Almost every state requires drivers to have liability coverage to protect anyone they harm, but it’s also important to understand non-mandated insurance options that exist to protect the policyholder or their property. One of these options is comprehensive coverage and, as the name suggests, it covers just about everything not related to a collision.
One of the first things to understand is that comprehensive coverage does not cover collisions. Collisions are covered under a separate policy called “collision coverage” and this is the policy to hold if you want to protect yourself financially in the event of being involved in a collision with an object (building, telephone poll, etc.) or another vehicle.
Understanding that comprehensive coverage does not include collisions, the exact occurrences it does cover are best summed up as natural disasters and criminal acts. Nationwide Insurance offers this list of occurrences covered: “contact with a bird or animal, falling or flying objects, theft or larceny, fire, windstorm, hail, water or flood, malicious mischief or vandalism, riot or civil commotion, breakage of glass and explosion or earthquake.”
This list is exhaustive and fairly representative of comprehensive coverage available from other big-name companies in the insurance industry. In fact, many insurance companies don’t even list all of the occurrences covered by comprehensive coverage on their website because the policy can be used to cover almost any damage incurred to a vehicle except collisions.
It’s also important to understand that comprehensive coverage may cover damage done to vehicles driven by the policyholder and not just those owned by the policyholder. Comprehensive coverage will also cover the loss of certain property within a vehicle due to theft or damages.
Leasing often requires that the vehicle be covered by comprehensive auto insurance as well as collision coverage. The average consumer should also consider this combination because while comprehensive coverage will cover almost every occurrence of damage, it will not cover damage resulting from collisions.
Of course, comprehensive coverage is expensive and a policyholder should consider this before selecting a deductible. There’s no point in choosing a high deductible to save money on monthly payments and then be unable to pay it when the car actually suffers damage.
But if you’re willing to pay the monthly fees and you’re able to afford the deductible when things go wrong, comprehensive coverage is the best way to protect you’re vehicle from the hazards of everyday operation. From animals to riots to larceny, comprehensive coverage can safeguard one of a policyholder’s most valuable assets: their car.
“Insurance Coverage Definitions,” Carinsurance.com
“Collision and Comprehensive Insurance Coverage,” Nationwide.
“What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance,” Superpages.com