What Is Comprehensive Coverage and What Does It Cover?

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What is Comprehensive Coverage

If you own a car, you may wonder what kind of insurance you need to protect yourself and your vehicle in case of an accident. One of the most common types of the car insurance is comprehensive coverage, which pays for the damage to your car caused by events other than collisions, such as theft, fire, vandalism, or hitting an animal. But what exactly is comprehensive coverage, how does it work and why you need it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

Understanding Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an optional car insurance coverage that covers the damage to your car that is not caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Comprehensive coverage covers losses like:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Animal damage
  • Falling objects
  • Glass breakage

Comprehensive coverage does not cover:

  • Damage caused by a collision with another vehicle or object
  • Damage to other vehicles or property
  • Injury to you or your passengers
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Mechanical breakdown

For these types of damages, you may need other types of car insurance, such as collision coverage, liability coverage, medical payments coverage, or personal injury protection coverage.

How Does Comprehensive Coverage Work?

When you purchase comprehensive coverage, you need to choose a deductible and a coverage limit. The deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company pays for the rest of the claim. The coverage limit is the maximum amount of money that the insurance company will pay for a single claim.

For example, if you have a $500 deductible and a $10,000 coverage limit, and your car is damaged by a hailstorm that costs $8,000 to repair, you will have to pay $500 and the insurance company will pay $7,500. However, if your car is damaged by a fire that costs $12,000 to repair, you will have to pay $500 and the insurance company will pay $10,000, which is the coverage limit. You will have to pay the remaining $1,500 out of your own pocket.

To use your Comprehensive Coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of what caused the damage. You do not have to prove fault or liability to receive payment. You may also be entitled to a rental car or a towing service, depending on your policy and the extent of the damage.

Why Do You Need Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is not required by law, but it may be required by your lender or leasing company if you finance or lease your car. They may want to protect their investment in case your car is damaged or stolen.

Even if you own your car outright, you may still want to have comprehensive coverage for the following reasons:

  • Comprehensive coverage can help you pay for repairs or replacement of your car, over your deductible, so you are not stuck with a large bill or no car at all.
  • Comprehensive coverage can protect you from events that are beyond your control, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disasters, which can happen anytime and anywhere.
  • Comprehensive coverage can increase the resale value of your car, as it shows that you have taken good care of it and maintained it well.


Comprehensive coverage is a type of car insurance that covers the damage to your car that is not caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Comprehensive coverage covers losses like theft, vandalism, fire, flood, hail, animal damage, falling objects, and glass breakage. Comprehensive coverage does not cover damage caused by a collision, damage to other vehicles or property, injury to you or your passengers, normal wear and tear, or mechanical breakdown.


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