Comprehensive coverage covers vehicle damage by animals, theft, hail, and glass breakage. If you’re currently leasing or financing your vehicle, your lender will typically require this. It’s important to note that this coverage is optional once your vehicle is paid off. The insurance company will replace or repair your vehicle if you have this coverage and it’s damaged by an animal or force of nature.
By understanding comprehensive coverage, you can decide whether you should add this feature to your plan or not.
Note that this doesn’t cover a collision with an object or another vehicle. However, if you have a full coverage auto insurance policy it will include both collision and comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage typically covers:
- Weather-related incidents such as hail damage
- Hitting an animal
- Broken windows and windshields
- Falling objects such as trees
It’s important to note that normal wear and tear doesn’t fall under comprehensive coverage. For instance, if you want to upgrade your car or it requires new brake pads or tires, it won’t be covered.
When Should I File a Claim?
Before filling a claim, you should consider the actual amount of damage done to your vehicle. If the cost to fix your vehicle falls below the deductible amount, you can’t file a claim. Also, if the cost is slightly above the deductible amount, it may not be worth filing one. Doing so can increase your chances that your premium goes up during renewal.
If you do decide to file a claim you should:
- Contact your agent and inform them of your situation.
- Submit documents such as reports, videos, or pictures that support your claim.
- Your insurance provider may ask you to get an estimate on the damages from a local repair shop.
The amount of time you have to submit a claim may vary depending on your state. Therefore, it would be best to confirm these details with your insurance provider.
Why Do I Need Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage is slightly different than liability insurance, it isn’t required by the state. Again, if you finance or lease your vehicle your lender may require it. For those of you where it’s optional, you may find having this coverage as beneficial. This coverage will reduce your out of pocket expense if your vehicle experiences one of the above damages.
Fortunately, comprehensive coverage isn’t expensive when compared to other coverages. The average cost is about $168 per year. This may be worth it to protect your vehicle from unexpected damages.
Many people mix up collision and comprehensive coverage because they both protect vehicles when they’re damaged. However, the cause of the damage is different for both. Collision includes damage from colliding with another vehicle or object. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage includes physical damage from acts of nature, animals, etc.