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What Is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Updated: June 2017

Comprehensive insurance is a coverage that helps pay to replace or repair your vehicle if it's stolen or damaged in an incident that's not a collision. Comprehensive typically covers damage from fire, vandalism or falling objects (like a tree or hail). If you're financing or leasing your car, your lender likely requires comprehensive coverage. If you own your vehicle outright, it's an optional coverage on your car insurance policy.

What Is Covered by Comprehensive Insurance?

Comprehensive helps cover damage to your car that's not the result of a collision, such as:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters (like a hurricane or a tornado)
  • Falling objects
  • Damage done to your car by animals
  • A civil disturbance (like a riot that results in damage or destruction of your car)
Comprehensive Auto Insurance Infographic.

What's Not Covered

  • Damage to your car from a collision
  • Damage to another person's vehicle from a collision
  • Your (or your passengers') medical expenses after an accident

Get comprehensive coverage that fits your budget.

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Comprehensive Coverage Deductibles and Limits

When you purchase comprehensive coverage, you will select a set deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered claim. Let's say you choose a $500 deductible, and your car is later damaged by hail in a covered claim. If it costs $1,500 to repair your car, you would pay your $500 deductible, and your insurance would pay the remaining $1,000.

Comprehensive coverage has a limit, or the maximum amount your policy will pay toward a covered claim. The limit on comprehensive coverage is typically the actual cash value of your vehicle.

If your car is stolen, for example, your policy would reimburse you for your car's depreciated value. In other words, if you wanted to replace your stolen vehicle with a newer make and model, you would likely have to use some of your own money to do so, in addition to using the reimbursement from your insurer.

What Is the Difference Between Collision and Comprehensive Insurance?

Collision coverage helps pay to repair your car if it's damaged in a collision.

Comprehensive is a separate coverage from collision and covers different types of losses.

Comprehensive Insurance vs. Collision Insurance

Feature Comprehensive Coverage Collision Coverage

What's Covered

Non-collision damage to your vehicle, such as:

  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters
  • Animal damage

Damage to your vehicle from:

  • Collision with another vehicle
  • Collision with an object, such as a fence
  • Single-car rollover accidents




Coverage Limit

Actual cash value

Actual cash value

Required or Optional?

Required if leasing or financing vehicle. Otherwise optional.

Required if leasing or financing vehicle. Otherwise optional.

What's Not Covered

  • Damage to another person's vehicle
  • Medical bills (yours, your passengers', other drivers', other passengers')
  • Damage to another person's vehicle
  • Medical bills (yours, your passengers', other drivers', other passengers')

Why Buy Comprehensive Coverage?

If you're wondering whether you should buy comprehensive coverage, here are a few considerations:

  • Comprehensive coverage may be required by your car's lender. If you're leasing or financing your vehicle, your lender may require you to have comprehensive and collision coverage until the vehicle is paid off.
  • How old is your car and what is it worth? If you have paid off your car, comprehensive coverage is optional. It may be a good idea to find out the Kelley Blue Book value of your vehicle. Would you be able to pay that amount to repair or replace your vehicle if it were stolen or damaged in an accident? If you can't afford to pay much out of pocket, then buying optional coverages, like comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, may be a smart investment.
  • How much are the annual premiums for comprehensive and collision coverage? The Insurance Information Institute suggests that you take the amount you'd pay in one year for comprehensive and collision coverage, and multiply that number by 10. Is your car worth less than that number? Then comprehensive and collision coverage might not be a cost-effective option for you. In other words, you might want to talk to your agent about whether it makes sense to include these coverages on your car insurance policy.

Have questions about comprehensive coverage? Talk to a local agent.

Video Transcript

Explainer Video (1:50): What Is Comprehensive Coverage?

Announcer (voiceover): Comprehensive coverage is available to protect you against vehicle damages not caused by a collision. For example, it may protect you against vehicle damages caused by:

Announcer (voiceover): Theft, vandalism, natural disasters, falling objects, fire, hail, flood, animal damage.

Announcer (voiceover): Why consider comprehensive coverage? Well, could you pay out of pocket for damages if, say, you hit a deer, damaging your car? If not, comprehensive coverage may be able to help you.

Announcer (voiceover): In some cases, comprehensive coverage might be required. For example, if your car is leased or if you still owe money on your loan, the lending institution may require this coverage. Check with your lending or leasing institution to determine whether it's required.

Announcer (voiceover): Even if comprehensive isn't mandatory, consider: Would you be able to afford to fix or replace your car if it was damaged by a hailstorm? The protection offered by comprehensive coverage can help set your mind at ease.

Announcer (voiceover): Something else to consider is your deductible amount—the money you have to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim. It's a good idea to set the deductible at a level you can afford to pay.

Announcer (voiceover): So, now you have a little more information on the benefits of comprehensive coverage, which can help protect you against vehicle damages not caused by a collision. In some cases, it may help protect against vehicle damages caused by: theft, vandalism, natural disasters, falling objects, fire, hail, flood and animal damage. Check with your lending or leasing institution to find out whether comprehensive coverage is required.

Questions? Contact an Allstate agent.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2017 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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