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Comprehensive Car Insurance Coverage

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Illustration of a blue car on top of sheet of paper with an auto insurance policy

What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage?

Comprehensive car coverage protects you against losses caused by covered events not related to a collision. These events often include storm damage and natural disasters, such as a tornado or a hurricane, falling objects such as a tree branch, theft, fire, vandalism, or animal damage.

With this type of auto policy, the maximum compensation you would receive if your car is stolen or totaled is the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle, minus the deductible.

If your car is financed, you most likely already have coverage under the umbrella of a full coverage car insurance policy required by your lender. This also includes collision and liability. Once you have paid it off, it becomes an optional coverage.

Some insurers request that you purchase collision and comprehensive together. You can find it separately though and that is one good reason to do some comparison shopping.

When people hear the word “comprehensive,” they might think they will be compensated for everything, but that is not the case. This type of policy protects you against property damage that is the result of covered risks not related to a car wreck.

Freeway agents are skilled at taking your general information and finding car insurance quotes from multiple companies so you have affordable options that meet your needs.

Is Comprehensive Coverage the Same as Full?

It is considered part of full coverage. There really isn’t such a thing as a full coverage policy. That simply means a package of different protections. In most cases, that includes comprehensive, but can include other insurance products such as uninsured driver, repairs and medical bill payments, some of which are optional coverages.

How Much Will Comprehensive Insurance Pay Me?

If your car is stolen or totaled, your insurer will pay you the actual cash value (ACV), minus your deductible. Your insurer will use different factors to arrive at an ACV figure, but you can estimate it at a Blue Book site. If your information is wildly different from your insurer’s estimate, you can contest it.

This type of coverage doesn’t have a limit. It pays for property damage up to and including the total cost to replace your vehicle if it is a total loss and you file a claim.

How Much Does It Cost?

The average cost is around $160 per year. Of course, that will go up based on the value of your car. If it’s an expensive car to replace, your premium will be more than someone who drives a basic Toyota.

How Do I Decide What My Coverage and Deductible Should Be?

As with most of your products, you will decide what your deductible should be. Your deductible is the amount of money you will need to pay toward repairs and costs resulting from a covered event before your insurer kicks in their part. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Just make sure you can afford to pay it before you commit.

Your coverage limit is the ACV of your car. If your ride is declared a total loss, your compensation would be the ACV (depreciated value), minus your deductible.

Will this be enough to purchase a replacement vehicle? Most likely not completely – but it will be a nice down payment.

Keep in mind that these amounts are separate from your collision amounts, even if you purchase the two together in one package.

Does It Cover Car Accidents?

If the crash involves something like hitting an animal, then yes. That would be covered. However, if you miss the deer but hit a tree in the process, then that would be covered under collision coverage, not comprehensive.

Your comprehensive policy does not cover any claim that results from a car accident with another vehicle. For your information, it also will not cover any claim for somebody else’s vehicle.

What If I Wreck in a No-Fault State?

Your state-required liability is what comes into play in a no-fault state. If you have liability in a no-fault state, then your insurance takes care of your damage. However, with full coverage it doesn’t matter who is at fault. It kicks in to help pay for repairs regardless of who is at fault.

State law determines whether you are a driver in an at-fault or no-fault state. In instances where you live in an at-fault state, the provider for the driver at fault for a crash must pay for the others injuries and damages. In a no-fault state, providers pay for your repairs and medical costs, while the other drivers’ provider pays for their costs. In many instances, state law requires drivers to be assessed a percentage of fault, so you may end up paying for 30% of damages.

Do I Need Comprehensive Coverage?

Since this type of policy covers a wide variety of events, most beyond your control, it’s probably not a bad idea to get it, depending on what your automobile is worth. Once you establish your car’s rough ACV, subtract your deductible and then subtract the six-month premium. If the resulting number is a fairly large positive number, it makes sense to continue paying for extended protection.

For example, say you’ve got a 2020 Toyota Camry SE Sedan 4D with 75,000 miles on it in “very good” condition. The current car’s value is $20,000. You’ve chosen a $1,000 deductible on your plan. Subtracting your deductible from the Blue Book value gives you $19,000. Subtracting the six-month premium of $80 gives you $18,920 – a very high positive. Unless you can come up with that much money if necessary, it’s a good idea.

Now, let’s say you have a 2002 Toyota Camry SE Sedan 4D with 150,000 miles on it in good condition. Your trade-in value here is $1,800. Subtract your deductible of $1,000 and you’re at $800. Subtract your 6-month premium of $80 and you arrive at $720. It’s still a positive but you have to ask yourself if spending and average cost of $160 a year on an auto policy is going to give you any great value, when the most you can expect the insurer to pay you is somewhere around $800 – if something covered happens.

If the repairs exceed its ACV, your carrier is going to declare it a total loss.

What Does It Cover and Not Cover?

It covers pretty much anything that damages your vehicle outside of a wreck. That includes Mother Nature in the form of flood, hail, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire and more. An example is if something falls on it, like a tree branch, it’s covered. Did it get stolen? Covered. Vandalized? Covered.

Damage to your vehicle that isn’t covered is damage from a car wreck. Other things that are not covered include routine maintenance such as belts and hoses, brakes, tires and windshield wipers. Here’s a handy table to further illustrate what is and isn’t covered.

Incident Covers
Theft Yes
Vandalism Yes
Fire Yes
Natural Disasters (hurricane, tornado) Yes
Falling Objects Yes
Animal Damage Yes
Civil Disturbance (riot) Yes
Collision No
Another Person’s Vehicle No
Medical Expenses No

Don’t forget that there are other optional products that you can choose for some of these events, such as 24/7 roadside assistance, windshield repair, tire hazard protection plans and more.

This insurance can be used for any legitimate claim, regardless of who is at fault.

What is the Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Car Coverage?

Comprehensive car coverage compensates owners for things that happen when they are not behind the wheel and collision provides financial compensation to help pay for repair costs when a driver is involved in an crash. The only exception is if a driver hits an animal, such as a deer. That would be covered under this policy.

Find Affordable Car Insurance Quotes Online Today

At Freeway, we can help you make sense of the choices you have in car insurance. Contact us today for a fast and easy car insurance quote online, reach out by calling us at 800-777-5620 or stop by one of our convenient locations.

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