Comprehensive insurance: What you need to know

What is comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance helps cover damage to your vehicle from incidents unrelated to a collision or accident with another vehicle or stationary object. For example, damage to your car caused by weather, animals, or theft.

It’s important to understand what comprehensive insurance covers so you’re aware of all your auto insurance options. Including comprehensive insurance in your auto policy helps pay for repairs to your vehicle when incidents happen that aren’t collision-related and are outside of your control.

Damage from hitting an animal represents 13 percent of all comprehensive insurance claims and auto insurance data, making it one of the most common claims for this type of coverage. If you live in an area where deer are common, consider adding comprehensive insurance coverage to your auto policy.

car driving on the highway

What does comprehensive insurance cover? 

Comprehensive insurance helps cover your vehicle if something happens that you had no control over. Examples include:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters
  • Damage caused by animals (such as hitting a deer)

What doesn’t comprehensive insurance cover?

  • Medical expenses: Comprehensive coverage doesn’t include payments for medical expenses that occur because of an accident. Your liability insurance will help cover medical costs for a driver who’s involved in an accident you caused.
  • Collision damages: Any accident or collision that happens to your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle should be covered by either collision or liability insurance, not by comprehensive. In fact, comprehensive insurance is sometimes referred to as “other than collision” insurance.

How comprehensive insurance works

While most states require some level of liability insurance, comprehensive isn’t mandatory. You’re given the option to purchase some level of comprehensive insurance when you purchase your insurance policy. Most insurers recommend this type of coverage to help protect you in case an unexpected incident causes damage to your vehicle.


Your deductible for comprehensive insurance is the amount you pay toward a claim—your insurance provider helps cover the rest. For example, say a tree limb falls on your car and dents the hood.If you have a $500 deductible and it costs $1,500 to fix the hood of your car, you’ll pay the deductible of $500, and your insurance will cover the remaining $1,000.


The limit for comprehensive insurance is the maximum amount your insurance will cover and is typically equal to the value of your vehicle. If your car is worth $10,000, your insurance won’t cover you past that amount.

Comprehensive insurance vs. collision insurance

Comprehensive and collision coverage are responsible for two different types of events:

  • Comprehensive: Damage caused by something like vandalism or hitting an animal. If you leave your car in the driveway and it hails overnight, comprehensive coverage has your back to cover the damages.
  • Collision: Damage from an accident with another vehicle or a stationary object. If you run into a tree or another car, your insurance carrier helps cover the damage to your vehicle if you have collision coverage.

Comprehensive insurance vs. liability insurance

The main difference between comprehensive and liability coverage is that comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by events outside of your control and not involving another vehicle. Liability insurance, on the other hand, covers the costs of damage you cause to someone else’s vehicle, as well as their medical expenses.

Is comprehensive insurance the same as full coverage insurance?

Full coverage isn’t actually a type of insurance—it’s a term people use to refer to a group of coverages under a policy. Comprehensive insurance isn’t the same as full coverage insurance, but could be considered a part of it. By most definitions, full coverage insurance typically includes comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance.

Get a free quote from A Better Choice Insurance. Protect your car from the unexpected.

Comprehensive insurance rates and how they’re calculated

How much comprehensive insurance costs for you varies based on many of the same factors used to calculate the cost of your entire auto insurance policy. These factors can include your:

  • Age
  • Insurance score (based on credit history information)
  • Driving record
  • Vehicle type

Do comprehensive insurance rates increase after a claim?

There’s a chance your rates may increase after filing a comprehensive claim. However, the severity of the damage to your vehicle, the cost of the repair, and the state you live in can determine how much your rates will increase, if at all. The more severe the damage, the more likely your rate is to increase.

Is comprehensive insurance worth it for an older car?

Comprehensive insurance only covers up to the value of your car. If your car’s older and not worth much, it may not make financial sense to have comprehensive insurance, depending on your deductible. It’s a good idea to find out the value of your vehicle and contact your insurance provider to see what your comprehensive coverage will cost. That’ll help determine what’s best for you.

If you’re worried about theft or unexpected damage to your vehicle, give us a call and discover how easy it is to add comprehensive coverage to your car insurance policy.

Originally Published on Dairyland Blogs On December 1, 2021

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