Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover That?
Comprehensive auto insurance has a headscatching name because it’s far from “comprehensive.” It pays for a very specific set of problems. If you have a car loan your lender likely requires it.
And if your car is paid off you likely want it even if you’re an excellent driver. That’s because comprehensive coverage pays for problems that have nothing to do with the quality of your driving. It even pays for things that can happen to your car while it’s sitting in the driveway.
What If My Car Is Gone from a Parking Lot?
These days, thefts of cars with the keys left in them are on the rise, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Maybe you leave your car running for the air conditioning while you pop into a convenience store. Whatever the reason, your vehicle can become an effortless win for a thief.
Interestingly, Mondays are the hottest day of the week for stealing vehicles with the keys in them, followed by Fridays, according to the NICB. The most thefts with keys are in the areas around Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.
Even if you’ve left your keys in the car, comprehensive insurance pays for car theft if the vehicle isn’t recovered.
What If Someone Keys My Car?
Damage from a keyed car is considered vandalism and would fall under comprehensive coverage. The same would be true if you came out and found that your car had been spray painted or otherwise intentionally vandalized.
What About an Animal That Runs Into the Road?
Hitting a deer is a classic example of an animal collision that’s covered by comprehensive insurance. Animals of all sizes, such as wild turkeys and dogs, can dart into the road in front of you and cause car damage.
Comprehensive coverage pays for your vehicle damage, minus the amount of your deductible.
What If My Car Is Tossed Around in a Tornado?
A tornado may seem like a freak event, but comprehensive insurance covers weather-related damage, such as tornado and wind damage. It also pays for hail damage.
What if Something Crushes My Car Roof?
Big tree branches can squash your car, even in a run-of-the mill storm. Or consider a tornado, sending any number of objects onto your car. If any kind of falling object damages your car, comprehensive coverage will pay.
What If My Car Is Washed Away in a Flood?
People who survive devastating flooding are often focused on drying out and repairing their houses. That’s understandable, as houses are a much bigger investment than cars. But flood waters often wash away vehicles, too.
Even driving into a large “puddle” that’s deeper than you thought can result in vehicle damage.
For vehicle flood damage, comprehensive insurance covers either repairs or the value of the vehicle if it’s totaled.
Purchasing Comprehensive Coverage
Whether you’re buying comprehensive coverage because you’re required to or you want to, know these important points:
- Comprehensive insurance pays for either repairs or the value of the vehicle if it’s totaled. For example, if your car is keyed it will pay for repairs. If your car is totaled in a tornado it will pay the value of the vehicle.
- Nationwide, the average premium for comprehensive coverage is about $160 a year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
- The average comprehensive claim is about $1,300, according to the NAIC.
- Comprehensive and collision coverage are often packaged together by auto insurance companies.
- You’ll choose a deductible amount when you buy comprehensive insurance. This is the amount deducted from an insurance check if you make a claim under the comprehensive coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage doesn’t pay others. If you cause damage or injuries to someone else, that will fall under your auto liability insurance.