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What Is Comprehensive Insurance?

Updated: October 2019

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, sometimes called "other than collision" coverage, 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.

If you're shopping for auto insurance or are reviewing your current policy, you may want to consider comprehensive coverage. Learn what comprehensive insurance helps protect, how it is different from collision coverage and how limits and deductibles apply to the coverage.


Video Transcript

[Voiceover] What is comprehensive coverage?

Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car if it's stolen or damaged by something other than a collision. Comprehensive typically helps cover theft and damage from vandalism and natural disasters, falling objects, fire, hail, flood or animals.

If you lease or finance your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry comprehensive coverage until your loan is paid off. If you own your vehicle outright, comprehensive coverage is optional on your car insurance policy.

So, why consider comprehensive coverage? Well, could you afford to repair your car if it were damaged in a hailstorm? Or what if you hit a deer? In these types of situations, comprehensive coverage may help pay for costly repairs, up to your coverage limit.

The limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a covered claim. The limit for comprehensive coverage is typically the depreciated value or the actual cash value of your vehicle.

Say your car is stolen or totaled in a covered claim. Your insurer would cut you a check for the car's actual cash value. If you wanted to replace your totaled car with a new vehicle that costs more than your insurance reimbursement, you would have to pay the balance out of your own pocket.

Another key thing to know about comprehensive coverage is that it has a deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay toward a covered claim. You choose your deductible, for example $500, when you buy comprehensive coverage.

Now you have a little more information on the benefits of comprehensive coverage and how it works. Questions? Contact an Allstate agent. [Music]

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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)

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

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 insurance company would reimburse you for your car's depreciated value, minus your deductible. 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.

Keep in mind that the comprehensive deductible and limit are separate from your policy's collision deductible and limit.

Choosing A Comprehensive Coverage Deductible

Your insurer will offer comprehensive deductible amounts in set increments, such as $500, $1,000 or $1,500. Choosing a higher comprehensive deductible generally means your premiums will be lower, which can save money upfront. However, you may have to pay more out of pocket toward a covered claim. Likewise, choosing a lower comprehensive deductible means the amount you pay for coverage will increase. Your agent can help you determine what deductible and limits fit your needs.

What Is The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Insurance?

Collision coverage helps pay to repair your car if it's damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object, such as a fence. Generally, collision coverage comes into play because a driver gets into a car accident.

Comprehensive is a separate coverage from collision. It helps cover different types of losses that are usually not the result of driving the vehicle, such as theft, hail or fallen trees.

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
Deductible

Yes

Yes

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.

Comprehensive auto insurance infographic.

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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. © 2019 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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