Comprehensive Car Insurance (The Ultimate Guide)

Comprehensive car insurance is included in full coverage and covers non-collision damages like fires, theft, or floods. The average comprehensive car insurance rates are $148.04/month.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Table of Contents

Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Comprehensive coverage is included in full coverage, but the two are not the same thing
  • You should carry comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is new
  • State laws do not require you to carry comprehensive insurance but many lenders do
  • On average, comprehensive car insurance rates are $1,776.48/yr or $148.04/mo

Comprehensive car insurance can easily be misunderstood to mean coverage for everything, especially when you consider that according to Webster’s dictionary, “comprehensive” means covering completely or broadly.

When we’re talking about car insurance, however, comprehensive coverage provides a specific type of protection, and is included in, but is not synonymous with, “full coverage.”

So what exactly is comprehensive car insurance? What isn’t it? Perhaps most importantly, what options do you, the consumer, have?

We’ll cover all this, and more!

Once you know what you need as far as car insurance goes, you can compare quotes for free right here. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

In this article we will give you everything you need to know about comprehensive car insurance and the average cost for various types of coverage.

Table of Contents

Comprehensive Car Insurance Explained

Comprehensive car insurance is a type of coverage that provides financial protection for specific damage. It covers your own vehicle after non-collision damage.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive covers pretty much all accidental damage to your vehicle that’s not related to collisions. It covers the damage done to your own car only.

  • A tree or a limb falling onto your car
  • Rodents destroying your interior or wiring
  • Hail damage
  • Tornado damage
  • Flood damage
  • Hurricane damage
  • Other natural disasters
  • Fire damage
  • Hitting a deer, dog, or other animals
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Riot Damage
  • Cracked windshields
  • Water leaks (from rain, flooding, and more)
  • And more!

Without comprehensive car insurance, your car is not covered for any of the above-listed events.

What does comprehensive insurance NOT cover?

  • Collisions with another vehicle
  • Maintenance issues and wear and tear
  • Roadside assistance and towing
  • Mechanical difficulties or breakdowns unless it is the result of an event that is insurable
  • Medical expenses for you or passengers
  • Loss of income for you or passengers
  • Legal fees for you or passengers

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How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

Like any coverage, there are many variables that affect your coverage options, but we’ve collected the average annual premium for every state. Here are the highlights:

The Top 10 Cheapest States

  • Oregon – $89.66
  • Maine – $96.66
  • California – $99.29
  • Hawaii – $100.09
  • New Hampshire – $103.03
  • Washington – $104.11
  • Utah – $106.57
  • Florida – $110.12
  • Idaho – $110.78
  • Ohio – $112.74

The Top 10 Most Expensive States

  • West Virginia – $195.04
  • Montana – $199.87
  • Oklahoma – $201.56
  • Nebraska – $206.24
  • Louisiana – $208.59
  • Wyoming – $222.86
  • Kansas – $225.34
  • North Dakota – $227.64
  • South Dakota – $228.59
  • District of Columbia – $230.25

Overall Comprehensive Losses (Claims and Vehicles, 2015–2017 Model Years)

The loss rate may not seem interesting to some consumers, but it is important because higher loss rates get passed on to a consumer as higher premiums. Carefully consider your vehicle and the type of claim you make and if the claim is worth the possible increase in premium.

Below you’ll see how much each type of claim and vehicle type cost the insurer:

