Comprehensive car insurance is coverage that financially protects you if your vehicle is damaged from instances that may occur from events other than a collision. Comprehensive may cover damage to your car caused by hail, animals, glass breakage and theft, among others. This coverage may be an important part of your car insurance policy, and in some cases, it may be required. It’s important to understand what this coverage is, when to consider filing a comprehensive car insurance claim and the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage.

Compare rates and save on auto insurance today!

Close X
Advertising Disclosure
This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Compare auto insurance rates

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.
Caret DownCaret Up
Please select age
Location-Icon

Save on auto insurance with quotes from trusted providers like:

Progressive

Drivers switch & save an average of $750+/year

Liberty Mutual

Are you overpaying for auto insurance?

Allstate

Safe drivers choose Allstate®

Powered by Coverage.com (NPN: 19966249)
Insurance Disclosure

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

See more providers in
Choose from insurers in

Reasons to consider comprehensive coverage

If you have a vehicle you cannot afford to repair or replace out of pocket if it’s damaged, or if you would like to keep your car loan lender happy, you may consider purchasing comprehensive and collision car insurance coverage. If your vehicle is financed or leased, you will almost certainly need full coverage car insurance.

Conversely, full coverage may not be worth the cost if your car is old or needs repair and you own it outright. In those cases, the cost of full coverage car insurance may outweigh the benefits. If you do not want to pay the premiums, do not need it and can comfortably replace your vehicle out of pocket, you may be better off skipping full coverage. However, you can usually carry comprehensive coverage without collision coverage, so if you want partial coverage for your vehicle for damage caused out of your control, comprehensive coverage may still offer benefits.

Comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your car caused by an event other than a collision. In this case, “other than a collision” generally means your car damage was caused by events like hail, animals, glass breakage and theft. Still, there may be times when filing a comprehensive car insurance claim may not be necessary. Understanding what comprehensive coverage offers and when it may be beneficial to file a claim might help you decide whether or not to add this option to your policy.

What is comprehensive coverage and what does it cover?

Comprehensive covers repairing or replacing your vehicle when it is damaged from an incident other than colliding with another vehicle or object. When referring to a full coverage policy in auto insurance, it means a policy that includes both comprehensive and collision, as well as state-required coverage.

Examples of typical vehicle damage covered by comprehensive includes:

  • Hail damage and other weather-related events
  • Damage from hitting an animal
  • Theft
  • Vandalism and riots
  • Glass breakage (windshield and windows)
  • Fire
  • Falling objects, such as a tree limb

Comprehensive coverage does not cover the normal wear and tear for your vehicle. For example, when you need new tires or brake pads you would pay for these maintenance items out of pocket or through another warranty program. It also does not include damage to your vehicle from hitting a vehicle or object. If there is another vehicle involved, then it falls under collision.

When should I file a comprehensive claim?

Knowing when to file a comprehensive car insurance claim means understanding how much your deductible – the amount you pay out of pocket – is before filing the claim. If the cost to repair your vehicle is under your deductible amount, you won’t be able to file a claim. If the repair costs are only slightly higher than your deductible amount, it may not be worth filing a claim and risking a premium increase upon your auto policy’s renewal.

If you choose to file a claim, there are a few steps involved in submitting it to your insurer.

  1. Contact a customer service representative or your local agent through the mobile app, online or a phone call and inform them of the situation.
  2. Submit any documentation, such as pictures, videos or papers related to your claim.
  3. Your insurance provider may ask you to get estimates from local repair shops.
  4. Each state has various laws regarding the amount of time you can submit a claim, including for damage only, so be sure to ask the insurance adjuster about the timeline.

Reasons to consider purchasing comprehensive coverage

Unlike liability insurance, states do not require comprehensive coverage to drive legally. However, if you lease or finance your vehicle, the finance company or lessor will usually require the coverage. For other drivers who have the option to purchase comprehensive, you may find it beneficial to have this coverage and limit your out-of-pocket expenses when there is damage in a covered claim.

Fortunately, comprehensive coverage is typically inexpensive compared to other aspects of a car insurance policy. The cost averages $172 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), which may be worth it to you for the extra financial protection it provides.

