Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Some auto coverage types are required for every driver to carry, and some are optional
  • Comprehensive coverage is an optional type of auto insurance
  • Purchasing comprehensive coverage is a wise decision as it offers added protection

There are quite a few types of coverage available for your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is one that covers a variety of things, including ones you may not expect.

If you buy car insurance blindly and don’t know what is on your policy, you may be disappointed come claim time if you don’t have the right coverage to cover the damages.

To save money some drivers will purchase only the minimum coverage that is required and skip  others such as comprehensive coverage.

Start looking for affordable car insurance rates by entering your ZIP code into the FREE quote box!

Table of Contents

Injuries to Pets

Your pet is one of the best things you have in life, so wouldn’t it make sense to make sure they are as protected as you are?

If your pet is in the car when you get into an accident, there is a chance that it will suffer injuries.

Some insurance companies may help to cover the vet costs for an animal that was injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Coverage for pets would fall under your comprehensive policy. Vet bills can be almost as expensive as emergency room and doctor’s bills.

Not all companies offer this perk of covering your pet riding in your vehicle with your policy so make sure you ask your agent if this is a concern of yours.

Make sure you understand any limitations or rules your insurer places on covering your pet, such as how your pet may be transported.

Teens with Driving Permits

A blonde teenage girl with her learner's permit, sitting in the front seat of a car.

In general, teenage drivers pay the most for car insurance premiums, as the chances of getting in an accident are almost three times as much as for older drivers.

However, most teen drivers are not required to be covered by insurance until they are fully licensed.

As a result, if your teenager has a driver’s permit and damages the car, the damage should be covered by your insurance policy.

Double check to make sure this is true under the policy that you have, as rules and regulations about teen drivers can change often.

Also, make sure that your insurance company is aware that a new driver in the family will have access to the car. All drivers should be listed on your policy.

A Borrowed Vehicle

If you are a friendly and helpful person, there may be times that you loan your vehicle to a friend or neighbor.

If something happens to your vehicle while in their care, your policy will be the one that covers the damage.

For example, if a tree falls on the car while it is parked at your friend’s house, your comprehensive insurance will pay for the damage.

Since comprehensive auto insurance coverage is accompanied with a deductible, it would be a nice thing for your friend to offer to pay the deductible.

If by chance, you didn’t have comprehensive coverage, you would have to check to see if their policy would cover the damage.

Cracked Windshield

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Many comprehensive policies will cover windshields that are cracked.

In some states, there is no charge for the replacement so it is worth asking your insurance representative if your state offers that.

With some companies, windshield coverage falls under comprehensive coverage and with others, you have the option of choosing windshield coverage itself.

In addition, most companies will offer to fix a small crack for free to prevent it from growing and spreading.

Animal Damage

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When you think of accidents, you probably think of hitting another car or running into a post or other stationary object.

However, another item that comprehensive coverage helps to pay for is hitting or being hit by an animal.

It could be as minor as a bird hitting and cracking your windshield or it could be more major, such as colliding with a deer or other large animal.

When you are traveling at high speeds, contact with an animal can cause quite a bit of damage, both to the animal and to your vehicle.

With comprehensive insurance, you can rest assured that your insurance company would cover the repair costs.

When to Purchase Comprehensive Coverage

Car insurance is necessary for most drivers to carry. The NAIC website can guide you to the department in your state that will outline what the auto insurance requirements are.

In most states, liability coverage is the only type of coverage required.

Comprehensive coverage is something that you can choose to add on to your policy for an extra charge.

Comprehensive coverage covers:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Weather damage

If any of those were to damage your car and you did not have comprehensive on your policy, you would be responsible for any of the repair or replacement charges.

One reason why you should not purchase comprehensive or drop it from your existing policy is when your car is older and has a low market value.

If you have an old car that is worth $1,500 and your deductible is $1,000 it may not make financial sense for you to carry comprehensive coverage.

An easy and quick way to get a close estimate of what your car is worth is to visit the site for Kelley Blue Book.

You will get an estimate of what the current market value is of your car and you can make a decision whether you think it is worth carrying comprehensive insurance or not.

To see what car insurance rates you are eligible for click here to enter your ZIP code into the FREE quote box!

References:

  1. https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/pet-insurance-plans/level-1/
  2. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/teens/Buying_Auto_Insurance.asp
  3. http://www.safeco.com/blog-detail/fallen-tree-insurance-coverage/1240026935473
  4. https://www.infinityauto.com/knowledge-center/understand-insurance/does-my-auto-insurance-policy-cover-cracked-windshield
  5. http://naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  6. https://www.kbb.com/