What is comprehensive car insurance and what does it cover?

We all want our car insurance to cover all the expenses and repairs. But on the other hand, we don’t want to spend much on buying full coverage insurance. If you want to protect your car from uninvited accidents without the driver’s mistake then comprehensive insurance is the right choice.

Yes, there are some situations where no one is at fault in an accident but the car gets damaged. These situations are generally referred to as “bad luck” but the repair cost can be unbearable for the driver. For these types of situations, comprehensive auto insurance plays a major role in saving the money of the driver.

Most of the drivers are not aware of the requirement of comprehensive car insurance. Some drivers add it to their policy even when they don’t need it. On the other hand, some avoid adding it to their policy even when they need it the most.

Our team of experts has created this blog to help you understand how comprehensive insurance can save a lot of your money and when it can be a waste of money. Keep reading till the end or bookmark it for later. 

What is comprehensive auto insurance coverage?

The most common query we get is what is comprehensive car insurance? Isn’t it full coverage insurance? Is it the same as collision insurance?

The simple comprehensive auto insurance definition is;

comprehensive auto insurance coverage protects your car from all man-made or natural calamities. If your car ever gets stuck in a hailstorm, flood, or even riots, then you will get coverage from all the repairs and expenses. While this insurance type is optional in every state of our country, it is better to have some extra coverage for your car.

Comprehensive car insurance saves you from the headache of extra expenses that you might get from the irresponsibility of some other living being. You can not ask a tree to pay for the repair because it crashed on your car. Or you can not ask nature to replace your flood-damaged car. But you can ask your insurance company for all these expenses.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

comprehensive auto insurance coverage provides coverage from different types of accidents other than collisions. Here are some types of accidents that comprehensive car insurance cover:

  • Natural calamities like floods, storms, hail, lightning, wind, and even the earthquakes
  • Someone stole your car
  • Your car gets caught in the fire, riots, vandalism, and explosions
  • Collision with animals 
  • Damage to the windshield and glass of the car (in case the expense of crack or chip repair is less than a dollar bill, most of the companies repair the glass at zero cost)
  • If some rocks or any objects kicked up by or falling off other vehicles hit your car
  • Trees/limbs or any other object falling on your car

So before making the decision to avoid comprehensive car insurance make sure to consider this list. These coverages are our normal day accidents that can happen with anyone. Hence it is important to keep our vehicles covered from all the extra expenses.

What does comprehensive car insurance not cover?

Now comes an interesting section, we know what comprehensive insurance covers. But it is also important to know what it does not cover to avoid confusion in the future. Here are the things that comprehensive auto insurance does not cover:

  • If your car gets into a collision with another car, object, or human being
  • Expenses to repair another driver’s vehicle from the collision
  • Medical expenses of the driver and other passengers in the car after an accident
  • Collision caused by a driver who was under influence at the time of the accident
  • If the accident is caused by an unlicensed driver
  • Repair cost of wear and tear in your car
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How much is comprehensive auto insurance cost?

Now that you have decided to add comprehensive insurance to your policy it’s time to check what will be the cost of comprehensive car insurance coverage? The average cost of comprehensive car insurance in our country is $183.

This number can change as per the company and the location of the driver. Every company has its method to calculate the cheap comprehensive car insurance cost for every driver. Similarly, every state has some rules and environmental factors that affect the insurance cost of the drivers in that area.

Other than that, there are a lot of other factors that affect the car insurance rate for any driver. And every insurance company considers factors like the type of car, the age of the driver, actual cash value of the car, etc. So almost every driver gets unique comprehensive auto insurance rates.

Do you need comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive auto insurance is not compulsory for the driver like the state’s minimum requirement coverage. Even though the insurance type is optional, it is important for every driver. And if the driver is planning to get a car from lenders or leaseholders then comprehensive car insurance might be compulsory.

The need for comprehensive insurance majorly depends on the value of your car. If you know that your car’s actual cost value is lower than the coverage amount you will get then there is no point in wasting your money.

Your insurance company will never pay you more than the actual cost value of your car. So the first thing you have to do is check your car’s actual cost value. Once you get an approximate idea of the ACV, then ask for quotes from different car insurance companies.

Now compare the rates from different companies with your actual cost value. If the premium of comprehensive car insurance is worth the actual cost of your vehicle then go for it. Here are some cases where comprehensive insurance is worth it:

  1. Sports or luxury cars
  2. New vehicles
  3. Young drivers
  4. Financed car

How do comprehensive deductibles work?

The claim amount from comprehensive auto insurance is subjected to your deductibles. A deductible is the predetermined amount that a driver has agreed to pay before claiming for any repair or expense.

The deductible amount is usually between $500 and $1500 for every driver in all the states of our country. Let’s understand this with an example. If you have agreed to a deductible of $800 and you have filed a claim for damage from fire. Then the insurance company will subtract the $800 from your claim money and then will send the cheque.

The benefit of a high deductible is, you will get lower insurance rates. Insurance companies use this as their insurance. A driver who knows that he or she will have to pay up to $800 for any kind of repairs will drive more safely. Hence the chances of accidents reduce and the company saves money.

How comprehensive auto insurance works?

It is better to understand the process of comprehensive insurance with an example.

Let’s say your car gets stuck in a hailstorm and the windshield of the car is completely damaged. Now to replace the windshield you will have to file a claim. Assume that the replacement cost of the windshield is $3000. Now your deductible amount will come into the picture.

The insurance company will pay the expense of replacing the windshield but the amount will include your deductible. If your deductible amount was $500, so the company will pay you $2500 for the windshield replacement. So the insurance company will cover all the expenses of repair or replacement but the amount will include the deductible.

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Comprehensive insurance vs full coverage insurance

Most of the drivers get confused between comprehensive insurance and full coverage insurance. Full coverage insurance is the combination of the state’s minimum liability coverage, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance.

There are some types of accidents that comprehensive auto insurance does not cover. Hence a driver has to buy collision insurance to get extra coverage. Now when a driver combines the collision, comprehensive, and the minimum requirements (that is compulsory for every driver) then it is called full coverage insurance.

On the other hand, with comprehensive insurance coverage, the driver will buy only the state’s minimum required coverage and comprehensive car insurance. The vehicle will be covered from flood or fire but not from the accident with another car. If you get into an accident with another car, object, or pedestrian then you’ll have to pay for the repairs.

Over to you!

Now we hope that this blog has helped you to understand the impact and benefit of getting comprehensive insurance. Buying car insurance is not as easy as it looks when you want to save some money. Either you can just buy the insurance from any company without your research and pay a higher premium. Or you can do some research, compare the quotes from different insurance carriers and save some money.

We are here for your assistance 24/7. You can get in touch with our team to discuss any query or confusion. Moreover; you can compare rates from the top insurance companies in your state on our website directly.

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Disclaimer: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of auto insurance. This information does not refer to any specific auto insurance policy. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. References to costs of coverages/repair, average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, etc., are indicative and may not apply to your situation. We encourage you to speak to our insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

Randy Luton RateForce CEO
Randy Luton

Randy Luton is the Founder and CEO of RateForce. He is passionate about technology enable insurance services and has in-depth knowledge about the auto insurance sector of the USA.