Frequently asked questions

    • While comprehensive and collision insurance are often lumped together, they are two different coverage options in an auto insurance policy. Comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as damage from hail storms or hitting an animal.

      Collision coverage covers expenses towards repairing or replacing a vehicle when there is damage from colliding with another vehicle or object. Examples of collision coverage include being involved in an accident with another vehicle or hitting a mailbox or tree.

      Both comprehensive and collision have deductibles that are independent of each other. For example, you can carry a $100 comprehensive deductible but a $500 collision deductible if desired.

    • If you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim if your car is damaged from a covered event. In some cases, though, you may want to think twice before filing a claim if your vehicle is damaged and needs repairs. Filing a comprehensive car insurance claim may cause an increase to your car insurance premium, but the amount it increases will depend heavily on your carrier, the type of claim you made and the amount of the claim. Plus, you may lose a claims-free discount if you currently qualify for one with your policy.
    • Most lenders require you to keep comprehensive coverage for as long as you are financing or leasing your vehicle. Once you own your vehicle outright, then you may start to consider dropping it.

      If you live in a state where there are a number of hail storms, wildlife, a higher crime area or an area prone to flooding, then you should consider keeping it as long as your budget allows. Another rule of thumb is to calculate if your car is worth 10 times the premium or more; if it is not, comprehensive coverage may not be financially worth carrying, according to Triple-I.

    • If you’re looking for the most affordable comprehensive car insurance, it is often helpful to shop around and obtain quotes from multiple providers. Rates can vary, sometimes drastically, from one carrier to the next, so shopping around may help you to learn what the cheapest option is for your situation. However, it’s important to be sure that you’re comparing the same coverage options, including comprehensive, to ensure you are getting a true side-by-side comparison. It may also benefit you to ask about any discounts you may qualify for, both with your current insurer and any prospective carriers, as many carriers offer a variety of ways for drivers to save on their premiums.

{“@context”:”https://schema.org”,”@type”:”FAQPage”,”mainEntity”:[{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”While comprehensive and collision insurance are often lumped together, they are two different coverage options in an auto insurance policy. Comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as damage from hail storms or hitting an animal.\nCollision coverage covers expenses towards repairing or replacing a vehicle when there is damage from colliding with another vehicle or object. Examples of collision coverage include being involved in an accident with another vehicle or hitting a mailbox or tree.\nBoth comprehensive and collision have deductibles that are independent of each other. For example, you can carry a $100 comprehensive deductible but a $500 collision deductible if desired.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”If I file a comprehensive claim will my insurance rates increase?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”If you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim if your car is damaged from a covered event. In some cases, though, you may want to think twice before filing a claim if your vehicle is damaged and needs repairs. Filing a comprehensive car insurance claim may cause an increase to your car insurance premium, but the amount it increases will depend heavily on your carrier, the type of claim you made and the amount of the claim. Plus, you may lose a claims-free discount if you currently qualify for one with your policy.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How long should I keep comprehensive insurance?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”Most lenders require you to keep comprehensive coverage for as long as you are financing or leasing your vehicle. Once you own your vehicle outright, then you may start to consider dropping it.\nIf you live in a state where there are a number of hail storms, wildlife, a higher crime area or an area prone to flooding, then you should consider keeping it as long as your budget allows. Another rule of thumb is to calculate if your car is worth 10 times the premium or more; if it is not, comprehensive coverage may not be financially worth carrying, according to Triple-I.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How can I lower my insurance costs so I can afford comprehensive insurance?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”If you’re looking for the most affordable comprehensive car insurance, it is often helpful to shop around and obtain quotes from multiple providers. Rates can vary, sometimes drastically, from one carrier to the next, so shopping around may help you to learn what the cheapest option is for your situation. However, it’s important to be sure that you’re comparing the same coverage options, including comprehensive, to ensure you are getting a true side-by-side comparison. It may also benefit you to ask about any discounts you may qualify for, both with your current insurer and any prospective carriers, as many carriers offer a variety of ways for drivers to save on their premiums.”}}]}