While you are shopping for car insurance, you are bound to come across confusing terms in both the regular and fine print. One term that is often misunderstood is comprehensive car insurance. But What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover? Many people think that comprehensive car insurance is an all-encompassing type of coverage that includes liability, collision, and more. But this is not true. While comprehensive auto insurance does cover a lot, it doesn’t protect your vehicle in car accidents.
But what exactly does comprehensive car insurance cover? Read on to learn more.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and insurance rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance is a type of insurance that helps pay to replace or repair your car if it’s stolen or damaged in a non-collision incident that is out of your control, such as damage received during a storm, a fire, or from theft or vandalism. Comprehensive car insurance is usually optional, but you may be required to carry it if your car is financed or leased.
What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover
Regardless of which car you have or insurance company you choose, comprehensive car insurance plans generally cover the following types of incidents:
- Natural disasters
- Falling objects
- Fire and explosions
- Damage from hitting a deer or impacts with other animals
- Acts of terrorism
What Does Comprehensive Insurance Not Cover?
If your vehicle endures damage due to a collision, then a car insurance claim cannot be made unless you have a comprehensive car insurance. Similarly, there a bunch of things that have been excluded from a comprehensive car insurance:
- Wear and tear of the vehicle
- Electrical or Mechanical breakdown
- Damage caused to the vehicle by a person driving without a valid license
- Damage caused due to drunken driving
- Damage caused due to driving under the influence of drugs
- Damage to tyres and tubes. However, if the vehicle is damaged at the same time, liability of the company will be limited to 50% of the replacement cost
- Loss / damage to the car caused by war, mutiny or nuclear risk
How Much Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cost?
The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates the average cost of comprehensive car insurance to be around $136 per year. This cost will vary based on your carrier and your state. For instance, residents of Oregon may pay as low as $97 per year, while those in Washington D.C. can pay up to $266.
Do You Really Need Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Approximately 77 percent of insured drivers have comprehensive coverage, according to the III. To help you decide whether to get this coverage or not, here are some questions you should ask yourself.
See Also: Is driving without insurance a crime?
- Are you still paying for the vehicle? If your car is financed, you may be required to get comprehensive insurance, along with collision coverage and liability insurance.
- How old is your car? You won’t need comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is worth less than your insurance deductible combined with annual coverage. Carriers won’t pay out more than your vehicle is worth. If you forgo this insurance, however, make sure to set money aside for the cost of repairs or even a new car.
- Where do you live? This insurance covers vandalism and theft, which tend to be common in urban areas. The risk of natural disasters is another reason to get this coverage. Floods can easily cause serious damage to your car or even total it if you live in an area prone to flooding.
- Where do you park your vehicle? Your car may be more at risk if you tend to park it on the street instead of in a garage
Benefits of Buying Comprehensive car insurance
A comprehensive car insurance policy protects your car from any unforeseen event except collision. It also covers for losses incurred during an accident. Let’s take a look at the various other benefits of this “other than collision” cover:
- It is the highest level of protection you can give your car
- If you are found to be at fault in event of an accident, with comprehensive car insurance, you can claim for losses incurred in such situations
- It covers lawsuits, including legal fees brought against you as a result of an accident
- Peace of mind and financial protection
- Offers financial aid in case your car is written off
- Unlike third-party insurance, it covers from damages caused to your own car during an accident.
How To File A Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim
Filing comprehensive car insurance claims is fairly simple. Depending on your carrier, however, the follow-up may require your time and more management. You’ll need to stay in touch with the insurance company’s representative or agent until you receive your insurance check or your car is repaired.
Unless your vehicle was the victim of a natural disaster or similar mishap, you’ll first need to get a police report. You should provide that along with any other documents your insurer requires while filing a claim.
A claims adjuster will then be assigned to your case. They’ll assess the car and your paperwork before approving or denying your claim. If your claim is denied and you believe the decision was wrong, you can contact the insurance company or agent for dispute assistance. If approved, you’ll be reimbursed, or your insurer will directly pay the repair shop.