What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover? (2023 Guide)

Learn about comprehensive car insurance and why you need it.

While shopping for car insurance, you’re bound to come across confusing terms in both the regular and fine print. One term that is often misunderstood is comprehensive car insurance.

Many people think that comprehensive car insurance is an all-encompassing type of coverage that includes liability, collision, and more. But this is not true. So what exactly does comprehensive car insurance cover? Read on to learn more.

Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and insurance rates. Our warranty experts ranked and reviewed major insurance providers to find the best auto insurance companies and make your shopping experience simpler.

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance is a type of insurance that helps pay to replace or repair your car if it’s stolen or damaged in a non-collision incident that is out of your control. This typically means any damage received during a storm, a fire, or from theft or vandalism. Comprehensive car insurance is usually optional, but you may be required to carry it if your car is financed or leased.

What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?

Regardless of which car you have or the insurance company you choose, comprehensive car insurance plans generally cover the following types of incidents:

  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Fire and explosions
  • Damage from hitting a deer or impacts with other animals
  • Acts of terrorism

Comprehensive Insurance Vs. Collision Insurance

Both comprehensive and collision coverage are types of auto insurance that are generally optional and provide physical protection for your car. But the similarities end there.

Comprehensive Car InsuranceCollision Car Insurance
What’s CoveredThis coverage pays for non-collision damage, including natural disasters and theft.This coverage pays for damages after you crash into another vehicle or fixed object.
Effect on Coverage PremiumComprehensive claims are usually made due to things outside of the driver’s control. As a result, these claims won’t drastically affect your premium.Collision claims are usually made when you are at fault in a car accident. This can affect your premium, as violations and accidents are associated with bad driving habits.

As you can see, comprehensive and collision insurance plans complement one another. That’s why they are often recommended together for a wide range of protection.

How Much Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cost?

According to the most recent auto insurance report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of comprehensive car insurance in 2019 was approximately $172 per year. This cost will vary based on your carrier and your state. For instance, residents of California may pay as low as $97 per year, while those in South Dakota can pay around $348.

Drivers don’t necessarily need to purchase comprehensive car insurance, as it’s not required in any state. Many motorists pick it up, though, because it yields significant savings in the event of a hailstorm, a damaged windshield, or an incident of theft or vandalism.

The best way to determine your rates for comprehensive auto insurance comes by comparing quotes from multiple providers at once. That way, you’ll be able to tell which companies are your top choices for cheap car insurance.

Do You Really Need Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Approximately 79 percent of insured drivers have comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). To help you decide whether to get this coverage or not, here are some questions you should ask yourself.

  • Are you still paying for the vehicle? If your car is financed, you may be required to get comprehensive insurance, along with collision coverage and liability insurance.
  • How old is your car? You won’t need comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is worth less than your insurance deductible combined with annual coverage. Carriers won’t pay out more than your vehicle is worth. If you forgo this insurance, however, make sure to set money aside for the cost of repairs or even a new car.
  • Where do you live? This insurance covers vandalism and theft, which tend to be common in urban areas. The risk of natural disasters is another reason to get this coverage. Floods and tornadoes can easily cause serious damage to your car and even total it if you live in areas prone to them.

Where do you park your vehicle? Your car may be more at risk if you tend to park it on the street instead of in a garage.

Best Companies For Comprehensive Car Insurance

Now that you have a good idea of what comprehensive car insurance covers and whether it’s useful for you, it’s time to look at some providers. While the following features only comprehensive coverage plans and some extras, you can find more information on each provider in our review of the industry’s best car insurance companies. After all, you need more than comprehensive coverage to fully protect your car and yourself.