Overall Comprehensive Losses
(Claims and Vehicles,
2015–2017 Model Years)
Two-door cars – micro-$8.64$43.59$55.17
Two-door cars – mini$4.29$16.49$94.03$114.80
Two-door cars – small$7.64$12.17$120.77$140.58
Two-door cars – midsize$13.52$12.62$124.90$151.04
Two-door cars – large$42.64$8.17$192.12$242.92
Four-door cars – micro$7.16$7.35$125.18$139.70
Four-door cars – mini$5.74$8.70$95.06$109.50
Four-door cars – small$7.05$11.11$106.98$125.14
Four-door cars – midsize$12.07$12.39$115.13$139.60
Four-door cars – large$22.66$13.23$152.52$188.41
Station wagons – mini$4.75$7.62$87.19$99.56
Station wagons – small$5.51$15.38$97.27$118.16
Station wagons – midsize$4.57$31.97$89.01$125.56
Station wagons – large$5.34$20.07$122.61$148.02
Station wagons – very large$6.58$16.59$92.81$115.98
Sports cars – mini$1.77$17.26$105.62$124.65
Sports cars – small$10.76$18.77$146.01$175.54
Sports cars – midsize$18.39$17.18$152.83$188.39
Sports cars – large$28.76$13.70$157.76$200.23
Luxury cars – small$3.62$28.99$104.24$136.85
Luxury cars – midsize$11.38$25.09$160.42$196.90
Luxury cars – large$16.50$34.07$198.83$249.40
Luxury cars – very large$37.46$94.72$303.32$435.50
Pickups – small$9.19$15.16$88.43$112.79
Pickups – large$18.23$14.16$113.14$145.53
Pickups – very large$35.36$11.97$130.15$177.48
SUVs – mini$4.80$10.34$92.56$107.70
SUVs – small$6.04$17.09$86.34$109.47
SUVs – midsize$9.18$18.77$91.46$119.42
SUVs – large$10.31$15.61$102.12$128.05
SUVs – very large$15.59$22.91$119.54$158.04
Luxury SUVs – small$6.38$18.14$101.39$125.91
Luxury SUVs – midsize$8.30$30.38$114.23$152.91
Luxury SUVs – large$29.41$49.73$154.08$233.23
Luxury SUVs – very large$20.52$24.25$127.94$172.72
Vans – midsize$3.04$18.03$111.02$132.09
Vans – large-$21.24$122.50$159.80
Vans – very large$11.66$19.39$115.47$146.52
Source: Highway Loss Data Institute
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Liability Versus Comprehensive — Coverage Compared

Liability coverage is required in almost every state. If you drive a car, you absolutely must have liability coverage to avoid breaking the law.

Each state makes its own laws regarding car insurance. Required coverage amounts are usually written in the following format with the numbers differing according to the requirements: 25/50/25. What this represents is:

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury – The maximum payment per person injured in an accident for which you are at fault
  • $50,000 Total Bodily Injury – The maximum total payment per accident for which you are at fault
  • $25,000 Property Damage – The maximum payment for property damage per accident you cause to another party

Liability coverage only provides protection for damage you cause to another party. It will not reimburse you for any of your own losses.

If you want your own vehicle to be covered, you’ll have to get first party car insurance protection, such as comprehensive and collision coverages.

Comprehensive will reimburse you for damage your car sustains from non-collision events like natural disasters, hail, vandalism, theft and more.

Comprehensive coverage insurance will not pay for damages done to another party.

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What is the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance coverage?

Collision and Comprehensive coverages do not overlap. There are similarities between them, but the coverages they offer are distinct.

Comprehensive vs Collision Car Insurance Coverage
Subjects for comparisonComprehensiveCollision
Collision with an animalCoveredNot covered
Coverage limitVehicle valueVehicle value
Damage to another vehicleNot coveredNot covered
DeductibleTypically, yesTypically, yes
Fire damageCoveredNot covered
Medical costsNot covered Not covered
RequirementOnly required if vehicle is leased or financedOnly required if vehicle is leased or financed
Single-car accidentNot coveredCovered
VandalismCoveredNot covered
Vehicle damage after a collision with non-vehicle propertyNot coveredCovered
Vehicle damage after an at-fault accident with another vehicleNot coveredCovered
Weather damage (hail, fallen tree limbs, tornadoes, etc.)CoveredNot covered
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Comprehensive Versus Full Coverage — What Are the Facts?

There’s no coverage specifically called “full coverage.” However, in common usage, many people refer to full coverage as a policy that includes basic liability, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage.

Full Coverage Explained

  • Basic liability covers the other driver in the case of an incident
  • Collision coverage will pay for your damages after you cause a collision
  • Comprehensive covers your damages after non-accident events

Comprehensive and collision car insurances are usually packaged together, but they can also be bought separately.

If comprehensive coverage is warranted for your vehicle (see below for guidance on whether comprehensive coverage is a smart financial move for your situation), collision coverage is probably warranted as well.

