Comprehensive car insurance can also be called “other than collision coverage.” To file a hail damage claim, hurricane damage claim, or tornado damage claim for your car, you must have comprehensive coverage.
- What is the meaning of comprehensive insurance?
- What does comprehensive insurance cover?
- How much does comprehensive coverage cost?
- Is comprehensive coverage mandatory?
- What happens if I don’t have comprehensive coverage?
- When should I file a comprehensive claim?
- How much does insurance go up after a comprehensive claim?
- Is comprehensive car insurance worth it?
- Frequently asked questions: Comprehensive insurance
- Resources & Methodology
What is the meaning of comprehensive insurance?
Comprehensive insurance, also known as “other than collision” coverage, is a type of auto insurance that provides coverage for damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision. It typically covers several events and perils, such as theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes), falling objects and animal collisions.
With comprehensive auto insurance coverage, if your vehicle is damaged or destroyed due to any of these covered events, the insurance company will generally pay for the repairs or provide compensation for the vehicle’s value if it’s deemed a total loss.
What does comprehensive insurance cover?
Comprehensive insurance is optional car insurance that covers damage to your car from incidents other than collisions, such as:
- Glass damage (such as a broken windshield)
- Damage sustained from hitting an animal or bird
- Damage from falling objects or missiles
- Severe weather damage
You need to obtain comprehensive and collision coverage to have physical damage or “full coverage” on your car. Collision will cover you if your car hits or is hit by another vehicle or object. Some insurance companies will not offer comprehensive coverage unless you also carry collision insurance.
How much does comprehensive coverage cost?
The average annual cost nationwide for comprehensive coverage is $255, according to a rate analysis by CarInsurance.com. That’s not much to pay to ensure you get the actual cash value, or ACV, for your car — minus the deductible — if your car is totaled. ACV is how much your car is worth on the market before it sustains damages.
Enter your state in the search field in the table below to see your location’s average comprehensive insurance cost per year. You’ll see the following states are the cheapest, coming in at $119 or less, or $140-150 less than the national average:
- New Hampshire
The following states are the most expensive with comprehensive rates of more than $500 annually:
- South Dakota
Is comprehensive coverage mandatory?
No state legally requires comprehensive insurance. Most states require property damage liability for your insurer to pay (up to your limits) if you damage other people’s vehicles or property. Still, states do not require you to carry coverage to pay for damages to your car.
But if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lienholder may (and usually will) require you to carry this coverage and may mandate the deductible amount.
If you want to lower your insurance premium by raising your deductible while your car is still financed, check with your lienholder to see if they will allow a higher deductible than what you currently carry.
What happens if I don’t have comprehensive coverage?
Without comprehensive coverage, you cannot make a car insurance claim if your vehicle receives damage that is considered “other than collision” damage. This leaves you personally responsible for paying for the repairs unless someone else is found liable for the damages.
With a new, high-value car, you will want this added protection for your vehicle, whether you have financed it or not. If your car is stolen soon after you buy it, you don’t want to pay for the replacement vehicle out-of-pocket.
If you have an older car with a low value (without a lease or loan), you may not want comprehensive insurance since the small compensation amount may not be worth the premium paid out.
When should I file a comprehensive claim?
Before filing a claim, review your comprehensive insurance policy to understand what is covered. Evaluate the extent of the damages and estimate the repair costs and compare the repair costs to your deductible. If the repair costs exceed your deductible, filing a claim may not make sense.
If you decide to file a comprehensive claim, contact your insurance company to inform them about the damage and your decision to file the insurance claim. Your insurer may ask for documentation such as photos, videos or documents related to your claim. Be prepared to submit any necessary documents to support your claim.
How much does insurance go up after a comprehensive claim?
Typically, a comprehensive insurance claim won’t raise your rates. In cases when it does, it’s not by much. CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis shows the average increase to your rates after filing a comprehensive claim is around $100. Still, you shouldn’t file a claim if the repair cost is lower or near your deductible amount. For instance, if you have damages that cost $450 to repair and your deductible is $500, filing a claim may not be worthwhile, as you’re just saving $50.
Comprehensive claims will not raise your rates unless you file multiple claims quickly. Filing multiple claims, especially within six to 12 months of each other, could cause your insurance rates to rise, regardless of the type of claim.
Is comprehensive car insurance worth it?
Comprehensive coverage is generally worth it if your car is less than 10 years old. But as your car ages and the value decreases, the benefit of comprehensive coverage dwindles because it only pays out up to the value of your car, minus your deductible.
At some point, having comprehensive coverage might not make sense because you’re paying more for coverage than you would get if you filed a claim. Do a quick calculation to see if your rate and deductible total more than the value of your car. If it does, comprehensive isn’t worth it.
Here’s how to figure out if comprehensive coverage makes financial sense for you:
- Find the value of your car from Kelley Blue Book or another pricing guide using your vehicle make and model, year, mileage and other variables.
- Subtract the amount of your deductible from your car’s value. You could drop the coverage if you feel comfortable paying that amount out of pocket. Then subtract the cost of your coverage from that amount.
- If the number is negative, paying for comprehensive is no longer worth it. If you get a small number, it might be worth keeping, knowing that any comprehensive claim payout won’t be huge. If you get a substantial number, comprehensive is worth it.
Frequently asked questions: Comprehensive insurance
What is a comprehensive deductible?
A comprehensive coverage deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance company pays out on a claim you file.
The value of the car, your driving record, the deductible you choose and repair costs determine the cost of comprehensive coverage. Choose a comprehensive deductible from $100 to $2,500 (deductible choices vary according to state laws and insurance company guidelines). Most car owners choose a deductible of between $250 and $1,000.
The higher the deductible, the less expensive your premium will be because the insurer is taking less risk of paying for claims. Take your finances into account when choosing a deductible. Saving money is only worthwhile if you have savings to cover the deductible in the event of a claim.
Deductibles are due per incident, so you must pay your deductible amount every time you make a comprehensive claim. The exception is if you live in a state where laws require the deductible to be waived for windshield claims.
Is comprehensive insurance full coverage?
No. “Full coverage” means you have more than just liability insurance and comprises comprehensive, liability and collision. Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance, while collision and comprehensive coverage are optional for individuals who own the vehicle outright.
How much is the average comprehensive claim?
The average amount paid for a comprehensive claim was $2,033 in 2018, up 4.4% annualized from $1,440 in 2010, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC) data.
Comprehensive claims payouts vary significantly among states because they are often weather-related. Looking at the three claim years combined, the average amount paid for comprehensive claims ranged from a high of $3,130 in Oklahoma to a low of $1,015 in Utah.
Do I need comprehensive insurance on an old car?
If you don’t have a loan or lease on your car, purchasing comprehensive coverage is unnecessary. Additionally, if your vehicle isn’t worth much, maintaining the coverage might not be financially wise.
Resources & Methodology
Kelly Blue Book. “Kelley Knows Cars.” Accessed July 2023.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Systems to field comprehensive insurance rates for 100/300/100 full coverage with a $500 deductible. The rates are based on the profile of a 40-year-old male driving a Honda Accord LX with a clean driving record and good credit score. We have compared 50,00,736 insurance quotes of 27 company groups across 1,467 company groups in the U.S.