What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance? Plus 5 Key Benefits

According to statistics, 77% of American car owners purchase comprehensive car insurance in addition to getting liability insurance.


You can never prepare for a car accident to occur, and if you don’t have adequate financial backing to cover any damages, you will suffer significant inconveniences.

To help you better rebound from such a shock, a comprehensive coverage empowers you to mitigate the damage you suffer due to non-accident related events.

If you are wondering, “what is comprehensive car insurance?” and how it can help you, here’s a look at the policy’s benefits.

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance is coverage that protects your car from damage that isn’t caused by an accident or theft.

Beyond your state’s mandatory minimum coverage, a comprehensive policy is the next coverage that offers value for money.

While you can’t take out a collision insurance policy without including comprehensive coverage, you can purchase comprehensive insurance on its own.

5 Essential Benefits of Comprehensive Car Insurance

When you find yourself in an accident, comprehensive insurance can sound like a great deal.

But what problems exactly does this type of coverage help you face?

Here are some benefits:

1. Replacing a Stolen Car

If you woke up tomorrow and discovered your car was stolen, could you manage to buy another one just like it?

If your auto policy includes comprehensive insurance, then you are covered to the actual car value (ACV) of your car if it gets stolen (or damaged when being broken into).

The ACV is the replacement cost of your vehicle once you factor in normal depreciation due to wear and tear.

When an insurance adjuster is valuing your car to ascertain its ACV, they will only factor in the core fixtures.

These include the seats, factory-installed GPS, and wheels among others.

Any ancillary items won’t influence the car’s valuation.

Other information the insurance adjuster will take into account when calculating the ACV include:

  • Its accident history
  • Make and model
  • Age
  • Blue book value

In addition, having comprehensive coverage can also help you foot the fees for renting a car to use after the accident.

The rental car reimbursement will apply up to a specified limit and for a particular number of days.

Once the provider determines your vehicles is a write-off, you will receive a limited period during which the rental reimbursement will apply.

Beyond that period, you’ll pay out of pocket if you won’t have picked a replacement car.

2. Repairing Weather Damage

Unforeseen weather conditions can hit your car like a powerful bomb, causing significant damage.

Comprehensive insurance helps you take care of the repair costs in certain weather-related damages that might otherwise put you in a financial bind.

If you live in a tornado-prone area, comprehensive coverage for your vehicle is a must-have.

Some examples of tornado-related damage that a comprehensive policy covers include when high winds cause debris to fly into your car or if your car rolls over—among others.

Hail is another common source of weather-related damage that can adversely impact your vehicle, even totaling it in some instances.

Comprehensive coverage ensures that you get compensated for repairs you carry out due to hail.

That especially comes in handy if you financed your vehicle as making these repairs will be a requirement.

Did you accept a deductible when setting up your comprehensive coverage?

You will have to pay it off first before the coverage can kick in for the repairs.

3. Repairing Damage Due to Animal Collision

Hitting an animal when you are on the road has the potential to cause significant damage to your vehicle unexpectedly.

While your typical umbrella or collision policy won’t compensate you for any damage to your car after you hit an animal, comprehensive coverage ensures you can repair your car in such a case.

To get the comprehensive coverage to kick in, the cost of repair must exceed your deductible.

Thus, if you have not hit your yearly deductible or the charges are lesser, you will have to foot the repairs out-of-pocket first.

The animals that comprehensive coverage recognizes are broad, but the list includes deer, dogs, cows, birds, and raccoons among others.

Note that in cases where collision with birds is involved, windshield insurance, which is part of your comprehensive coverage, is what covers the repairs.

4. Repairing Flood Damage

When floods hit your vehicle, they can damage your upholstery and other mechanical parts and, in severe cases, cause your car to be written off.

As soon as your vehicle gets flooded out, you should attempt to dry it as immediately as you can.

That can help you avoid suffering a total loss situation with your car.

Whenever there is a hurricane or flooding warning, many insurance firms limit selling comprehensive insurance around 48 hours before it strikes.

As a result, you should strive to get comprehensive insurance when there is no threat of a flood or hurricane to ensure your car is covered ahead of time.

5. Repairing Fire Damage

There are several ways a fire can damage or even totally wreck your vehicle that you need to protect from using comprehensive insurance.

Mechanical issues that cause engine fires are the most common instances of car fires.

Comprehensive coverage ensures that you receive compensation if your engine catches fire.

Having such coverage with engine fires is especially useful if you keep in mind that a regular auto policy does not cover mechanical failures.

Consequently, you can’t solely rely on auto insurance to cover damages or replace your car.

Arson is a less common, but still hazardous, situation that you should protect your car from.

Once you determine that someone has intentionally set fire to your vehicle, you will need to file a police report for comprehensive insurance to kick in.

Other fire-related situations that your comprehensive policy can compensate you include garage fires and fires caused due to car accidents.

Avoid Nasty Financial Surprises from Car Damage

Your car is in constant risk of being damaged because of non-accident related events, and unless you’re prepared, the unexpected financial impact can strain you.

To protect yourself from nasty surprises, you need to answer the question, “what is comprehensive car insurance?” and identify ways such coverage can keep your car safe from future damage.

McMahon Insurance is an agency with nearly 100 years of rich experience in helping individuals and businesses meet their insurance needs.

Get in touch with us today for insurance solutions that will satisfy you.