While comprehensive car insurance covers non-collision incidents, collision and liability cover accident-related incidents.

There are few circumstances where it would be a smart move to only purchase comprehensive coverage as opposed to full coverage.

Should you buy comprehensive? Find out below…

Who should buy comprehensive insurance?

You need full comprehensive car insurance anytime you want to protect the investment you have in your car. Comprehensive car insurance can be great to have and might save you a lot of money should your car be severely damaged by a covered event.

Although it is a good idea to have it in many situations, it is not necessary for everyone.

Leasing a Vehicle

If you are leasing a vehicle or have your car financed, your lender will almost always require you to carry comprehensive coverage. They need assurance that their financial risk is secure and that they will be paid back even if you can’t continue driving the vehicle due to damage.

Vehicle Purchased With Loan

If you have purchased a new car and had to take a loan out for it, your lender will probably require that you have full coverage which includes comprehensive. If you leased a new car, the company that leased it to you will also more than likely require you to show proof of full coverage.

New Car Purchased Outright

Even if you paid cash for a new, or fairly new, car, it would be a good idea to have full coverage car insurance.

If your car is damaged or declared a total loss after a non-accident-related event, and you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you will experience the full impact of the loss.

If your car is old and not valuable, that loss may be something you can financially handle. If your car is valuable, you may not be able to easily recover.

Important Considerations

One way to help you decide whether or not to continue your comprehensive coverage policy is to figure out how much your deductible is, as well as the amount you pay for your coverage. Next, look up the cash value of your car. You can find this in Kelly’s Blue Book.

Most experts agree that if the annual cost for full coverage is 10 percent or more of your vehicle’s value, the cost isn’t worth the protection. Now, full coverage will cost more than comprehensive alone. You will have to weigh the costs with the benefits to decide if it’s a good choice for you.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is least necessary when your car is of little value.

A better way to protect yourself against damage expenses when your car has little monetary value is to open a separate savings account for your car.

If you decide to cancel your full coverage policy, take the money that you were paying your insurance company and put it into your account instead. This way, if you are in an accident, you will have some money available to help pay for it.

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Comprehensive Deductibles and Limits

To figure out if you really need comprehensive insurance, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to pay less for insurance or have coverage for repairs?
  • Can you afford to buy a new car?
  • How likely are you to have a claim?

A higher deductible will equal lower monthly premiums. If you can afford to pay a higher deductible out of pocket, you may be able to lower your rates for comprehensive or full coverage enough to fit more comfortably into your budget.

If your vehicle is damaged to the point that you can’t drive it anymore, can you afford to buy a new car? If that wouldn’t be a problem, you probably don’t need comprehensive insurance.

Consider your odds of making a claim. Does your area get hail storms every summer? Is there a large deer population where you live? If you think your chances of comprehensive-covered damages are low, you may consider foregoing optional coverage.

The limit of your comprehensive plan will be the actual cash value of your vehicle.

How do I find the cheapest comprehensive coverage?

The best way to find the cheapest comprehensive coverage is to compare car insurance quotes for identical coverage levels and identical deductible levels.
We have a comparison tool that allows you to compare multiple providers at one time. You can enter your information below to receive several quotes to compare.

Once you find the ones that are cheapest, make a short list of three or four and compare their customer satisfaction results and financial stability scores.

You want to make sure you go with a company that has good rates AND has a good reputation.

To make sure it is a financially stable company, you can look up an insurance company’s financial rating from A.M. Best Company.

Check with J.D. Power and Consumer Reports to find how they rank insurance companies for customer satisfaction. Also, ask friends and family members how their insurance dealings have been.

Once you’ve found the right insurance company for your needs, you may still be trying to find ways to lower your premiums. If you choose a higher deductible, your premium will be less. Just remember that if your car is damaged, you are responsible to pay that deductible.

Scenarios to Consider — Finding the Right Coverage

We’ve written up a few scenarios below. Where you fall on this list will help you determine what’s right for you. But here are a few things to keep in mind first:

  • If your car is not worth much money, full coverage probably isn’t worth the extra cost in monthly premiums
  • If your car is financed or leased, you’ll need to have full coverage
  • If you own your car outright, you can decide based on the risk and reward. If you can afford the increased premiums over basic liability coverage and you don’t want to be in a position where you have to recover from the loss of a vehicle out of pocket, consider purchasing full coverage

If you carry comprehensive coverage, you may still get into a situation where you’re not sure if you should file a claim or not.

