9 things you didn’t know car insurance covers

A new car? A hotel room? Yup, car insurance can cover you for those.

A comprehensive insurance policy can help protect you from the dangers of the road, and even the other dangers of the world that can damage your car when it’s parked or sitting in your garage. Compare a few hidden benefits you could get from your car insurance.

1. A new car

new car
Did you know that many car insurance policies will offer you a brand new car if yours is totaled written off? This is a special feature called new car protection that covers you if you bought your car brand new and it’s totaled within the first two or three years. New cars lose their value the second they drive off the lot, and you’re covered for that depreciation with new car protection.

The only other way to get a new car out of an insurance policy is to insure your car at an agreed value equal to what a new car would cost. With new car replacement coverage, you can insure your car for much cheaper while still being covered for the cost of a new one.

2. Child seats

car seat
You might already know that comprehensive car insurance usually covers some of your car’s contents. But if you’re a parent, you’ll be happy to find out that it also covers child car seats. Even the best car seats on the market can’t be used again after a car crash, and you can replace them through your car insurance.

Your car insurance does limit the amount you get back on car seats per individual claim. So if you have multiple kids with pricey car seats, you might need to ask your insurer if you can increase that limit for a small fee. The good news is a comprehensive claim usually doesn’t increase your insurance rates.

3. A hotel

If you’re in an accident far from home, you’ll be glad to have a comprehensive policy that will put you up for the night. Trip interruption coverage kicks in if you have an accident outside a certain distance from your home and it’s unsafe to drive your car.

It will pay for you and your passengers to stay in a reasonably priced place, up to a certain dollar amount or number of days outlined in your policy. Just make sure to keep your receipts to get reimbursement or else your claim could be denied.

4. Vandalism

If you have comprehensive car insurance, your policy can cover damage to your car even when there’s no culprit around. Someone keyed your car in the stadium parking lot after their team lost? Covered. An angry ex vandalized your ride but you don’t have proof? Covered.

You’ll also be covered for other situations where getting someone else to pay up can be difficult, like hit-and-runs, riots, being hit by an uninsured or broke driver and getting dinged up by a shopping cart while you’re picking up groceries.

5. Hail damage and storms

If your car is damaged in a storm, it might be difficult to convince mother nature to fork out the cash for repairs. That’s OK, because comprehensive car insurance has your back come rain or shine.

You’re covered against all types of storms and natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, fires and high-speed winds. But you usually won’t be covered within the first day or two of buying your policy, so by the time you hear about an impending storm, it’ll be too late to upgrade your insurance.

6. Hitting an animal


Hitting a deer can cause serious damage to your car. A comprehensive insurance policy can help cover the cost and get you back on the road.

If you hit a bird and shatter your windshield, car insurance can help you with that, too. Some insurers even offer full glass coverage as an add-on to your comprehensive coverage, which means you won’t have to pay a deductible for any windshield damage.

7. Pet injuries


If your pet is riding along when you’re in a car accident, you might have peace of mind knowing that some car insurance policies will cover your pet’s injury treatment.. Your car insurance may pay up to $1,000 per incident at no additional cost as long as you have collision or comprehensive on your policy.

In most cases, pet injury typically only covers cats and dogs. But if you have other pets that ride along, you may want to call your insurance company to ask if covering other pets is an option.

8. Space debris


If you have comprehensive coverage, your car is protected from acts of nature, such as falling objects. Oddly enough, this even includes ones from space. So, if you’re driving along and your car gets hit by an asteroid, meteor or a satellite, your repairs may be reimbursed after you meet your deductible.

9. Rodent damages


Mice, rats, squirrels and other large rodents sometimes chew through your car’s wiring or leave nests and food in the engine. As unlikely as it might seem, rodents can cause a fair amount of unpredictable damage. But if you have comprehensive coverage, your rodent damage repairs will usually be covered.

While some rodent damage is covered, if these critters get a hold of your personal belongings, make a mess of your car or require removal it likely won’t be covered.

Bottom line

Paying a little more for your car insurance up front can save you a lot of money in the long run when you don’t have to pay out of pocket for unexpected mishaps. Protect your car by shopping around, pulling up a few quotes and finding a comprehensive policy that works for you.

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