and collision insurance plans complement one another. That’s why they are often recommended together for a wide range of protection.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Approximately 77 percent of insured drivers have comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). To help you decide whether to get this coverage or not, here are some questions you should ask yourself.

  • Are you still paying for the vehicle? If your car is financed, you may be required to get comprehensive insurance, along with collision coverage and liability auto insurance
  • How old is your car? You won’t need comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is worth less than your deductible combined with annual coverage. Carriers won’t pay out more than your vehicle is worth. If you forgo this insurance, however, make sure to set money aside for the cost of repairs or even a new car.
  • Where do you live? This insurance covers vandalism and theft, which tend to be common in urban areas. The risk of natural disasters is another reason to get this coverage. Floods can easily cause serious damage to your car or even total it if you live in an area prone to flooding.
  • Where do you park your vehicle? Your car may be more at risk if you tend to park it on the street instead of in a garage.

The Cost Of Comprehensive Car Insurance

The III estimates the average cost of comprehensive car insurance to be around $136 per year. This cost will vary based on your carrier and your state. For instance, residents of Oregon may pay as low as $97 per year, while those in Washington D.C. can pay up to $266. Use this tool to see how your location would affect the cost of your comprehensive coverage:

 
 

Best Providers Of Comprehensive Car Insurance

Now that you have a good idea of what comprehensive car insurance covers and whether it’s useful for you, it’s time to look at some providers. While the following features only comprehensive coverage plans and some extras, you can find more information on each provider in our review of the industry’s best auto insurance companies. After all, you need more than comprehensive coverage to fully protect your car and yourself.

 

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Collision Car Insurance

Allstate Auto Insurance

Allstate’s comprehensive car insurance plan covers storms and natural disasters, vandalism and theft, broken/shattered windows and windshields, and damage caused by animals or falling objects.
Deductibles for this insurance range from $0 to $1,000. To determine how much you will pay, your vehicle’s cash value will be taken into consideration.

There are a few advantages to choosing Allstate, including local agents to guide you and provide personalized policy recommendations.
The company also offers a Claim Satisfaction Guarantee to make claims quick and hassle free. Moreover, you can enjoy numerous add-ons like deductible rewards and new car replacement.

Erie Auto Insurance

One of the oldest auto insurers on the list, Erie provides a good comprehensive car insurance policy that covers vandalism, storms, falling objects, animal-related damage, and windshield cracks and chips.
Different forms of theft are also included in this policy, including car break-ins and stolen cars.

In some states, basic car rental coverage is automatically included with your comprehensive car insurance. You may even receive coverage for items stolen from your vehicle. Make sure to check the fine print of your policy or call your agent to find out if this applies to you.

Farmers Auto Insurance

 Farmers comprehensive insurance is quite standard. It covers theft, vandalism, fire, weather-related events, and accidents involving animals.
Your insurance rates will be determined by the type of vehicle and loss history. For instance, your premium will factor in the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, and how often similar makes were stolen.

One of the biggest advantages of both comprehensive and collision coverage from this insurer is coverage for up to $1,000 for special features added to the vehicle, such as custom rims.
You can also include the optional glass buyback coverage to reduce the deductible for repairable glass damage due to bad weather or hitting an animal.

Geico Auto Insurance

Like Farmers, Geico offers fairly standard comprehensive car insurance, including theft, vandalism, fire, and floods, among other losses
The insurer recommends selecting a higher deductible if you wish to lower your premium. Just remember to take into consideration your vehicle’s age and cash value.

With Geico, you can easily apply for an insurance plan online or over the phone. If you do so on the website, you can get a comprehensive quote that includes collision or comprehensive coverage premiums and possible discounts.
Geico also offers automated bill pay and claims filing, which is why it often scores highly when it comes to digital experience.

Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance

Liberty Mutual offers standard comprehensive insurance. It protects you from out-of-pocket costs, after meeting your deductible, if your vehicle is damaged in a non-collision event.

Customers can quickly update their policies online to include this coverage. All they need to do is to simply log into their accounts and follow the enrollment steps.   

Progressive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance from Progressive’s covers damage from weather, acts of nature, collision with animals, vandalism, and theft. It also includes glass breakage, which is great considering how much you could pay to repair or replace windows and windshields.
A deductible applies to this coverage, but you can choose how much you pay.

By using a repair shop in Progressive’s network, the insurer guarantees repairs for as long as you own your vehicle.

State Farm Auto Insurance

State Farm’s comprehensive insurance covers car theft and damage from theft, fire, explosions, weather conditions, and violence from riots. Coverage isn’t extended to collision with objects if you’re responsible for an accident.
You may or may not be charged a deductible for this coverage. Contact your local agent for more details.

In a covered accident, this insurance can be extended beyond your own car to include temporary substitute vehicles, new cars, and cars in use that aren’t owned by a member of your household.

USAA Car Insurance

Available to military personnel and their families, USAA’s comprehensive car insurance covers your vehicle against incidents other than collisions or rollovers. This includes but is not limited to damage from theft, fire, flooding, and hail.

You can include window glass replacement or custom equipment that has been added to your vehicle in your coverage. Additional coverage for glass may be subject to a deductible in Arizona, Connecticut, Minnesota, and New York.

 
 

So, Are You Ready To Get Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Now that we’ve covered comprehensive, you can make a decision on whether or not you need the coverage for your vehicle. Keep in mind, though, that there is more to an auto insurance policy than one type of coverage. You want to make sure you and your vehicle are protected in any situation.

 
 

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