Car insurance is not always easy to understand, even if you know a lot about it. There are so many forms of coverage, so many types of policies, and so many riders it seems impossible to know everything about all of them unless you work in the industry. Comprehensive auto insurance, for instance, is often difficult to understand. It’s the kind of car insurance that covers you when something happens that’s not necessarily an accident. Did a tree fall on your car or a rock hit your windshield? It’s a comprehensive policy that helps cover that type of damage.
What does comprehensive insurance cover?
Comprehensive insurance is a policy that covers many incidents. It covers things that happen in an accident as well as damage caused by things other than an accident. For example, if someone decides to vandalize your car by drawing on it with paint, your comprehensive policy is there to cover it. If someone steals your car, or from your car, this type of policy covers that. On the other hand, most comprehensive policies don’t cover include personal property, towing benefits, and even rental cars.
The one misconception people have about comprehensive insurance is that it covers everything. The term comprehensive does imply this is true, but it’s not. Comprehensive insurance only covers certain events, but it’s helpful to have this policy. The general rule is you’re protected from almost anything that happens other than an accident.
A rock slide on the side of the road? You’re covered. Theft, vandalism, fires, and many other things are all covered by comprehensive insurance. Fall objects and flooding are both covered and this policy can not only repair the car without any cost to you if something happens, it also protects you if your car is totaled. We sometimes forget things can happen on the road that have nothing to do with drunk drivers or when you’re texting and driving.
Comprehensive Policies and Personal Injury Protection
If you buy a comprehensive policy, don’t assume your bodily injuries are automatically covered. You might receive some cash for the medical bills you incur from your insurance agency, but you won’t receive enough to cover the cost of serious injuries. With personal injury protection (PIP) added to your comprehensive policy, you’re covered in more ways than one.
PIP also helps cover the cost of other people in the car with you when the accident occurs, and it can even help with lost wages. It’s an unfortunate fact that not everyone involved in an accident is going to walk away without injury, and not everyone is capable of going right back to work. No employer is required to offer paid leave to their injured employees, but they are not permitted to fire you. This coverage helps if you’re struggling because of your injuries.
Comprehensive Coverage and Bodily Injury Limits
You should always carry bodily injury coverage if you own a vehicle. It’s the insurance that protects you when someone else is injured in an accident. Most states require all drivers to carry bodily injury coverage within a certain limit with their insurance policy, and it’s for good reason. If you carry this coverage in addition to your comprehensive policy, you’re going to find you’re protected financially from the injuries sustained by others in an accident.
Comprehensive Coverage and Property Damage Limits
What happens if you are involved in a car accident that’s your fault? You’re to blame, and you need to be able to pay for the damage you cause to someone else’s car, their mailbox, or any other property you damage. This, along with bodily injury coverage, is required in most states. If you don’t own your car outright, you’re required to carry some form of property damage coverage. It’s state law in every state.
Deductibles and Your Policy
Your deductible is the deciding factor in the overall cost of a comprehensive policy. Unlike other types of coverage, you’re not paying for a specific amount of money like $20,000 worth of PIP insurance. Your total cost is dependent on the cost of the deductible you choose. If you choose to pay a high deductible, the premium you pay each month is much less. If you choose a low deductible, your monthly premium is much higher. Be sure you can afford the deductible if something happens to your vehicle. It’s not always easy to find $1,000 to cover the cost of calling the insurance company to file a claim when something happens.
While every state has specific insurance requirements, you are not required to carry a comprehensive policy. It’s a good idea to protect yourself from things that happen unexpectedly such as a hail storm or even a rock flying at the windshield. You can compare rates with various companies to help determine which company offers the best price for a policy that includes comprehensive coverage if you’re interested in the lowest price.