Comprehensive coverage is a term used with auto insurance that describes the repair or replacement of a car due to circumstances not related to an auto accident. This coverage is most often used for incidents such as auto theft, vandalism, objects falling or hitting the car, and hail.
Comprehensive coverage often has a deductible associated with it. It should not be confused with collision coverage which pays for car damages incurred in an at-fault accident. Many refer to this coverage as anything “other than collision.”
What Does Comprehensive Coverage Cover?
There is a long list of common hazards covered by comprehensive coverage. The list includes:
- Windshield damage
- Accidents with animals
- Falling objects
- Acts of mother nature
Essentially anything that isn’t a collision is covered. These incidents are considered “not-at-fault” and do not affect your insurance premium or driving record.
What Is Not Covered By Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
Comprehensive coverage covers damages that are not caused by a collision. It does not cover damages that happen from a collision with a person, another auto, or a structure of any sort. Beyond that, there isn’t much that comprehensive coverage doesn’t cover.
How Does Comprehensive Coverage Work?
Like any other auto insurance coverage, to have your car fixed after an incident, you must file a claim. Detail what happened in the incident and take photos to document the damage and what might have caused it (if possible). A claims adjuster will gather all the details and provide an estimate of damage.
You will be required to pay your deductible while the insurance company pays the rest of the claim. Deductibles range from zero to $2,000 with most insurance carriers. This is your portion of the insurance claim and you can’t get your car back from a repair shop without paying it.
Do I Have to Have Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage is not required in most cases. There may be incidents where a financing company may require coverage for new car loans or leases. It is up to the policyholder to determine the deductible he wants to maintain on the policy. If you don’t elect for comprehensive coverage, you are responsible for all out-of-pocket costs for repair in the event that your car is stolen, burnt, or otherwise damaged.
What’s the Difference Between Comprehensive and Full Coverage?
If full coverage is defined as having the required liability coverage with both comprehensive and collision coverage, then comprehensive is just part of full coverage. There is a lot of discrepancy in laymans terms of what full coverage is. Some people define it simply as having the required state minimum coverage to be fully legal while most insurance agents will define it as having liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage along with rental car, uninsured motorist, and emergency roadside service.