Q&A: What Exactly is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

With so many different kinds of auto insurance benefits available for purchase, it’s easy to get confused. What is comprehensive auto insurance? The word “comprehensive” indicates that it should cover everything that could possibly happen to your car, but is that true?

The Truth is That “Comprehensive” is a Bit of a Misnomer

Comprehensive car insurance is a type of insurance that will pay out if your car has been damaged by environment related events. Things covered by comprehensive auto insurance include damage caused by hail, animals, trees, fire or flooding. Damage caused by humans may also be covered by this insurance if it falls under the category of vandalism or theft.

More Options

Basic insurance packages do not include comprehensive auto insurance, which is technically optional. However, when you think about how important comprehensive auto insurance can be, you may begin to consider it mandatory. You’d be shocked at exactly how much money body shops will charge to fix small things.

Here are some scenarios that demonstrate why comprehensive coverage is important.

-Let’s say that it is hailing hard outside, so hard that the hail cracks your windshield. Fixing a small crack can cost anywhere from $40-$100. However, if the entire windshield needs to be replaced, you’re looking at shelling out several hundred dollars.
-If a hooligan breaks into your car during the night and steals your airbags, you’ll need to replace them. But replacing just one airbag can cost up to $900 depending on the type of car and airbag – and just imagine what it would cost if you needed to replace multiple airbags.
-During a brutal storm, a tree falls on your car and dents it. It looks like it should be an easy job, but the body shop wants a four digit number to make your car look good again.

Should I Get Comprehensive Protection?

This depends on a few factors. If you have an older model car you might not need this extra protection. The value of your car might be less than the extra cost to purchase comprehensive insurance.

At the same time, each of the above mentioned scenarios would be a terrible drain on your finances unless you had comprehensive car insurance. It’s a good idea for most people to have comprehensive coverage, unless you happen to live in an exceptionally safe neighbourhood that experiences little to no harsh weather. People who should especially be interested in comprehensive coverage include those who live somewhere where heavy hail is common and drivers who spend a considerable amount of time doing long distance driving – both of these types of people are at greater risk for cracked windshields than the average driver.