Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 15, 2021

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Comprehensive coverage is somewhat of a mystery to many purchasers of car insurance. If you are in the market for a policy, start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below! To understand it, you need to have a good idea of the coverage purchased in the basic automobile insurance policy.

Basic Auto Insurance Policy

The coverage sold in the basic automobile insurance policy is as follows. A separate premium is charged for each of these coverages:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: Applies to injuries that you, as the policyholder, cause to someone else. This coverage is provided for you and your family members when driving another car with the owner’s permission.
  • Property Damage Liability: Applies to damage you, or an individual driving the car with your permission, cause to the property belonging to someone else. This applies not only to damage to other vehicles but also to property such as fences, utility poles, or buildings that you may damage with your car.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: This pays for the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the car. This coverage is sometimes expressed as PIP or Personal Injury Protection. States that require no-fault coverage refer to it as PIP and have particular limits required.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Reimburses you for damage to your automobile due to theft, fire, vandalism, weather damage, including flood, falling objects, animal damage, and glass. If you lease or have a lien on the automobile, you may be required to purchase comprehensive coverage to provide reimbursement for these damages. A deductible applies to this type of exposure.
  • Collision Coverage: This pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another car, object, or because of flipping over. Pothole damage is covered, also. Even if the accident is the fault of another person, collision will reimburse you for damage. The deductible is removed from the settlement.
  • Gap coverage: You may want to purchase gap coverage if you are leasing an automobile or have a lien on it. When involved in an accident, the reimbursement for repairs often will not cover the gap between the cost of repair and the vehicle’s actual value. Gap coverage can be purchased to fill that gap and prevent additional costs.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage: Pays for bodily injury for you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Hit and run accidents are covered under this, too.

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Why Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive pays for damages that you may not have considered to your vehicle. For example, if the car is totaled, comprehensive will pay for the damage to the car at current market value. The contents of the car, however, are not covered under comprehensive. Things that are covered include:

  • Vandalism
  • Broken glass
  • Damaged exterior or damaged trim
  • Theft
  • Hail
  • Flood damage
  • Electrical fire

Saving Money on Comprehensive Insurance

Judge carefully the amount of deductible you can afford to apply on comprehensive insurance. The deductible amount is removed from the payment of claims for this. Higher deductibles can save money on the premiums for both comprehensive and collision insurance. Be sure that the amount of the deductible is one you can afford.

Obtaining Reasonably Priced Insurance

The best way of obtaining the best deal on insurance is to acquire several quotes on the coverage you desire. Then, either go on the Internet to find companies that will give you an online quote or contact a company representing multiple insurance companies for estimates of what your insurance will cost.

If your vehicle is paid for and low value, consider not purchasing comprehensive and collision insurance. It means you will have to pay for damages to your car, so weigh the cost of premiums vs. cost of repair.

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Places to Look for Information on Insurance

There are many places with advice on insurance that will help you determine coverage and companies. Some of these are:

  • Your state’s insurance department – for licensing information, suggested liability limits, and insurance companies’ reliability.
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s site for consumer information

Comprehensive insurance gives excellent value for the cost of premiums. Usually, insurance companies will not sell it without its companion, collision insurance. As long as you recognize that comprehensive will not provide normal wear and tear damage to your car, you’ll be pleased with the coverage. However, before making a final decision, use a comparison tool to shop around. Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below!