What is comprehensive insurance?
Comprehensive insurance coverage is defined as an optional coverage that protects against damage to your vehicle caused by non-collision events that are outside of your control. This includes theft, vandalism, glass and windshield damage, fire, accidents with animals, weather, or other acts of nature. Though often referred to as "comprehensive insurance," comprehensive coverage refers to a specific coverage on an existing policy, not a separate type of insurance. Note that lenders may require you to carry comprehensive when you finance or lease a vehicle.
What does comprehensive insurance cover?
Comprehensive insurance coverage protects your vehicle against unexpected damage that's not caused by a vehicle collision. Such incidents may include:
- Vandalism, fire, and explosions
- Windshield and glass damage
- Falling trees/limbs and other objects
- Rocks/objects kicked up by or falling off cars
- Storms, hail, wind, floods, lightning, and earthquakes
- Accidents with animals (e.g., hitting a deer)
Watch our quick guide to learn more about comprehensive coverage, including how it works and when you may need it:
What are the different types of comprehensive coverage?
Comprehensive insurance works similarly for all types of vehicles. Learn more about comprehensive coverage for the most popular vehicle insurance types:
- Comprehensive auto insurance
- Comprehensive boat insurance
- Comprehensive motorcycle insurance
- Comprehensive RV insurance
When can I add comprehensive coverage to my policy?
You can typically add comprehensive coverage at any time to the following policies:
Is comprehensive insurance required?
Comprehensive coverage is not required by law in any state, but it's usually required by lenders if you are leasing or financing your vehicle. If you own your vehicle outright, you can decide whether comprehensive coverage is worthwhile.
Is comprehensive insurance worth it?
If you are not required to obtain comprehensive coverage by your leasing or financing company, the question of whether you need comprehensive insurance will come down to the value of your car, your personal preferences, and your financial circumstances.
If your vehicle's cash value is relatively low and you have a higher deductible, for example, it may not be worthwhile to carry comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, it may be worthwhile if your vehicle has a higher cash value, or you cannot afford the cost to repair or replace your vehicle out of pocket. If you prefer to be covered against any unforeseen events, then comprehensive insurance may help give you peace of mind behind the wheel.
Is comprehensive insurance the same as full coverage?
Comprehensive insurance is defined as coverage for non-collision-related damage to your vehicle, which is why it's sometimes called "other than collision" coverage. "Full coverage," on the other hand, is an ambiguous term often used to refer to both comprehensive and collision coverage, plus any other coverage your state mandates. Liability is a required coverage in most states, for example, while comprehensive is optional.
What's the difference between comprehensive and collision insurance?
Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage both insure your car, but they cover different events. Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for damage caused by events considered to be outside of your control, like theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, glass breakage, fire, and weather-related incidents (e.g., hail).
Collision coverage protects against damage to your car from hitting another vehicle or object, regardless of fault. Learn more about comprehensive vs. collision coverage.