Comprehensive insurance coverage helps pay to fix damage to your car, or possibly replace it, if there are damages from an incident that wasn’t a car accident.
What is comprehensive car insurance?
Comprehensive insurance protects you against a lot of things that don’t involve crashing into another vehicle; it’s designed to cover things that are out of human control. Comprehensive insurance means your insurance company may cover things like damage to your car from natural disasters.
Your comprehensive coverage can also have your back if your car is damaged from fire, vandalism, theft, or a falling object (like a tree or a branch), and if you hit a deer or other animal that damages your car.
So, wait, what does a “full coverage” policy mean?
First we need to take a step back. Comprehensive insurance, collision coverage, and liability insurance are easy to mix up. Let’s do a quick review.
Simply put, collision insurance covers damage to your car from an accident. Liability insurance, on the other hand, covers damage you caused to another vehicle. Most states only require you to carry liability insurance—but a well-protected driver is likely going to want more than the minimum.
A policy that includes comprehensive insurance is sometimes called a “full coverage” policy. On a Lemonade Car policy, “full coverage” refers to a policy that includes bodily injury, property damage, temporary transportation coverage, extended glass coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. It’s basically the Cadillac of car insurances. Keep in mind that deductibles will apply, and you’ll only be covered up to the liability limits you set.
What does comprehensive car insurance cover?
Comprehensive insurance covers the kinds of things you never expect to happen to you, but actually happen all the time. Check your specific policy for any exclusions, but comprehensive coverage usually includes:
- Vandalism—like when you get in an altercation in a parking lot and some nice gentleman decides to key your car. Or a creative young artist decides to spray paint her name across your hood. Or a thief damages your vehicle will breaking into it to steal the guitar in your backseat. One note on that last example: If someone breaks into your car, comprehensive insurance covers damage to the car itself, but not theft or damage to your things inside. So that guitar may be covered by renters’ or homeowners’ insurance. (BTW, you can bundle these at Lemonade and get 10% off each policy.)
- If your car is stolen, comprehensive insurance would cover that as well, so you may be paid out the actual cash value of the car if it can’t be recovered.
- If you hit a deer, or some other animal, the collision damage will be covered by your comprehensive policy.
- Ever been caught in a hail storm? It ain’t fun. Serious hail storms can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle, but that’s covered under your comprehensive policy.
- Hail isn’t the only climate event covered. Flooding, as well as other natural disasters, are usually covered by your insurer as well.
- If your car is hit by a falling object, like a tree, that can also be covered by comprehensive insurance.
Do I need comprehensive coverage?
In most cases, it’s up to you. This will be optional coverage that you’ll have in addition to your liability and collision coverage on your car insurance.
You might not be legally required to have comprehensive insurance, but the question of whether or not you need it depends on you and the amount of financial protection you believe you need. Don’t forget that if you lease or take out a loan on your car, your lender or leasing company will likely require that you get comprehensive coverage.
If you can’t afford a major repair, you’ll definitely want to have comprehensive coverage for your car.
Is there a comprehensive deductible if an insurance claim is filed?
If your car got damaged during a natural disaster, or in any of the awful or unfortunate scenarios described above, the last thing you want to think about is whether you have the money to cover your comprehensive deductible.
If you are in a state that offers a zero dollar insurance deductible amount for comprehensive coverage, you won’t have anything to worry about in the event of a so-called “act of god.” Your insurer will either fix your car, or offer you a payout for the value of your car, without any out-of-pocket expenses on your end.
How much does comprehensive coverage cost?
Your comprehensive coverage likely won’t cost as much as collision coverage or liability insurance. But keep in mind—if you don’t live in a state that has zero deductible rules for comprehensive coverage—that the deductible level you choose will make an impact on your monthly premium. As a general rule, you are charged relative to the level of financial responsibility you take. A higher deductible means you have greater responsibility for your losses.