Comprehensive coverage - what is it and do I need it? | finder.com
Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage – what is it and should I get it?

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Get comprehensive coverage to protect yourself from auto damage that’s beyond your control.

Unlike what the term implies, comprehensive coverage doesn’t insure you for everything. Think of comprehensive car insurance as protection against some of the more unexpected damages to your car.

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Use our magical comparison tool to find providers with the cheapest rates in your area. Enter your zip code below and click ‘Compare’.


What is comprehensive coverage?

Different insurance policies kick in if you’re involved in a car accident. For example, liability insurance pays for damages you may have caused, and collision coverage covers your car repair bill.

Meanwhile, comprehensive coverage insures against damages not within your control, such as:

  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorism
  • Explosions and fire
  • Glass damage
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from animals
  • Theft

Unlike liability insurance, you’re not required to have comprehensive coverage regardless of the state you live in.

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, weigh how much car repairs would cost against how much you’d want to pay out of your own pocket. The higher you set your deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

What is a deductible?

The deductible is what you’ll pay before your insurance company will pay a claim.

Let’s say you file a claim to your insurance company for a $5,000 car repair bill. Your insurance covers you for that amount, but it includes a $500 deductible. This means you must pay $500 out of your own pocket before your insurance will cover the other $4,500.

Comprehensive coverage in action

You always park your car on the street after coming home from work. One night, a tree falls on your car, smashing the hood of your car. You’re now stuck with a repair bill of $5,000.

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


Why should I buy comprehensive coverage?

When people think of car insurance, they typically think of liability coverage. However, hitting another vehicle or object isn’t the only way your car can be damaged. Comprehensive coverage protects you from unusual incidents that are difficult to control.

Whether you should buy comprehensive coverage depends on how much you want to be insured against. You’re not required to have it, but it could offer peace of mind.

Consider the risk of your car being damaged or stolen, taking into account your neighborhood, the weather in your region and other factors. For example, if your area is often targeted for car thefts, it may be a good idea to get comprehensive coverage.

How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, comprehensive coverage costs an average of $134 a year.

How do I buy comprehensive coverage?

Your insurance provider will likely offer comprehensive coverage — contact them and ask about the plans they offer. To find the best price, compare different providers with our insurance comparison tool.


Bottom line

Comprehensive coverage offers protection against noncollision auto damage. It can offer peace of mind knowing you’re covered when the unexpected happens.

Find the cheapest rates

Use our magical comparison tool to find providers with the cheapest rates in your area. Enter your zip code below and click ‘Compare’.

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