Car accidents are unpredictable, and they can happen to anyone at any time. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 36,000 fatalities due to car accidents in 2019. Additionally, there were over six million non-fatal car accidents that resulted in approximately three million injuries. These statistics demonstrate the importance of having comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle and your wallet in the event of an accident. In this article, we will explore why you need comprehensive auto insurance and the many benefits it provides.
What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
Comprehensive auto insurance is a type of coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle outside of a collision, such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Unlike collision coverage, which covers damages that result from a collision, comprehensive coverage pays for non-collision incidents. It is important to differentiate between the two types of coverage because they provide different protections. Collision coverage only covers damages that occur during collisions, and comprehensive coverage protects your car in a wider range of events.
Why Do You Need Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
There are several reasons why you need comprehensive auto insurance. Some of the primary benefits of comprehensive coverage include:
1. Protection against Theft
One of the most valuable benefits of comprehensive coverage is that it protects your vehicle against theft. Motor vehicle theft is a serious crime that happens all over the country. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, there were over 721,000 motor vehicle thefts in the US in 2019, with an estimated total value of more than $6 billion.
If your car is stolen and you do not have comprehensive coverage, you will have to pay for the entire cost of the car out of pocket. However, if you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will pay for the cost of the car, minus your deductible.
2. Protection from Natural Disasters
Another benefit of comprehensive coverage is that it protects your vehicle against natural disasters. Natural disasters can cause extensive damage to your vehicle. For example, if your car is caught in a hailstorm or flood, it could end up with significant dents or water damage. Comprehensive coverage will provide financial protection for you in such events.
3. Protection against Vandalism
Vandalism is an unfortunate occurrence that can happen to anyone who owns a vehicle. Acts of vandalism can range from small scratches to broken windows. If your car is vandalized, repairs can become quite expensive, but with comprehensive coverage, these costs can be covered by your insurance.
4. Protects Your Wallet
The cost of repairing a damaged vehicle can be quite expensive, especially if the damage is severe. Comprehensive insurance helps to protect your wallet by paying for the cost of the damage, minus your deductible.
5. Lender may Require It
If you are financing or leasing a vehicle, the lender may require that you have comprehensive coverage. This is because the lender wants to protect their investment, and ensuring that the vehicle is properly insured is one way to do that.
What Does Comprehensive Auto Insurance Cover?
Comprehensive auto insurance can help pay for damage to your car that is caused by a variety of events, including:
1. Natural Disasters
Your comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your car caused by natural disasters that are beyond your control. Some examples of natural disasters that are covered include hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and flooding.
If your car is stolen, comprehensive insurance can help pay for its replacement or repair.
Acts of vandalism such as keying, graffiti, or broken windows are covered by comprehensive coverage.
4. Falling Objects
If a tree branch, rock, or another object falls on your car and causes damage to it, your comprehensive insurance will cover the costs of repair.
5. Animal Collisions
If you hit an animal, such as a deer or a moose, comprehensive coverage will help pay for the damages.
What Is Not Covered by Comprehensive Auto Insurance?
While comprehensive insurance covers a wide range of incidents, it does have some exceptions. Some of the things that are not covered by comprehensive insurance include:
Comprehensive insurance only covers damage to your car that occurs from non-collision events. If you collide with another car or object, you will need collision coverage to pay for the costs.
2. Personal Belongings
If your personal belongings, such as a laptop or a purse, are stolen from your car, they will not be covered under comprehensive insurance. You may need a separate policy to cover your personal belongings.
3. Medical Expenses
If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, comprehensive coverage will not cover any medical expenses. You will need to have medical payments coverage or bodily injury liability coverage to cover medical costs.
4. Normal Wear and Tear
Normal wear and tear or mechanical breakdowns of your vehicle are not covered under comprehensive coverage.
How Much Does Comprehensive Auto Insurance Cost?
The cost of comprehensive auto insurance varies depending on several factors, including:
1. Your location
Insurance companies consider the location of your vehicle when determining the cost of your insurance. If you live in an area with a high crime rate, you may pay more for comprehensive insurance.
2. Your deductible
Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.
3. Your vehicle
The make and model of your vehicle can also affect the cost of your insurance. Vehicles with a higher value may cost more to insure.
4. Your driving history
If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, you may pay more for comprehensive insurance.
To get the most accurate estimate of how much comprehensive insurance will cost you, it is best to get a quote from an insurance provider. Many insurance providers offer free online quotes, so it is easy to compare prices and see which provider offers the best value for your money.
Having comprehensive auto insurance is essential to protect your vehicle and your wallet. Comprehensive coverage protects against theft, natural disasters and vandalism, and helps pay for the cost of repairs. If you are financing or leasing a vehicle, your lender may require that you have comprehensive insurance to protect their investment. While comprehensive insurance does not cover everything, it provides comprehensive protection for a wide range of non-collision events. The cost of comprehensive insurance varies depending on several factors, including your location, deductible, vehicle, and driving history. If you are in the market for auto insurance or if you are currently driving without comprehensive coverage, it is time to get the protection you need to protect your vehicle and your wallet.