Skip to main content

What is Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?

What is Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Just like Collision coverage, Comprehensive insurance (sometimes referred to as “Other than Collision”) is an optional coverage you can add to your auto insurance to pay for repairs to your car for very specific types of hazards. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car that is caused by events that are out of your control. For instance, it covers things like theft, vandalism, glass damage, fire, accidents with animals, weather/acts of nature, falling items, etc.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive coverage is added to your auto insurance policy for very specific events. Below are some of the hazards that are covered by Comprehensive insurance:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism, fire, riots, and explosions
  • Windshield and glass damage
  • Falling trees/limbs and other objects
  • Rocks/objects kicked up by or falling off cars
  • Storms, hail, wind, floods, lightning, and earthquakes
  • Accidents with animals (including deer)

Here is a bit of a trick question. If you swerve to avoid hitting a deer that has run onto the road, and you strike another car or tree, which coverage will pay for the damage? Well, that accident would be covered by collision rather than comprehensive. In this case, the damage was caused by a “collision” with a vehicle or physical object and not the deer.

How comprehensive insurance works

Tree Falls

Let’s say that the tree limb crashes through the roof of your car and causes $5,000 in damage.

File Claim

A claim is a request for your insurer to pay for your losses. Depending on your insurer, you can file online, with a mobile app, or by calling.

Get Repairs

Let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible. You’d pay the $1,000, and your insurer will pay the remaining $4,000.

When you buy Comprehensive insurance you will have a choice of deductible to choose from. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket.

Not sure which deductible is right for you? We have put together some tips for understanding your deductible and some tips for choosing the right car insurance deductible for you. 

In the market now? If you want to know the premium you may pay for comprehensive insurance, get an auto insurance quote online, and you can find out in minutes exactly how much a car insurance policy including comprehensive will cost you.

Comprehensive vs. collision

It’s easy to get confused when trying to understand the difference between Comprehensive insurance Collision. Both coverages are designed to repair damages to your car, however, they cover very different events. Collision covers car accidents and comprehensive covers events out of your control. It gets a bit easier to understand if you think of it like this: Collision is for colliding with things and Comprehensive is basically for all the other events. The one thing that disrupts this clarity, however, is accidents with animals. While you do collide with them, this event is covered by comprehensive (and not collision). The reason for this is fairly logical, however. It’s because animal strikes are considered out of your control.

See more on collision insurance.

Should I add comprehensive insurance?

Like the other optional coverages, the choice to buy Comprehensive insurance is going to be determined by your unique needs and circumstances. As you consider your options, consider this, events that lead to claims covered under Comprehensive coverage are not extremely frequent, making the coverage very reasonable to buy. On average, the cost for Comprehensive is only $24 per month. Now, with that said, the things it covers, like theft, arson, hail damage, or falling objects, can be very expensive to repair. So, it seems like a small price to pay for peace of mind.  Here are a few other quick facts that may help you make your decision:

  • If you lease or finance your car, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive.
  • 79% of our policyholders buy this coverage.
  • The most common deductible is $500.

Here are some more questions to consider before you buy

Do you want to pay less for insurance or have coverage for repairs?

Sure, not buying comprehensive coverage may save you an estimated $24 a month. However, if you do have an event that is out of your control that damages your car, you’ll have to pay for your damages 100% out of pocket. These types of losses can be very expensive, if not very frequent.

Can you afford to buy a new car?

If you live in a hail-prone area and you get a good hail storm, your car could easily be totaled. Hail can turn your car into a dimpled mess. Do you have the financial capability to buy another car right now? If you don’t, adding comprehensive for a small monthly amount and a deductible is a better idea.

This is particularly good advice if you have a later model or expensive car.

How likely are you to have a claim?

Will you have a claim? Insurance is all about probabilities, so not buying coverage like comprehensive is a bit like gambling. In this case, you’re betting against nature. You’re betting that events beyond your control simply won’t damage your car.

Consider this, roughly 7% of policyholders with comprehensive coverage have a claim any given year. Will this be you? Without comprehensive, you are essentially nearly 1 in 10 to need this protection. Keep in mind, that repair costs can vary widely based on your damage and how much your car is worth. Typically more expensive cars cost more to repair.

In fairness, the most common comprehensive claims are glass. If you live in Arizona or another desert state, you’re at a higher risk for glass claims as rocks are frequently kicked up by cars and trucks. Glass claims are less expensive but a nuisance.  The second most common claim is Deer Strike accidents, commonly occurring in central/non-coastal states, specifically if you live and drive in a highly wooded area.

Pro Tip

If you don’t add comprehensive, you could be on the hook to pay out of pocket—while the average cost of repairs is estimated at $1,400, that is driven by the many glass claims presented. Other claims like theft, vandalism, and weather-related losses can vary greatly and have much more severe financial payouts.

Let’s Get Started

Auto Insurance Quote

Want to know if you can save on home or auto insurance? See for yourself. Start a quote today.

Start Quote

Call today and speak with a professional insurance agent.


Follow Us!

Share via
Copy link