What Is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

The name suggests that almost everything is covered by this coverage but insurance is usually not that simple. This coverage is bought to insure automobiles against wide range of damages. Comprehensive car insurance definition is that it is a type of cover included in full coverage policies to pay for most damages to the insured vehicle, except collision.

If you own your vehicle outright you can choose to buy comprehensive coverage or not. Usually lenders and lessees want the vehicle to be insured fully if you have a loan on it or you leased it. Most insurers wouldn’t sell comprehensive auto insurance without liability and collision coverage. Only in certain circumstances, some insurers may allow you to drop collision insurance.

When you are insuring your automobile you want to make sure that you do a good job. That is why you need to ask questions like what is comprehensive car insurance? You certainly want to know what the premium pays for. You are considered to have full coverage insurance when you have liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage protects your car against collisions with another car or object. The rest of the damages that may come to your automobile are covered by comprehensive insurance.

What Does Comprehensive Auto Insurance Cover?

Comprehensive insurance can pay for the repairs to a damaged car or even pay for a similar replacement in case of a total loss due to below perils. Here are some of the wide arrays of vehicle damages that are included in a typical comprehensive automobile insurance coverage.

  1. Stolen Cars and Theft Related Damages
Does car insurance cover theft? Yes, if you have comprehensive coverage your insurer pays for the damages caused by thieves if the vehicle is found. If it isn’t found after about a month your insurer considers it as total loss and pays you the open market value of your automobile.

  2. Vandalism Damages
You can count on your full coverage insurance when vandals damage your vehicle. This usually includes scratches, broken glass and other body damages including paint sprays and smashed bonnet.

  3. Fire Related Damages
Your vehicle may catch fire in various different circumstances including in a house fire when it is garaged. Comprehensive vehicle insurance pays for repairs after a fire or open market of the vehicle if it is a total loss.

  4. Falling Objects
Unfortunate events like falling roof tiles, pots and tree branches can damage a nicely parked automobile. Comprehensive coverage is there to pay for repairs after such events.

  5. Most Natural Disasters
Does car insurance cover storm or flood damage? Yes, wide varieties of natural disasters including tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes are covered if comprehensive coverage is included in your policy. One thing you need to keep in mind that policies may exclude certain disasters when the chance of such event occurring is high but you may be able to include such peril as well by paying extra premium. For example, some insurers may exclude hurricane damages in certain parts of Louisiana because the risks are too high and damages are likely to be large.

  6. Glass Damage
Most glass damages including windscreen replacement is included in this cover. Windscreen replacement is one of the most common claims.

  7. Civil Disturbance
Social unrest or a riot can cause serious damages at times. At least you will be at rest if you have a good policy that covers such damages.

  8. Damages from Hitting an Animal
Does car insurance cover hitting a deer? Yes, if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy it covers hitting a deer or other animals. However, you need to make contact with the animal for it to be a comprehensive cover claim. If you swerve in an attempt to avoid hitting the animal and crash into another object you will need collision coverage in order to be able to claim for your damages.

Do I Need Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Anyone who owns a vehicle worth enough money to raise a financial concern should buy comprehensive coverage and that is almost every vehicle owner. That is probably why around 72% of cars have full coverage in the US. Another reason is probably availability of cheap full coverage car insurance policies in the market. Considering how much coverage is offered, it would be too much risk not to have the protection offered.

Let’s have a look at statistical evidence concerning some of the perils discussed above. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are around 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions every year and this results in over 150 deaths and over $1 billion vehicle damages. According to State Farm, one out of 164 policyholders made a claim resulting from hitting a deer, elk or moose in 2016. And the average cost of a claim is around $4,000. These are the eye opening facts only for one of the covers offered by a full coverage policy.

Let’s carry on a little bit more with the statistics. According to FBI reports, there were 707,758 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide that cost nearly $5 billion in 2015. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a car is stolen somewhere in the US every 45 seconds and only 50% of stolen cars are recovered and returned to their owners.

So, how will buying auto insurance help you? You will certainly sleep better at night if you have comprehensive insurance. And you will understand the real value of your policy if you ever have to make a claim for a stolen, fire, storm, and flood damaged vehicle.

Cost of Comprehensive Car Insurance

How much is full coverage car insurance? There are numbers of factors that affect your rates and that is the same for everyone. Naturally, someone with a better driving record and credit history has a better chance of getting lower rates than you. Also, shopping around for the best prices can save you large sums of money. Let’s leave them aside and look at how the premiums are calculated.

Prices of various types of car insurance coverage are calculated differently. The level of protection affects the premium when you buy liability coverage. The price of a full coverage policy mainly influenced by two factors and they are the actual cash value (ACV) of the insured automobile and deductibles. Actual cash value can be described as the price you would get for it if you were to sell it in the open market today. And you can probably reduce your premium by increasing deductibles. This would mean that you would have to pay more out of pocket if you ever have a claim. So, it is a trade off between lower premium and chance of paying more out of pocket in case of claims.

How much do you pay for car insurance currently and what do you get for it? Looking at all those covers provided by a comprehensive coverage you might think that it may be expensive to have full coverage. However, full coverage vs liability car insurance cost can be reasonably low that it may convince you to update your policy to full coverage. The opposite may be true and you may not see the value of some of the coverage because your car isn’t worth insuring. So, it may be time to have a look at your policy and see if it can be improved.

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