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 So you are going to buy a new car, and now you have several questions like how can i protect my new car properly or what comprehensive coverage is, then you have many options available for your new vehicle. In the end you have more questions than what you started thinking to buy a new car. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about comprehensive coverage as a beginner.

When buying comprehensive coverage for your car, you must be sure what is covered and what not

What is Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage protects your car against non-collision damages like acts of God, flood, fire, vandalism or theft among others minust deductibles. This is an optional coverage you can add to your policy, but most lenders will request you to add it before accepting your loan.

What Does Comprehensive Coverage Cover?

As said before, comprehensive coverage protects your car against non-collision damages detailed in this short list:

  • Theft

  • Vandalism

  • Fire

  • Natural disasters (flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquakes, and so on)

  • Falling objects (trees or rocks, among others)

  • Animal damage (hitting a deer, rodent damages, etc.)

Comprehensive coverage may also cover damages to your car caused by glass breakage, such as a cracked windshield or theft due robbers may also break your car’s windows, and a falling rock may also crack your windshield.

What is Not Covered by Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage will not covers the damages caused by a collison with another vehicles or objects (in essense Comprehensive is a non-collision coverage so this coverage option won’t cover collision damages). In addition, Comprehensive coverage won’t cover the following scenarios:

  • If you’re DUI and you suffer an accident your comprehensive coverage won’t cover the medical or repair expenses to you or your vehicle.

  • Comprehensive coverage will never cover your vehicle while racing, racing means you’re going to drive reckelssly, so you’re adding more risk to your vehicle.

  • Commercial purposes, your comprehensive coverage may not cover the damages on your vehicle while driving for business, you should add roadside assist for this.

  • Intentional damage, if you want to make a claim to get some extra cash by destroying your car, that won’t work, your car insurer’s adjuster will discover it.

  • Damages caused due the daily usage of your car: Comprehensive car insurance does not cover damages that occur as a result of normal use of your car. This includes things like mechanical breakdowns, rust, and corrosion.

Why Do You Need Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is the best way to protect your car agaisnt unexpected scenarios, but also to accomplish lender’s requiriments for your loan. For example, you buy a new car, and the hail from California destroys your windshield, as the acts of God are covered by comprehensive coverage, this coverage option will cover the repair costs of your windshield.

How Much Does Comprehensive Coverage Cost?

That’s the 1 million dollars’ question, but it’s nearly impossible to answer due the factors that would affect on the final price like your car’s make and model, your age, gender, your driving records, your claim history or your credit score among others. Based on the National Association of Insurance Commissiones website, on average, comprehensive coverage costs $180 per year.

How to Purchase Comprehensive Coverage?

If you have not bought a policy yet, the best you can do before purchasing comprehensive coverage is shopping around, request 5 or 6 quotes from several car insurers, this way you will be able to get best price. Once you select the best coverage for your policy, you only have to talk with your car insurance agent or visit the car insurance company you want to choose to insure your car, fullfil all the required information and you will get it.

In case you already have a policy, you only have to contact to your car insurance agent, or access to your car insurer’s website and add this coverage option for your car.

How to File a Claim with Comprehensive Coverage?

If you need to file a claim with comprehensive coverage, the first you must do is be sure you or the passengers in your car are all ok. After that, you should follow these steps:

  • Call the police and describe the accident, tell them the other vehicle’s model, and its license plate ID.

  • While you’re waiting for the police to come, take pictures of the other driver’s car’s license place, and the damage of your car, in case you suffer any injury you should also take pictures or record videos. This way you would have the license plate in case the other driver try to run without giving you the car insurance policy information.

  • Look for witnesses, ask them to provide enough information about what did they see during the accident.

  • Share your contact information and your policy’s informaiton with the other driver. You can request him/her the phone number or email.

  • Call your car insurance and explain everything to them. They will send a car adjuster to verify all the information your provide to them.

  • Review all the damaged parts of your car again, just in case you missed any damaged part.

How to Lower Your Comprehensive Coverage Premiums?

You can always lower your comprehensive coverage premiums, is not that hard, just follow some of these tips and your will do it well:

  • Increasing your deductible. If you can afford to increase your deductibles, do so, this way you’re letting your car insurer you won’t file claims such lightly.

  • Installing anti-theft devices, as you know, comprehensive car insurance protects your vehicle against theft, but if you also install anti-theft alarms your car will be less likely to steal.

  • Driving a safe car, several brands and model provide high security systems such as airbags, anti-lock breaks or driver assist.

  • Be a good driver

Tips for Choosing the Right Comprehensive Coverage Policy

When you’re going to choose comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, you should take special attention to the following aspects of your policy:

  • The cost of the policy, as said before, on average it costs $180, however, other car insurers would costs $300 for the same amount of coverage.

  • The deductible amount, When you file a claim, your car insurer gives you the settlement, your check will be the car repair costs minus the deductible. Be sure you can afford the deductibles in case you suffer and accident.

  • The coverage limits, some cheap comprehensive coverage may provide you less coverage limists. Be sure to verify it before buying it.

  • The reputation of the insurance company, just browse on the Internet, look what other customers of that car insurance say about them. Check their complaint rates from NAIC, or visit Best Business Bureau and verify how good that car insurer is.

  • The customer service and claims process of the insurance company

Understanding Deductibles in Comprehensive Coverage

As explained above, a deductible is the amount your car insurer will deduce from your claim’s settlement. For example, you hit a deer on the forest and the repair bills costs $6,000, and you set $500 for your deductibles, so your car insurer will give you acheck worth $5,500 ($6,000-$500=$5,500). There is something you must be aware of, the higher your deductible you set, the fewer your car insurance rates will be. You must find the correct balance between what you can pay and how much you want to pay for your premiums.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is the best choice for someone who live in Florida, California or Michigan. This coverage will cover the repair or replacement costs of any sort of non-collision damages. Some comprehensive coverge adds special advantages such as roadside assistance, or they provide rental car for a certain amount of days while your car is stolen.


Q: Is comprehensive coverage required by law?

A: No, comprehensive coverage is not required by law. However, it may be required by your lender if you are financing or leasing your car.

Q: Can I purchase comprehensive coverage without collision coverage?

A: Yes, you can purchase comprehensive coverage without collision coverage. However, it's important to consider your needs and budget when choosing your coverage options.

Q: Will comprehensive coverage cover the cost of a cracked windshield?

A: Yes, comprehensive coverage may cover the cost of a cracked windshield. However, you may be required to pay a deductible.


Getting comprehensive coverage for your car is the best way to protect your car against non-collision damages. You may think understanding comprehensive coverage is somehow difficult, but that’s not that difficult to understand than other coverage options. In this guide we talked about Comprehensive coverage protects your car against natural disasters like fire, floods, hurricanes, hails or earthquage. In addition, this coverage option protects you against theft, vandalism, or even falling trees among others. In the other hand, Comprehensive coverage won’t cover you when racing, when a DUI, intentional damage, commercial purposes or due the daily usage of your vehicle among others. You can also install safety devices, increase your deductibles, or being a good driver. Shop around, compare different comprehensive coverage options from different companies to find the best price for your coverage.

Other readers were also interested in the following posts:

How does comprehensive coverage differ from liability coverage or collision coverage?   

7 common mistakes people make when buying comprehensive coverage   

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