Some insurance companies issue the check for repair to the mechanic, while others issue the check to the customer. If your insurer issues you a check, you can decide if you want to use the money to repair the vehicle.

In cases of cosmetic damage, you may decide to continue driving the vehicle without fixing it and use the insurance money for something else.

Below are listed some common scenarios demonstrating when you should or shouldn’t file a claim.

Scenario #1

A deer runs into and dents your fender. Your deductible is $1000, the cost of repair is $800. Obviously, you would not file a claim, and should you decide to repair the damage, you will pay out of pocket.

Scenario #2

The same situation as scenario #1, but your deductible is $500. You could file a claim and your insurer would chip in $300 to fix the fender after you pay your $500 deductible. Your premiums may rise if you make a claim, so you may decide to pay the entire repair cost out of pocket.

The only way to know if and how much your premiums will be raised is to call your insurer and find out.

Scenario #3

You hit a deer head-on at highway speeds. Your car is a total loss and you have a $500 comprehensive deductible. In this situation, you would obviously file a claim and receive compensation from your insurer minus your $500 deductible.

If the actual cash value of your vehicle is $10,000, you can expect a check from insurance for $9,500.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You probably still have some questions….that’s great because we’ve collected some of the common questions we get about comprehensive coverage.

We’ll cut to the chase…

Do I need full coverage on a financed car?

Yes. Your lender will most likely require full coverage.

Can I get full coverage on a salvaged title vehicle?

It depends! You can probably find a company that will offer you the insurance coverage you desire, but you may have to switch companies.

  • A few companies will offer full coverage for a salvaged vehicle
  • Some companies may offer collision coverage but not comprehensive
  • Most companies will only allow a salvaged vehicle to carry liability coverage

Even if your insurer offers full coverage, you will need to calculate the decreased vehicle value (due to the salvage title) to decide if the cost of coverage is worth it.

How much is full coverage?

The answer to this question depends on so many variables! The value of your vehicle is one of the biggest variables. A more expensive vehicle will cost more for full coverage.

Where you live will factor into your risk of making a claim and will make a difference in the cost to insure.

Your driving history makes a big difference in the cost of full coverage as well because your history indicates your likelihood of filing a claim.

This data we collected will give you a rough idea of what to expect for costs. The full coverage listed here is an average annual premium, includes bodily and property liability, comprehensive, and collision. Here are the highlights:

The Top 10 Cheapest States

  • Idaho – $656.95
  • Iowa – $672.01
  • Maine – $679.56
  • Wisconsin – $696.11
  • South Dakota – $717.73
  • Indiana – $724.65
  • North Dakota – $737.63
  • Vermont – $737.67
  • Ohio – $741.11
  • North Carolina – $745.17

The Top 10 Most Expensive States

  • Maryland – $1,077.97
  • Connecticut – $1,108.67
  • Delaware – $1,186.33
  • Florida – $1,206.46
  • Rhode Island – $1,219.29
  • Michigan – $1,252.27
  • New York – $1,300.09
  • District of Columbia – $1,307.62
  • Louisiana – $1,326.78
  • New Jersey – $1,353.96

When should I drop full coverage?

The best time to drop full auto insurance coverage is when your car is not worth very much. The maximum you could receive from an insurance payout is the value of the vehicle minus your deductible. Figure out how much more you’ll pay for full coverage to see if the premiums are worth the potential payout.

Is comprehensive coverage mandatory or required?

It’s not required by state laws; however, many lenders require it when the vehicle is financed.

When should I purchase comprehensive insurance coverage?

Purchase comprehensive coverage when the cost of the coverage is worth the financial protection offered.

If you purchase a new or a new-to-you vehicle, consider the value. If the vehicle is worth more than you’re willing or able to recoup out of pocket in the event of damage, you should probably purchase comprehensive coverage.

What is fully comprehensive auto insurance?

