If you just pay your car insurance premium without much thought to what’s included, you may not be aware of the answer to the question: what is comprehensive auto insurance? But since comprehensive coverage is typically a key portion of your premium, you really should know what it is. Here are some basics on what is comprehensive auto insurance.

  • Comprehensive auto insurance protects you in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, storms and natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, and other non-collision damage. Such non-collision damage even includes that caused by falling objects, animal damage, and broken or shattered windshields.
  • Since vehicle damage is one of the most common auto insurance claims, expect a significant amount of the premium devoted to comprehensive coverage.
  • Comprehensive auto insurance is typically part of standard coverage, but there are many types of coverage and all are priced separately.
  • Comprehensive auto insurance also has a deductible, anywhere from $0 to well over $1,000. Increasing your comprehensive deductible can lower your overall premium.

Keep in mind that every state has different requirements for amounts and types of auto insurance.

Another important point about comprehensive auto insurance is that the maximum amount it pays out is the actual cash value of your vehicle at the time of damage. For an older car with not much cash value – or near the value of your deductible – comprehensive auto insurance may not be the best value proposition. Always remember that you’ll have to pay your deductible for comprehensive auto insurance before the coverage kicks in.

In addition, new cars that are financed are likely to require certain amounts and types of coverage. Your lender may require comprehensive auto insurance (most do).

Bottom line on what is comprehensive auto insurance – Comprehensive auto insurance coverage typically pays for damages on covered costs that aren’t caused by a collision.

For more tips on car insurance, visit our section on car insurance where you can get additional tips and insurance quotes.

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