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Comprehensive coverage

This pays for car damage caused by anything other than a collision with a car.

Comprehensive coverage typically kicks in to help you cover the cost of repairing your car after damage from anything other than a collision with another car. Comprehensive car insurance isn’t legally required, but acts as protection against some of the more unexpected — and uncontrollable — damages that can happen.

What is comprehensive coverage?

Comprehensive car insurance protects your car for almost anything other than a collision with another car. Damage that’s covered by comprehensive insurance can include:

  • Civil disobedience
  • Hitting an animal
  • An animal chewing on or damaging your car
  • Explosions and fire
  • Falling objects, like a tree hitting your car
  • Windshield damage
  • Storm damage like hail or flooding
  • Rental car damage, if your policy extends coverage to rentals
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Theft or vandalism

How comprehensive coverage works

Let’s say you park your car on the street after coming home from work. One night, a tree falls on your car, smashing the hood and leaving you with a $5,000 repair bill.

After you pay your $500 deductible for your comprehensive coverage, your insurance covers the additional $4,500 for your car repair.

Does it come with a deductible?

Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible. You’ll choose how much you want your deductible to be when you’re buying insurance.

To decide what your deductible should be, weigh how much car repairs could cost against how much you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket. The higher you set your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

Do I need comprehensive car insurance?

Unlike liability insurance, you’re not legally required to have comprehensive coverage — regardless of the state you live in. But that doesn’t mean you won’t need it, or that you shouldn’t otherwise get it. You might want to opt for comprehensive insurance if:

  • You finance your car. Financed cars typically are required to have comprehensive and collision coverage by lenders.
  • You live in an area with high rates of car theft. Collision and liability coverage won’t do you any good against theft.
  • Your town has a high incidence of animal collisions. Deer and other especially large animals can cause massive damage to your car, and comprehensive insurance can help cover it.
  • Your area has the potential for severe storms. Damages from hail storms, flooding or tornadoes are all typically included in comprehensive policies.

When to consider skipping comprehensive coverage

The biggest reason you might want to pass on comprehensive insurance is the value of your car. If your car isn’t worth much, it could cost more to keep up insurance than it would to put aside money for repairs or another car.

A good way to tell if your car is worth enough to get comprehensive coverage is to compare the cost of your annual premium and deductible to your car’s value. If the premium and deductible combined are more than your car’s worth, you may be better off without.

However, consider whether you have the cash reserves for another car or a backup car to get around if your lower-value car gets stolen or totaled for a covered reason.

Is comprehensive insurance considered full coverage?

A car insurance policy with just comprehensive coverage isn’t considered full coverage. However, when you combine all state-mandated coverage like liability as well as comprehensive and collision, you get what’s called full coverage insurance.

Cheapest companies with comprehensive coverage

At $167 per month, Travelers comes in as the cheapest car insurance company for policies with comprehensive coverage, catering to a broad range of drivers. Progressive brings the second cheapest comprehensive policy at $171 per month.

However, the cheapest overall is USAA at $165 per month, but you’ll have to qualify as a member of the military first.

CompanyAnnual premiumMonthly rate
USAA$1,980$165
Travelers$2,005$167
Progressive$2,047$171
Geico$2,552$213
Nationwide$2,674$223
Allstate$2,723$227
State Farm2,869$239
Farmers$2,972$248
Liberty Mutual$3,213$268

What isn’t covered by comprehensive car insurance?

You’ll need other types of car insurance coverage to pay for this damage, including:

  • Collisions. Collision car insurance covers your own car’s repair bill if you cause a wreck that damages your car.
  • Hit-and-run. Collision or uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is necessary for protection against a hit-and-run.
  • Injuries. Your comprehensive coverage doesn’t foot the medical bills for you, your passengers or anyone else involved in the accident.
  • Liability. Liability insurance pays for car or property damage or injuries that you may have caused to another driver in an accident.
  • Rental car. A separate type of coverage is needed for rental car reimbursement.

Compare comprehensive car insurance

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
Allstate
Optional
13%
All 50 states
Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
Progressive
Optional
30%
All 50 states & DC
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
Liberty Mutual
Optional
30%
All 50 states & DC
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
Savvy
Optional
Depends on provider
Yes
All states & DC
Get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, and save an average of $800 or more per year. Requires online login to your existing insurance.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Comprehensive coverage offers protection against noncollision auto damage. It can offer peace of mind knowing you’re covered when the unexpected happens. To find the best price, compare car insurance companies.

Common questions about comprehensive coverage

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