Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Consider comprehensive auto insurance if you want to be covered in the event of damages resulting from something other than a collision.

If you've got an older car of little value (I've had plenty of them over the years), it may not be worth your while to get full comprehensive coverage. 

You do need to understand and remember that you're not ever going to be paid more for a claim than the actual value of the car.

That value is not how much you think "your baby" is worth, but how much it is determined to be worth by an insurance adjuster.

The insurance adjuster usually bases their valuations on the listed Blue Book value and/or a comparison of other cars of the same make, model, and year.

Having said that, if your vehicle is worth at least several thousand dollars, comprehensive coverage is probably a really good investment. 

Comprehensive auto insurance is different from collision coverage, which pays for damage as a result of an accident where you, of course, "collide" with something.  Makes sense, right?

In contrast, comprehensive car insurance is what you need in the case of losses you sustain from other types of events that cause damage to your vehicle, such as:

  • theft
  • flood
  • fire
  • contact with animals, like birds or deer
  • falling objects (my parents have a tree that is always threatening)
  • explosion
  • earthquake
  • windstorm
  • hail
  • vandalism
  • riot

...have I forgotten anything? :) Oh yea, comprehensive insurance will also pay for a cracked or shattered windshield!

What About Deductibles?

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

There is usually a deductible attached to comprehensive auto insurance. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay first before the coverage kicks in.

For instance, if the damage to your vehicle is going to cost $1000 and your deductible is $400, your policy will only cover the remaining $600.

This may tempt you to have a low deductible so you won't be out of pocket. However, the higher your deductible the lower the premium you will have to pay on your policy.

Is Comprehensive Car Insurance Required?

comprehensive auto insurance

No, it is not against the law to skip the comprehensive coverage. To be perfectly honest, I usually don't carry this type of coverage because my car is not worth it! :)

If you have a valuable car, you may want to seriously consider this, especially if you won't be able to afford to cover the damages yourself.

The only instance when comprehensive insurance is generally required is when you take out a loan to get a car. The lender may require you to carry comprehensive coverage until you have paid the loan in full.

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