It’s not just other drivers who have it out for your car. Party poopers like thieves, vandals, fires, floods and fearless animals can ruin your day just as much as a fender bender.
Other types of auto insurance, like collision and liability coverage, don’t protect you from this destructive platter of threats, but comprehensive coverage does.
That being said, you should make sure you and your ride are properly protected. Independent agents are ready to walk you through top options and help you find the right comprehensive coverage to keep you secure.
What Is Comprehensive Coverage?
It’s an optional contract that adds extra protection to a standard car insurance policy. If there’s a wreck, the insurer will help pay to repair or replace your vehicle if the damage wasn’t caused by a collision with another car or object.
It’s also commonly called “other than collision.” However, a collision with an animal would be covered.
Is Comprehensive Coverage Mandatory?
No. Legally, you do need car insurance, but comprehensive coverage is the extra credit of car insurance. It’s great if you have the means, and it can pay off in the long run, but you can get by with less if you have to.
How Do I Know If I Need Comprehensive Coverage?
It depends on how much you love and need your car and whether you can afford to eat the cost if you need to suddenly replace it. Comprehensive will add to your premiums, but it offers extra protection to match, keeping disruptions to your routine (and bank account) to a minimum.
Yes, no and maybe so scenarios:
- Probably not: If you drive a rusted-out beater you bought for $500 cash, comprehensive coverage probably doesn’t make sense, since you’ll pay more in premiums than it would cost you to replace the car.
- Probably yes: If you drive a slick limited-edition sports car, comprehensive coverage shields you from gnarly repair or replacement costs if it’s stolen, scuffed or launched through a plate glass window.
- Probably maybe: There’s also an in-between scenario: Do you drive a mid-range car and need access to it no matter what because of work, kids or other commitments? Then comprehensive coverage is your best friend, because it ensures you’ll be able to afford fast repair or replacement, no matter what.
What Does Comprehensive Coverage Cover?
Basically, it covers everything except collisions with inanimate objects or other vehicles—that’s what collision coverage is for. A typical comprehensive policy will include these types of coverage:
- Theft: Covers replacement if your car gets jacked.
- Vandalism: Covers repairs if your car is the target of graffiti, keying and other nasty pranks.
- Flood: Covers repair and replacement if your car is underwater so your finances don’t have to be.
- Fire: Covers repair and replacement if your car burns up on its own or if it’s damaged by wildfires, house fires, and other red-hot emergencies.
- Severe weather: In case of hail, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
- Animal accidents: Covers repair and replacement if you hit a deer, skunk, cow or another critter.
- Riot: In case your car is the one angry sports fans decide to flip over and jump up and down on.
- Glass breakage: Covers repairs to your windshield and windows in case of damage.
How Much Does Comprehensive Coverage Cost?
There’s no set cost for comprehensive coverage, since your policy and premiums will be personalized for you and your vehicle. The final price tag will be based mainly on these factors:
- Car value: Expensive cars are more expensive to insure because replacement and repair costs are higher. The opposite is true for cheaper vehicles.
- Safety record: One or two fender benders won’t hurt you too much, but major offenses like DUIs will cause your costs to skyrocket.
- Experience and age: The longer you’ve had your license, the less you’re likely to pay. Age is also a factor—most drivers see a big drop-off in costs after age 25.
- Location: Different regions (called "rating territories”) have different risks that affect costs. Drivers in congested cities are likely to pay more for insurance because heavy traffic is a risk factor for accidents, even if you’re a good driver otherwise.
An experienced driver with a perfect safety record and a low- to mid-range vehicle could pay as little as $600 a year for comprehensive coverage. New drivers with bad records, especially those with expensive cars, could pay upwards of $5,000 per year.
The Awesome Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Your car is one of your most important assets. Don’t let mistakes and misunderstandings get between you and the coverage you need. Independent agents simplify the process by comparing insurance quotes for you. They’ll also cut the jargon and clarify the fine print, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Most importantly, they’ll be there to help you and your family in case of an accident. They’re experts at handling claims and helping you maximize the benefits of your insurance.
Finding Comprehensive Coverage Quotes
Instant online insurance quotes are nice, but algorithms are designed for the lowest common denominator and can miss important details. Expert agents do the hard work behind the scenes, so you can enjoy a policy that strikes the perfect balance of meeting your needs and saving you money.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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