What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

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Due to the inherent dangers of commuting, every driver has to have car insurance. It’s required by law. But, this doesn’t mean sufficiently covering yourself and your vehicle is a simple task.

There are several types of auto insurance. In every state except New Hampshire, you need auto liability insurance to legally drive your vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance is optional, but most drivers choose to have it anyway. Let’s take a look at what comprehensive car insurance is, what it covers, and why you might need it.

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance covers your vehicle from damage due to occurrences other than accidents with other cars or a rollover. While a crash might be the first thing you think of when you consider the ways to damage your vehicle, it’s far from the only one. Comprehensive car insurance covers these other ways.

What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive insurance will likely cover damage to your car in the following instances:

Your comprehensive coverage should kick in after any of these scenarios after you pay your deductible. When choosing comprehensive insurance, you choose the deductible amount you want to pay. The general rule of thumb is the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payment.

If you choose to go this route, know that if you incur damage in one of the above ways and it doesn’t exceed your deductible amount, your insurer won’t reimburse you. To save money on your premium with a high deductible, expect to pay more out of pocket.

Do I Need Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive insurance entails many aspects of protection. We often use our cars every day, so it seems like a wise investment to protect it as best as you can with comprehensive car insurance. 

Indeed, most people do. Even though it’s optional, 78% of drivers purchase comprehensive car coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. There are a few specific scenarios where it could especially come in handy, though.

Your location could influence your need for comprehensive insurance. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, comprehensive auto coverage could be very useful to financially protect your car from high winds, rain and debris.

It would be tragic to be in your home waiting out a storm while seeing your vehicle take a beating outside from the elements and knowing you don’t have coverage for it.

Also, living in a place with high rates of car theft could call for comprehensive insurance. It’s the only way to be reimbursed by your insurance company if it gets stolen.

If you’ve got a particularly expensive car, it’d probably be wise to get comprehensive insurance. It may make you a more likely target for theft or vandalism. If you’ve invested a significant amount of money into your vehicle, you probably want to safeguard it sufficiently so you have it as long as possible. 

Also, if you’re leasing or financing a car, your lender will most likely require you to get comprehensive coverage so their investment is protected.

Comprehensive Car Insurance Explained

We mentioned that there are a few different types of car insurance. We went over comprehensive, but let’s briefly shed light on the other ones to avoid confusion.

Liability insurance is the one all drivers are required to have. If you’re found to be at fault in a car accident, your liability insurance steps up to pay for the damages to the other party’s vehicle and their medical bills.

Collision insurance is another optional, but very common, type of coverage. Collision insurance pays for the damages to your own car after an accident, regardless if you were at fault or not. This would also be useful in one-car crashes involving just you crashing into something and not someone else.

You may also hear the term “full coverage”, but it’s not a specific type of insurance. When people talk about full coverage, they’re usually referring to comprehensive and collision insurance together, which would be the ultimate way to protect your car. Having both is common, and they’re often purchased in conjunction.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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