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Comprehensive insurance for your vehicle provides the broadest coverage of the common insurance policy options. However, despite the name, comprehensive coverage does not cover all possible types of claims.
Generally, comprehensive coverage does not include coverage for collision, uninsured or underinsured motorists, emergency road service and other types of specialized coverage.
The types of accidents that are covered by comprehensive insurance include damage to your vehicle caused by storms, fire, theft and animals. For example, a comprehensive policy will protect you in case your car is destroyed in a hurricane or is damaged by a bear during a camping trip.
What it covers and does not cover
Comprehensive coverage includes:
- Damage by animals
- Acts of nature
- Damage due to falling objects like trees
- Damage due to fire (natural or arson)
Items not covered include:
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists – Coverage includes protection against property damage and bodily injury in case of accidents when the other driver is at fault and is uninsured or underinsured.
- Emergency road service
- Personal injury and medical protection – Covers medical costs and funeral costs of the insured, other passengers and any pedestrians that are struck by the insured vehicle.
- Work loss – Pays for lost wages for covered persons due to the inability to work after an accident.
- Courtesy car – Provides a rental car when you are waiting for your car to be repaired or replaced after an accident.
- Windows and car parts – Pays for replacement of windows and specific car parts.
Is comprehensive coverage required by law?
No state requires drivers to have comprehensive insurance, however, if you have a car loan, your lender may require that you possess such coverage.
How to choose coverage limits and deductibles?
The regular payment for an insurance policy is known as the premium; while the amount that one must pay upfront in case of a claim is known as the deductible. For example, if you have a $500 comprehensive deductible, and your car repair bill is $3500, you must pay the first $500 before the insurance coverage kicks in.
The amount of money that you can claim is known as the coverage limit. For example, if your vehicle has $2000 of coverage for vehicle repair, in the case above after paying the $500 deductible, there will still be $3000 remaining on the bill. The insurance company will pay only $2000 since that is your coverage limitation.
In order to ensure that your insurance will cover all your costs after an accident, you will need to choose a coverage limit appropriate to the value of your vehicle. For example, if your vehicle is currently valued at $20,000, then you would need $20,000 of comprehensive coverage in case it was to be totally lost in a fire.
Another important thing to note is that choosing to pay a higher deductible will mean that you will pay a lower premium. Therefore, if you want lower regular payments, then you should choose the higher deductibles. You should not choose a deductible, though, that you would have trouble paying in case of a claim.
Other types of auto insurance coverage to consider
If you choose to obtain comprehensive insurance, then it is likely that you place high value on protecting your vehicle. In such cases, you will want to consider other types of coverage to include collision, uninsured and underinsured motorists, and medical coverage.
Collision insurance will pay to repair or replace your car in case it hits another vehicle. Remember though that you will still have to pay the deductible.
A number of special types of coverage exist, for example, you can obtain coverage for emergency roadside assistance and towing. If you have a customized car, you can purchase coverage that will pay for replacement of special parts and equipment.
Coverage even exists for things like having your tires changed, roadside delivery of gas, oil or water, and for assistance after you have locked yourself out of your vehicle.
While it may seem expensive to have so much coverage, if you use the same insurance agent, you may be able to get special packaged deals. These deals can offer substantial discounts as compared to buying separate insurance plans.
If you already have insurance, you can ask your present company whether they will add on extra coverage at discounted prices. You can also find quotes on comprehensive insurance deals by using our onlnie form.