Fully comprehensive auto insurance is a term people use because they may be confused about the difference between full coverage and comprehensive coverage. The two are different as we have discussed above. Full coverage usually includes your liability, collision, and comprehensive, whereas comprehensive covers damage from incidents other than a collision with a vehicle.

Does an old car need comprehensive car insurance?

Probably not. Not counting classics or antiques, if a car is old, it’s usually not valuable, and the cost to insure it with comprehensive coverage probably isn’t worth it.

Does a new car need comprehensive car insurance?

It may be a good idea to have comprehensive insurance on a new car. New cars are expensive, and having coverage in case something happens is a wise investment. If your new car is financed, you’ll probably be required to carry comprehensive coverage.

Does comprehensive coverage cover a rental car?

Depending on the intent of the question there are a couple of different answers.

  • If you’re wondering if comprehensive coverage will pay for you to rent a car while waiting for your covered vehicle to be repaired, the answer is, no. You can purchase rental coverage as an additional insurance option.
  • If you’re wondering if your comprehensive coverage extends to provide coverage when you’re renting a car, the answer is, yes, as long as you already have it on your personal policy. Your personal policy limits will extend to a car you’re renting with the same limits and restrictions as if you were driving your own vehicle. This includes the coverage territory (typically the US and sometimes Canada). So you may not have coverage internationally.

Does fully comprehensive cover you to drive any car?

No, comprehensive insurance will only cover the car registered under your policy. In the case of comprehensive insurance, the coverage follows the car. However, your comprehensive coverage can offer protection to a rental vehicle.

How do I file a comprehensive damage car insurance claim?

Calling your agent is the best first step to filing a comprehensive coverage claim. They will be able to walk you through the necessary steps. Each insurance company develops their own steps for making claims, so to be sure you’re doing it right, start with a phone call.

Does auto insurance cover lightning strikes?

“It was a dark and stormy night” is not a description found solely in the cliched beginning of a potboiler novel. Such a description would fit a number of accidents that occur on the roads throughout the world.

The worse storm conditions are, the greater the chances that a vehicle could get into an accident. Few would venture out into a thunder and lightning storm due to grave and well-founded safety concerns.

When a vehicle is parked somewhere and exposed to lightning strikes, the damage would be covered under a comprehensive insurance delineation.

What is the definition of “Acts of God” for car insurance?

In the insurance world, an act of God is a particular event in which the human participants have absolutely no influence or control over either cause or effect.

Simply put, acts of God are considered things like earthquakes, hurricanes, hail storms, and even animals that might cross your path and cause an accident.

Most car insurance policies that provide collision and comprehensive coverage will pay for acts of God because there are no other incident participants who can be held liable.

Hopefully, now you have a good working understanding of comprehensive coverage. Whatever you decide is the appropriate coverage for your situation, you can compare rates for that right here.

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What is comprehensive car insurance coverage?

Comprehensive car insurance covers damage from vandalism, theft, cracked windshields, and natural disasters. The average comprehensive car insurance rates are $106/month.

  • A comprehensive coverage policy covers every situation in which a parked car could become damaged
  • Drivers who are leasing a car are often required to have comprehensive and collision insurance
  • When you choose a higher deductible you are given a discount on the price of your premiums

Wondering what comprehensive car insurance coverage really means? The word comprehensive implies complete coverage, though it is often said in the car insurance industry that there is no such thing as “full coverage.”

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?

When you purchase liability insurance, you are buying insurance protection against your mistakes, which affects the property of others. When you buy collision insurance coverage, you are buying coverage for your vehicle on the road.

However, collision insurance does not cover any and all damages that might occur to your vehicle in any setting.

Collision insurance only covers vehicle collisions, meaning that all other situations which could theoretically damage your car, are still a threat.

Comprehensive car insurance is designed to cover these other situations.

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What Does a Comprehensive Auto Insurance Policy Cover?

The easiest way to understand comprehensive car insurance is to state that this policy covers every situation in which a parked car could become damaged, due to time and unforeseen occurrences.

Under such a policy, your car is protected against vandalism and theft. Also, cracked and broken windshields, whether due to vandalism or even resulting from falling objects while driving, are covered.