Comprehensive Car InsuranceCollision Car Insurance
Allstate Auto InsuranceAllstate’s comprehensive car insurance plan covers storms and natural disasters, vandalism and theft, broken/shattered windows and windshields, and damage caused by animals or falling objects. Deductibles for this insurance range from $0 to $1,000. To determine how much you will pay, your vehicle’s actual cash value will be taken into consideration.There are a few advantages to choosing Allstate, including local agents to guide you and provide personalized policy recommendations. The company also offers a Claim Satisfaction Guarantee to make claims quick and hassle free. Moreover, you can enjoy numerous add-ons like deductible rewards and new car replacement.
Erie Auto InsuranceOne of the oldest auto insurers on the list, Erie provides a good comprehensive car insurance policy that covers vandalism, storms, falling objects, animal-related damage, and windshield cracks and chips. Different forms of theft are also included in this policy, including car break-ins and stolen cars.In some states, basic car rental coverage is automatically included with your comprehensive car insurance. You may even receive coverage for items stolen from your vehicle. Make sure to check the fine print of your policy or call your agent to find out if this applies to you.
Farmers Auto InsuranceFarmers comprehensive insurance is quite standard. It covers theft, vandalism, fire, weather-related events, and accidents involving animals. Your insurance rates will be determined by the type of vehicle and loss history. For instance, your premium will factor in the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, and how often similar makes were stolen.One of the biggest advantages of both comprehensive and collision coverage from this insurer is coverage for up to $1,000 for special features added to the vehicle, such as custom rims. You can also include the optional glass buyback coverage to reduce the insurance deductible for repairable glass damage due to bad weather or hitting an animal.
Geico Auto InsuranceLike Farmers, Geico offers fairly standard comprehensive car insurance, including theft, vandalism, fire, and floods, among other losses The insurer recommends selecting a higher deductible if you wish to lower your premium. Just remember to take into consideration your vehicle’s age and the value of your car.With Geico, you can easily apply for an insurance plan online or over the phone. If you do so on the website, you can get a comprehensive quote that includes collision or comprehensive coverage premiums and possible discounts. Geico also offers automated bill pay and claims filing, which is why it often scores highly when it comes to digital experience.
Liberty Mutual Auto InsuranceLiberty Mutual offers standard comprehensive insurance. It protects you from out-of-pocket costs, after meeting your deductible, if your vehicle is damaged in a non-collision event.Customers can quickly update their policies online to include this coverage. All they need to do is to simply log into their accounts and follow the enrollment steps.

How Do You File A Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?

Filing comprehensive car insurance claims is fairly simple. Depending on your carrier, however, the follow-up may require your time and more management. You’ll need to stay in touch with the insurance company’s representative or agent until you receive your insurance check or your car is repaired.

Unless your vehicle was the victim of a natural disaster or similar mishap, you’ll first need to get a police report. You should provide that along with any other documents your insurer requires while filing a claim.

A claims adjuster will then be assigned to your case. They’ll assess the car and your paperwork before approving or denying your claim. If your claim is denied and you believe the decision was wrong, you can contact the insurance company or agent for dispute assistance. If approved, you’ll be reimbursed, or your insurer will directly pay the repair shop.

Get Quotes For Comprehensive Car Insurance

Now that we’ve covered comprehensive car insurance, you can make a decision on whether or not you need coverage for your vehicle. Keep in mind, though, that there is more to an auto insurance policy than one type of coverage. You want to make sure you and your vehicle are protected in any situation.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: Conclusion

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance provides reimbursement for things like hailstorms and other natural disasters, along with damage from being vandalized or stolen. It does not cover things like medical payments or property damage from a collision with another vehicle.

What is the benefit of comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage handles repairs for things outside of collisions with other vehicles, like falling objects. Data from the III shows comprehensive car insurance rates are some of the most affordable when it comes to optional coverage. If you’re financing a vehicle, a lender will likely require you to add collision and comprehensive policies to your car insurance coverage.

Is comprehensive car insurance full coverage?

Comprehensive policies are part of full insurance coverage, in addition to collision and liability coverage. If you want your vehicle insured for a variety of situations, you need multiple types of coverage.

What is not covered in comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive auto insurance won’t cover damages caused by collisions, as that’s what collision coverage is meant for. It also doesn’t cover damages to other people’s vehicles, which is the purpose of property damage liability insurance. Medical payments coverage or personal injury protection cover injuries from auto accidents.

What is a good comprehensive deductible?

A good deductible for comprehensive car insurance is $500 or lower. Damages are typically cheaper with comprehensive insurance coverage, so you’ll end up paying for a significant amount of your repairs if you choose a higher deductible amount.

Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
  • Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.