What is Comprehensive Insurance, and what does it cover?

What is Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is a form of auto insurance that protects your vehicle against damage caused by events other than a collision. Comprehensive insurance will cover your car if it is wrecked by a storm, dented by a deer collision, spray-painted by a vandal, damaged by a break-in, or crushed by a collapsing garage, among other reasons.

Key Takeaways

  • Comprehensive insurance is intended to pay for damages to your car caused by events other than collisions.
  • If you finance your car purchase, you may be obliged to obtain both comprehensive and collision coverage.
  • Purchasing comprehensive coverage may not be financially feasible if you drive an older car that has already lost a substantial amount of value.
  • Comprehensive insurance protects your automobile against damage caused by animals, fallen trees, natural catastrophes, theft, and vandalism. It does not cover damage to other cars or individuals.
  • Raising your deductibles for comprehensive insurance may assist to reduce your rates.
  • Understanding Comprehensive Insurance.
  • An automotive insurance coverage has three components: comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, and liability insurance. Most states require drivers to have liability insurance, but collision and comprehensive insurance are optional if they own their vehicle entirely. If a person has financed the car, the auto lender may need comprehensive insurance.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive insurance covers losses such as:

  • Contact with animals, such as striking a deer.
  • Natural catastrophes include earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.
  • Fires, riots, and vandalism
  • Vehicle theft, or theft of specific pieces of the vehicle.
  • Broken windshields
  • Fallen items, such as branches, pebbles, or hail.

Comprehensive Insurance Versus Collision Insurance

If you’re purchasing a new automobile, whether you finance it or pay cash, it may make sense to get comprehensive car insurance. Comprehensive coverage may protect you from small and significant losses caused by events beyond your control, regardless of whether you have accident coverage.

Where you reside might also influence your choice on whether to get comprehensive coverage. If a person lives in a rural location where animal accidents are regular, or in a stormy area with frequent hail, they might consider purchasing comprehensive insurance. The same is true if a person lives in a high-crime area of town, where break-ins and theft are common.

Collision insurance protects you against a single-car rollover, a collision with another vehicle, or a collision with an object. It does not cover burglaries, thefts, or weather-related damage. If you lease a vehicle, you must obtain collision insurance. Collision insurance comes in helpful when you get into an accident to help pay for the repair of your vehicle, and it also covers any damage caused by potholes on the road.

If you are in an accident, neither insurance will cover your medical expenses nor the damage to another person’s car.

When obtaining comprehensive coverage or any other sort of vehicle insurance, be sure to compare the top car insurance providers to discover the lowest prices.

Cost of Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by accidents and catastrophes other than traffic accidents. The average annual cost of comprehensive coverage may vary from $134 to almost twice that, depending on a variety of criteria, including the state in which you reside.

Collision and comprehensive insurance both contain deductibles (liability insurance does not), allowing a motorist to choose various deductibles depending on anticipated risk levels in each of these categories.

If a person believes they are unlikely to submit a comprehensive claim but does not want to abandon comprehensive insurance entirely, they might pick a relatively high $1,000 deductible to minimize their cost. The greater the monetary worth of a car, the more costly a comprehensive insurance coverage will be.

Understanding how insurance companies assign driver risk classifications might help you anticipate how much you could spend for comprehensive insurance. How much you pay for auto insurance, including comprehensive coverage, depends on where you reside, your driving record, and the coverage levels you choose.

Louisiana, for example, has the highest cost of vehicle insurance, with the typical motorist spending $1,495 per year on full coverage. North Dakota is the least costly state, with drivers paying an average of $692 per year to insure their automobiles.7

Advantages and disadvantages of comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive vehicle insurance protects you financially against theft, natural disasters, and weather-related damage. This insurance ensures that you do not have to pay out of pocket if a tree falls on your vehicle or a burglar takes your catalytic converter.

There are drawbacks. If you are in an accident, comprehensive insurance will not cover the damage. Comprehensive insurance may be more costly if purchased in conjunction with collision insurance. If your car is older and paid off, you may be able to save money by not obtaining comprehensive coverage, particularly if theft and weather-related catastrophes are not an issue in your area.


  • Comprehensive coverage protects you against theft, weather-related calamities, and other significant occurrences beyond your control.
  • Break-ins or hail-damaged windshield wipers are common examples of “unforeseen events” covered under comprehensive insurance.
  • If you have a new automobile and reside in a high-crime area, comprehensive insurance will cover any damage caused by break-ins or thefts.


  • Comprehensive insurance does not cover collision-related damage.
  • It may not be essential for an older vehicle with high mileage.
  • Comprehensive insurance does not cover personal items taken from your automobile.
  • It does not cover damage caused by potholes.

Example of Comprehensive Insurance.

When it comes to filing a claim, comprehensive insurance works similarly to other types of vehicle insurance. However, if you’ve never done this before, having an example will assist you understand what to anticipate. Here’s an illustration of how comprehensive insurance works when a motorist makes a claim for car damage.

Let’s say someone drives a $10,000 Honda Accord with a $1,000 comprehensive deductible. If the automobile is destroyed by a tornado, the insurance company will pay the driver $9,000 in compensation. If they do not have comprehensive coverage and a tornado destroys their car, the collision and liability sections of the insurance will not cover the damage.

The driver will be held accountable for the whole $10,000 loss. If a motorist does not have $10,000 to spend on a new car, they may have to take out a loan or settle for something less costly.

Seeing an example of comprehensive insurance in action might provide insight into how important it can be if your vehicle is destroyed. If you’re leaning more toward the “when to drop comprehensive insurance” camp, you should know how much it will cost you to repair losses out of pocket.

How does comprehensive insurance work?

Comprehensive coverage, like other types of auto insurance, compensates for a portion of the loss if your vehicle is destroyed. The car owner will also have to pay a portion of the cost, called as the deductible. The insurance payout might be used for repairs or purchasing a new car.

What Does Comprehensive Automobile Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive auto insurance covers any damage to a vehicle except crash damage. Natural risks include deer hits and fallen branches, as well as fire, weather, natural catastrophes, theft, and vandalism. However, it excludes damage caused by a collision with another vehicle, as well as injury to passengers or others.

How much does comprehensive auto insurance cost?

The cost of a comprehensive insurance coverage varies depending on the value of the car, the zip code where it is registered, and the driver’s previous insurance history, among other considerations. Annual costs might vary from about $134 to approximately twice that much.

Does comprehensive insurance cover pothole damage?

No, comprehensive insurance does not cover damage caused by potholes on the road. However, collision insurance does, since it covers any damage caused by a collision with an object.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve paid in full for your vehicle and can’t afford comprehensive insurance, or if you own an old car with little value, you may believe you’re at a minimal risk of non-collision damage. In this instance, you may opt to forego comprehensive insurance. If you wish to self-insure, you may also choose not to acquire comprehensive insurance.

However, keep in mind that in this case, skipping comprehensive coverage may result in a large repair price if your vehicle is damaged. So compare the expenses of any prospective repairs versus what you may spend in premiums or deductibles to keep comprehensive coverage.

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