Understanding Car Insurance: What does Comprehensive auto insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance is a bit of a misleading name. If you look up the definition of ‘comprehensive’, it states:

“complete; including all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.”

Unfortunately, this is not what you’ll get when it comes to comprehensive car insurance, but what you will get is a type of car insurance that covers a variety of damages you may not have considered.

What comprehensive car insurance is

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is an optional auto insurance that protects your vehicle against theft and damage that has not resulted from a collision. Comprehensive car insurance covers a variety of things you may not even have considered as posing a risk to your car, this includes: falling objects, fire, vandalism, and flooding. It also covers glass damage, which can be very beneficial. It can help you pay for the damage to your car, or even replace it entirely if the car is totaled.

What comprehensive car insurance doesn’t cover

It’s important to remember that you will still require other forms of insurance, since comprehensive car insurance does not cover collisions with objects, collisions with other cars, medical or legal expenses, or property that was stolen from inside the car (though it will cover the damage done to the vehicle itself during the theft).

Who needs comprehensive car insurance?

Due to the wide range of things it covers, comprehensive car insurance can benefit almost anyone. For example, if you live in a rural area, it’s an unfortunate reality that you may one day collide with an animal. In these cases, your collision insurance will not cover the damages to your vehicle. However, comprehensive insurance will.

Another example is if you live in area prone to natural disasters. California suffered 9,133 forest fires in 2017, which burned many homes and vehicles as well as acreage. In these cases, the vehicles burned would not have been covered if the owner did not have comprehensive car insurance.

Do I legally need it?

The short answer is: probably not. Most states don’t legally require drivers to have comprehensive insurance. This is because most of the damages covered by comprehensive insurance are about damage to your vehicle only, and not damage to another person’s vehicle, or coverage of any medical costs for you or the other driver.

However, if you lease your vehicle, your bank may require it.

The cost

Like any car insurance, how much you pay for comprehensive car insurance varies. However, unlike other forms of insurance, the cost of comprehensive insurance is based on the deductible you choose: the higher the deductible—the cheaper the premiums. But you will spend more when an actual incident happens.

No matter how much deductible you choose, the amount of coverage provided to you depends on one main factor: the actual cash value of your vehicle. For this reason, many people with sport, luxury or unique or antique vehicles carry comprehensive coverage.

The actual cash value of your car is calculated by taking the purchase price of your car, minus the depreciation and your deductible. You will then be paid up to the amount of your car’s actual cash value to either repair it or replace it.


It can be confusing for a lot since there is a lot of insurance cover to choose from. Whether it is Comprehensive or whatever insurance you have in mind, getting an insurance that is likely to fit on what kind of insurance you are looking for is a good way to start preparing for any possible incidents that may or let’s just hope doesn’t happen. But better safe than sorry, right? what we can always do is to do thorough research, ask professionals and consider your choices before getting one.