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Cracked windshields
  • Falling objects like a tree
  • Animal attacks
  • Natural disasters (lightning, floods, etc.)

As much as we would like to believe that comprehensive coverage covers everything that could go wrong with your vehicle, this is simply not the case. Most policies do cover these basic threats. That said, not all policies that state comprehensive coverage will cover damage resulting from hurricanes or tornados.

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Comprehensive Car Insurance Policies Differ by Company

Besides thunderstorms, a comprehensive policy traditionally covers fire damage, whether accidental or due to arson, since not all homeowners insurance policies will include this provision for a car or truck.

Animal attacks resulting in vehicle damage, resulting from a zoo or park, or from an animal in the wild, may also be covered.

It should be noted that insurance companies do not standardize such a policy. For example, one of the top auto insurance companies today states on their website that they only cover theft, vandalism, animal collision, meaning you hit an animal on the road, windshields, and windstorms.

The same insurance company recommends that drivers complement comprehensive insurance with collision insurance since this provides a sort of full coverage policy.

Drivers who are leasing a car are often required to have comprehensive and collision insurance if they are leasing a car from an auto dealership or a bank. This protects the owner against a total loss if the car is damaged and the leasor forfeits the note.

There are also combined additional coverage policies, which are ideal for non-standard vehicles, such as large trucks. Comprehensive insurance protects you against damages that are usually not caused by direct collisions on the road.

Therefore, such a policy could not protect you from uninsured motorists.

Understanding the Deductible and the Stated Amount

How does the deductible work with comprehensive insurance? Before signing the contract you choose a deductible, and this amount is the figure you will pay from your own savings account if an incident should occur.

When you choose a higher deductible, you are given a discount on the price of your premiums. This may not sound practical to you at first, after all, why pay for a policy if you are paying for all the minor damages until you realize that such coverage is imperative in emergencies.

  • What if your car is stolen or vandalized when you leave it at a friend’s house overnight?
  • What if your car is blown away in a windstorm or severely damaged by hail?
  • What if “who knows what” happens unexpectedly?

In any of the above situations, you may end up having to pay thousands of dollars right out of your pocket without an adequate comprehensive car insurance policy.

As you come to a deal with the insurance company, you will be asked to send in a “stated amount,” which is an estimate of your car’s current value. This amount will encompass all information related to the car’s year and condition.

If your car is damaged you will have to contact the insurance company by calling a toll-free number and reporting the incident. The insurance company representative will then ask you to describe the damage and then send an investigator to look over the vehicle.

Later, a claims adjustor will contact you and negotiate for the release of your recovery check.

Is it worth getting comprehensive car insurance?

If you are interested in protecting your vehicle from all threats, including off-road and on-road damages not covered by a collision policy, then talk to your auto insurance agent about adding comprehensive insurance.

You can use our car insurance comparison website right now to compare auto insurance policies available in your city!

Start comparing comprehensive car insurance quotes online by entering your ZIP code below now!

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How does comprehensive insurance on your car work?

Comprehensive auto insurance covers damages from non-collision incidents like fires, floods, and vandalism. The average comprehensive car insurance rates are $106/month.

  • If you are financing your vehicle, you will be required to carry comprehensive coverage
  • Even if you are not financing your car, if it still has a high value, you will want to carry comprehensive coverage on it
  • Comprehensive insurance covers any non-accident related damages

When you purchase a new vehicle (or new-to-you vehicle), you know that you are going to need auto insurance. If you are purchasing your vehicle outright, then you can get away with getting only the insurance that your state requires.

In most cases, each state requires that you carry bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage.

Additionally, some states will also require you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage as well. Typically this occurs the most in a no-fault sate.

If you are financing your vehicle, however, your bank is not going to allow you to finance it unless you provide proof that you have secured a comprehensive auto insurance policy in addition to the minimums that your state requires for your vehicle.

The requirements for your insurance coverage may vary depending on the lending institution, but typically you can purchase the least expensive option.

Compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies on many different types of car insurance coverage from minimum auto insurance coverage to full comprehensive car insurance coverage.

