When you're shopping for auto insurance, there are many different terms and types of coverage to be aware of. The bare minimum coverage you're required to carry can differ from state to state, but most states require some form of liability and property damage insurance. On top of that, you may also have the option to purchase "full-coverage" insurance, which typically includes both comprehensive and collision coverage.
By having a better understanding of what comprehensive coverage is and what it entails, you'll be able to make an informed decision regarding your own insurance policy.
It's Not the Same as Collision Coverage
Because they're often bundled together, it's easy to confuse comprehensive coverage with collision coverage. However, they're quite different in terms of what they cover (and what they don't cover). Essentially, collision coverage is designed to pay for damages to your vehicle caused by an accident where your car strikes another car or object. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, pays for damage to your car caused by other things, such as:
- vandalism or theft
- hail or other adverse weather
- an animal
- a falling object
It Might Be Required By Your Auto Lender
If you're still making payments on your vehicle, your auto lender probably requires that you carry both comprehensive and collision coverage as part of your contract. This is also true if you're leasing your car, so make sure you're aware of and complying with your lender's requirements.
It May Come With a Separate Deductible
Often, the deductible on a comprehensive or collision claim is separate from the deductible on your liability/property damage coverage. Keep this in mind when selecting your coverage and deductible amounts.
It Usually Includes Auto Glass Coverage
A comprehensive insurance policy often includes protection for auto glass damage. This means that if a rock hits your windshield and cracks or chips it while you're driving, this glass repair or replacement should be covered by your insurance. In some cases, you may not even be responsible for paying your deductible for an auto glass claim. When shopping for a comprehensive auto insurance policy, make sure that the quotes you're receiving are for policies with glass coverage.
Having comprehensive coverage in place can give you some much-needed peace of mind and protection not only when you're on the road, but when your vehicle is parked as well. If you aren't carrying this type of coverage, now may be a good time to request a quote from your auto insurance carrier.