When shopping for car insurance, you’re bound to come across confusing terms in both the regular print and the fine print. A term that is often misunderstood is comprehensive auto insurance.
Many people think of comprehensive auto insurance as a comprehensive type of coverage that includes liability, collision, and more. But this is not true. So what exactly does comprehensive car insurance cover? Keep reading to learn more.
Whenever you’re shopping for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and insurance rates. Our warranty experts have ranked and reviewed the major insurers to find the best car insurance companies and simplify your buying experience.
What is multi-risk car insurance?
Comprehensive auto insurance is a type of insurance that helps pay to replace or repair your car if it is stolen or damaged in a non-collision incident that is beyond your control. This usually means any damage sustained in a storm, fire, theft or vandalism. Full car insurance is usually optional, but you may need to wear it if your car is financed or leased.
Regardless of the car you own or the insurance company you choose, comprehensive auto insurance plans typically cover the following types of incidents:
- Natural disasters
- falling objects
- Fires and explosions
- Damage from hitting a deer or impacts with other animals
- Acts of terrorism
Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are types of car insurance that are generally optional and provide physical protection for your car. But the similarities end there.
As you can see, comprehensive and collision insurance complement each other. This is why they are often recommended together for a wide range of protection.
How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?
According to the latest auto insurance report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average cost of comprehensive auto insurance in 2019 was around $172 per year. This cost will vary depending on your carrier and state. For example, California residents can pay as little as $97 per year, while those in South Dakota can pay around $348.
Drivers do not necessarily need to carry comprehensive auto insurance, as it is not required in any state. Many motorists adopt it, however, because it allows significant savings in the event of hail, damaged windshield or an incident of theft or vandalism.
The best way to determine your rates for comprehensive car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple providers at once. This way you will be able to tell which companies are your best bets for cheap car insurance.
Do you really need comprehensive car insurance?
About 79 percent of insured drivers have comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). To help you decide whether or not to get this coverage, here are some questions you should ask yourself.
- Are you still paying for the vehicle? If your car is financed, you may need to purchase comprehensive insurance, as well as collision and liability coverage.
- How old is your car? You won’t need full coverage if your vehicle is worth less than your insurance deductible combined with annual coverage. Carriers will not pay more than the value of your vehicle. If you opt out of this insurance, be sure to put some money aside for the cost of repairs or even a new car.
- Where do you live? This insurance covers vandalism and theft, which tend to be common in urban areas. The risk of natural disasters is another reason to get this coverage. Floods and tornadoes can easily cause serious damage to your car and even total it if you live in areas prone to them.
- Where do you park your vehicle? Your car may be more at risk if you tend to park it on the street rather than in a garage.
Best companies for comprehensive car insurance
Now that you have a good idea of what comprehensive auto insurance covers and whether it’s useful for you, it’s time to look to some providers. Although the following only outlines comprehensive coverage plans and a few extras, you can find more information on each provider in our review of the best car insurance companies in the industry. After all, you need more than comprehensive coverage to fully protect yourself and your car.
How do you file an all-risk car insurance claim?
Filing comprehensive car insurance claims is quite simple. Depending on your carrier, however, tracking may require your time and more management. You will need to stay in contact with the insurance company representative or agent until you receive your insurance check or your car is repaired.
Unless your vehicle has been involved in a natural disaster or similar accident, you will need to get a police report first. You must provide it with any other document required by your insurer when filing a claim.
A claims adjuster will then be assigned to your file. They will assess the car and your documents before approving or denying your claim. If your claim is denied and you believe the decision was wrong, you can contact the insurance company or agent for assistance with a dispute. If approved, you will be reimbursed or your insurer will pay the repair shop directly.
Get quotes for comprehensive car insurance
Now that we’ve covered comprehensive auto insurance, you can decide whether or not you need coverage for your vehicle. Keep in mind, however, that an auto insurance policy is not limited to just one type of coverage. You want to make sure that you and your vehicle are protected in any situation.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our team of experts collects data from dozens of car insurance providers to compile rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, along with an overall weighted score of 5.0 stars.
- Industry ranking: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-focused business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availablity: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Cover: This rating is based on the types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits and supplemental policies.
- Cost and discounts: Our research team examines auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many auto insurance discount opportunities receive the highest scores.
- Customer service: We look at customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like JD Power.
Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.