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Comprehensive Auto Insurance and What it Does

Comprehensive insurance is an insurance that covers your vehicle in the event that something happens to it that is not related to a collision. Examples of what your comprehensive insurance will cover are:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Hail

Much like other types of insurance for your vehicle, there are different levels of insurance that you can purchase. The more expensive your car is, the higher your recommended coverage is going to be.

In most cases, unless you have a very high-end car, such as a sports car or a luxury vehicle, your lender will not require that you carry a specific level of comprehensive insurance, only that you show proof that you have it.

How Much Comprehensive Insurance Costs

The cost of comprehensive insurance, just like the many other types of insurance, will vary based on the level of coverage that you carry.

If you get an insurance quote that includes comprehensive insurance, you will generally see three separate level options, lowest possible coverage, a medium level of coverage and a high level of coverage.

This will give you an idea of how much you will pay depending on the amount of coverage that you choose.

The type of vehicle that you purchase will also have be a significant determining factor in the cost of your insurance coverage.

The bottom line is, the more your car is worth (not the amount you paid for it, the actual value) the more you will pay for your comprehensive coverage. That is because newer cars are more typically more expensive to replace or repair.

Unfortunately, unlike other types of insurance coverage, your comprehensive coverage is not discounted because you have good safety features on your vehicle.

What many people don’t realize is that where they live, city and state, is a major factor when it comes to comprehensive insurance.

Because comprehensive coverage is about things outside of an auto accident, auto insurance companies have to take other things into consideration when determining a price for this type of coverage.

For example, if you live in a low-lying area or a water front location that is prone to flooding, you will pay more for your comprehensive coverage than someone who faces no natural disaster issues.

Additionally, a high crime area where car theft or vandalism is an issue will cause your comprehensive coverage to increase as well. Even the state you live in will influence the rates that you pay.

Lastly, how much you pay for your comprehensive coverage will depend on how much you are willing or able to pay in deductibles.

You have several deductible options:

  1. No deductible option – This which will mean that you will pay the highest premiums for your comprehensive coverage.
  2. $250–500 deductible – This is the most popular option.
  3. Deductibles increase in $500 increments – Some insurance companies do not offer a deductible higher than $2000.

When selecting a deductible you need to consider your financial situation very carefully.

Many insurance companies will not pay for damage repair on your vehicle until after you have paid your deductible to the company working to repair the damages on your vehicle.

Choosing a $2000 deductible so that you only have to pay $10 a month for your premiums does you no good if you can’t pay that deductible if the time comes.

Is it Worth Having Comprehensive Insurance for an Unfinanced Vehicle?

This is a question that is often asked by consumers when they purchase auto insurance. The answer to that question will normally depend on your specific situation.

For example, did you pay cash for a $20,000 car? If so, you will want to purchase full coverage for your vehicle, including comprehensive coverage. Do you drive a $500 junker? Perhaps comprehensive coverage is not necessary for a car with little to no value.

Comprehensive coverage can be a valuable commodity, ask anyone who has ever had hail damage or walked into a parking lot to find that their car had been “tagged” with graffiti. Comprehensive coverage will take care of that.

Comprehensive coverage will also cover damages caused by animals, which for some rural areas can be a very helpful insurance feature.

The bottom line is, however, if you don’t finance your vehicle then you will have to decide for yourself if you need comprehensive coverage for your car.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself how much you can afford to pay out of pocket if something should happen to your vehicle and this should help to answer your question.

Making a decision about your insurance does not have to be complicated. Most experts agree that if you have a newer vehicle, you carry a full policy, even if it is not financed.

It is also recommended that you carry more than your state-required insurance. A middle priced policy will usually account for all financial contingencies.

Auto insurance premiums actually change from year to year. Whether you are thinking about purchasing a new car or you are curious about other options for your auto insurance policy, you should annually check auto insurance rates.

You can easily do this by using our free, no obligation, quote tool found at the top of the page. Quote tools allow you to compare rates from several companies at one time, making it easy for you to quickly determine if you are getting the best rate for your auto insurance.

What is the best comprehensive car insurance?

Whether you are looking to add some comprehensive coverage to your current auto insurance or if you are wanting to find an insurance policy for a new car, our quote will be your first step in finding the most affordable insurance options for your vehicle.

Get started with a FREE car insurance comparison by entering your ZIP in the box below!

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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