There’s a lot of different types of car insurance coverage to choose from, and even the most experienced drivers find themselves glossing over terms and signing dotted lines just to make sure they meet their states’ insurance requirements. Understanding the role of comprehensive coverage can help you protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle in a variety of circumstances.
What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?
In the simplest terms, comprehensive auto insurance covers everything that isn’t related to a collision. In most states, comprehensive coverage isn’t required, so people with bare-bones policies are often horrified to discover a broken windshield, slashed tires, or broken headlights aren’t covered. Accidents happen, and comprehensive coverage gives drivers security against all the unexpected incidents that affect drivers.
What Does Comprehensive Coverage Do?
Every car insurance company is different, which means one comprehensive coverage policy may automatically include certain types of coverage that another policy considers add-ons. There are different options with comprehensive coverage that make it easy to pick and choose what’s most relevant for you.
Comprehensive coverage doesn’t cover any damages that result from a collision involving another vehicle, and it won’t cover medical expenses under any circumstances. In its most basic form, a good comprehensive car insurance policy will offer compensation that covers damages caused by animals, weather, and theft/vandalism. Typically, a comprehensive policy will also cover damages from fire, falling objects (e.g., a tree falling during a storm, a telephone pole breaking, or something flying off your neighbor’s roof) and civil disturbances (e.g. broken glass from riots or protests). Because of this, comprehensive coverage should be considered an optional necessity, meaning you don’t really want to drive without it even though you aren’t legally required to purchase it.
How Much Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cost?
Every car is different, and a driver’s personal history, credit score, location, and other factors influence his or her insurance premium. However, it’s more important to consider the size of the deductible included with a comprehensive policy so you can understand how much you could save if you buy one.
If you purchase a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, that means you’ll be required to pay $500 out of pocket before your insurance provider will take care of the rest. This may seem like a lot to have to pay on your own, but consider how much car repairs can cost. If your vehicle is nearly destroyed in a fire or storm, paying $500 to receive thousands in compensation is a great deal.
There’s a maximum on comprehensive policies, though. The maximum is the highest amount your insurance provider will pay for damages. Usually, this maximum is the actual cash value of your car, which means those who have newer vehicles will benefit more than those whose cars date back 10 years or more.
Before you buy, shop around and compare comprehensive policies from different companies. Consider your needs and your risks based on your location, and determine what level of comprehensive coverage will give you greater peace of mind behind the wheel.
Drivers who are searching for reliable, affordable auto insurance should reach out to the experienced professionals at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto coverage, we offer a variety of insurance products, including motorcycle, business, and homeowners insurance. San Diego residents should call one of our friendly agents today at 619-474-6666 for a free quote.