Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive insurance is a basic car insurance coverage required by many lenders. Comprehensive insurance is not full coverage but protects your car in the event it is damaged by an outside force other than a collision, including fires, animals, or even weather events. Comprehensive insurance rates are calculated based on the value of your vehicle, and many providers bundle comprehensive and collision insurance to help drivers save money.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The Rundown

  • Comprehensive car insurance is designed to cover damage done outside of a car accident
  • Comprehensive car insurance is required by many lenders when you purchase a car
  • The value of your car decides comprehensive car insurance rates

If you’re ready to buy car insurance, you may be wondering, “do I need comprehensive insurance?” The answer is probably yes.

Keep reading to learn when to remove comprehensive car insurance, when to add it, and why you need it.

Enter your ZIP code above to find affordable comprehensive insurance quotes from providers near you for free.

Is comprehensive insurance full coverage?

The answer is no. Full coverage car insurance refers to a combination of coverage types, usually both comprehensive and collision insurance. So while you can get your car “fully covered”, it will actually be two types of policies rather than one specific full coverage policy.

Comprehensive insurance gets its name because of the ‘catch-all’ nature of its coverage, but it does not fully cover your vehicle in every situation. Instead, comprehensive insurance provides coverage for a multitude of events that are not collisions. These events include:

  • Theft or vandalism
  • Weather damage
  • Animal damage while you are not driving the car
  • Falling objects
  • Damage from events like riots or other gatherings
  • Fire
  • Window and windshield replacement

The exact coverages of comprehensive insurance will differ somewhat from one company to another, as well as from state to state.

Comprehensive vs. Collision Insurance

These two insurance types are often conflated. This is because many car insurance companies will bundle the coverage that they provide together to help save customers money.

However, comprehensive and collision insurance cover very different events.

While comprehensive coverage essentially covers damages to your vehicle sustained in non-crash-related events, collision does the opposite. It only covers damage related to a crash.

A common example is that if you were to be driving your car and crashed into a pole, you would be covered by collision insurance. However, if you were parked and a pole fell and hit your car, that would be covered by comprehensive insurance.

In addition, if you purchase your vehicle with a loan, many lenders will require that you have some form of comprehensive coverage but may not always require that you carry collision insurance. Read your loan agreement closely before you buy comprehensive car insurance to ensure you have the right coverage amounts.

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How much does comprehensive insurance cost?

Like collision insurance, comprehensive insurance rates are calculated based on the value of your car. The newer or more expensive your vehicle, the higher your comprehensive car insurance rates will be.

However, comprehensive insurance rates are generally lower than collision rates. Take a look at the table below to see how much comprehensive insurance costs in your state:

Average Annual Rates for Comprehensive Coverage by State

StateAverage Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates
District of Columbia$230.25
New Hampshire$103.03
New Jersey$123.18
New Mexico$166.89
New York$156.66
North Carolina$123.00
North Dakota$227.64
Rhode Island$122.17
South Carolina$165.38
South Dakota$228.59
West Virginia$195.04
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To save money on your comprehensive auto insurance rates, you can bundle your policy with collision coverage, ask for higher deductibles, or remove comprehensive insurance on older vehicles that are worth less than it would cost to repair them.

Now that you understand comprehensive insurance, start comparing insurance quotes from local companies to get the best rates. Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes and find affordable comprehensive insurance companies near you today.

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