When you think about using your auto insurance, you often picture your car mangled and in need of cosmetic and mechanical repair. Once you see crushed body panels and a totaled bumper, it’s hard to look past the car’s exterior to focus on what’s damaged inside the car.
If the accident was bad enough, there’s almost surely going to be a need for interior repairs as well.
Your car insurance will do more than just make your car run again. The purpose of your coverage is to protect you from financial loss when you suffer from covered losses.
That means that your insurer will pay you or a repair shop to get the vehicle back into the condition it was in prior to the loss.
You need to have the right coverage in place to be covered. Compare coverage options and quotes by entering your zip code into our free rate tool above.
Your Insurance Only Pays when You Have Full Coverage
You carry insurance for financial protection. What some people don’t fully comprehensive is that the financial protection that’s afforded under some policies doesn’t necessarily pay for your own car.
You’re not required by law to insure your own car, you’re required to insure your legal liabilities.
One way to keep your premiums low is to purchase solely what’s required by law in your state. While it’s a strategy that will help you maintain lower premiums, it’s also a practice that will leave you at risk.
By having a plan with liability coverage only, you don’t have protection for your own car. With this being said, statistics show that about 73 percent of policyholders have both liability and physical damage coverage on at least one car.
What does full coverage pay for?
Full coverage doesn’t pay for it all.
By the name of the coverage, you’d think that buying full coverage means that your insurer will pay for it all. Instead of paying for all types of expenses and all types of losses, your full coverage strictly pays to repair or replace your car after reasonable and covered losses.
When the term full coverage is used, it’s referred to comprehensive and collision coverage options.
All full coverage policies have at least liability coverage and also these two forms of physical damage coverage. The physical damage coverage will pay for the following:
- vehicle replacement,
- other types of expenses that are incurred after an accident or other incidents
What does comprehensive pay for?
Comprehensive is often called “other than collision” because it pays for financial damages incurred after incidents that don’t involve a crash.
That’s a very broad definition when you’re not entirely familiar with the different types of perils that fall under this definition. Here are some of the perils that are covered:
- Glass and windshield coverage
- Accidents with live animals
- Other damage caused by live animals
- Hail damage and other weather-related damage
- Damage sustained in a flood
- Fire and smoke damage
- Vehicle theft and damage sustained during the theft if the car is recovered
- Damage caused because of acts of vandalism
- Damage caused by falling objects or missiles
What does collision pay for?
Collision pays for much more obvious types of incidents. The basic definition of collision insurance is protection that will pay to repair your vehicle when it strikes an object or when the vehicle is overturned.
While you typically only file a collision claim when you’re at fault, it may kick in if someone without insurance hits you.
Is there a limit to how much your full coverage will pay?
Coverage limits work differently when you file a third-party claim as opposed to a first-party damage claim.
When you file a claim for an accident that you’re liable for and a third-party is paid, it’s clear how much coverage you have because your limits are printed clearly on your documents.
Things aren’t so clear when it’s a claim for your car.
Your policy won’t have a stated limit under your physical damage coverage. That’s because the limit can fluctuate every year or even every month. How much your insurer will pay is dependent on what the market says the car is worth.
Your limit is called the Actual Cash Value of the car. If the cost to repair both the exterior and interior of your car exceeds your car’s ACV, the car is totaled and you’ll get a total loss settlement.
Will your policy pay if your car has smoke damage?
If your car catches fire and you have comprehensive coverage, it’s nice to know that all of the direct fire damage will be covered. If it was put out soon enough and your car has enough value, there’s a chance that your car can be repaired.
You have to consider not just the havoc wreaked by the flames, but also damage caused by smoke.
Since a fire was the source of the smoke and fire losses are covered, you don’t have to worry about a claim for interior smoke damage being declined.
The insurer must pay for the following parts that were damaged by flames and smoke:
- body panels
- mechanical components
- the interior components of the car
Will your policy pay for interior damage caused by an animal?
There’s nothing worse than leaving your windows open overnight to discover a rodent has made your car its home. If your seats are torn up or there is feces everywhere, the damage could be covered under comprehensive coverage.
This is coverage that pays when you hit an animal, and when an animal causes damage to your car while it’s in storage or is parked.
Your insurance will pay for interior damage as long as you have the right coverage. Whether it’s an accident, an animal, or a vandal, your full coverage policy should pay you to make the necessary repairs.
If you don’t have full coverage, use our online rate comparison tool and start comparing premiums today.