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: May 14, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Comprehensive insurance for your car is a type of insurance that will cover damages caused by flood, fire, theft, natural disasters, and vandalism
  • Although comprehensive insurance is great to have for newer and more expensive cars, it is not recommended for all cars
  • If your car gets hit by a tree and you have comprehensive coverage, your next step is to file a claim with your insurance company

If you buy car insurance and do not read your policy closely, you may find out that you are not covered for as much as you thought you were. If you have the basic minimum insurance required, you more than likely will not be covered by your insurance if a tree falls on your car.

When choosing your car insurance policy, there are many different kinds of coverage to choose from. Some you are required to have by your state laws, while others are optional.

Comprehensive coverage is usually not required by state law but it is useful for times such as when a tree falls on your car, as it will help cover the damage.

To compare car insurance online, all you need to do is enter your ZIP code above!

Table of Contents

What is comprehensive insurance?

AdobeStock_51154930-1600x1600Comprehensive insurance for your car is a type of insurance that will cover damages caused by flood, fire, theft, natural disasters, and vandalism.

It also covers damage such as a broken windshield or window, or that sustained from hitting an animal. If a tree were to fall on your car, you would be covered by your comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive coverage helps to protect what you have invested financially in your car. Often, it is required to be on your policy if you are leasing the car, as leasing and finance companies want to cover their investment as well.

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What are some things to consider when purchasing comprehensive coverage?

Although comprehensive insurance is great to have for newer and more expensive cars, it is not recommended for all cars. If you own a car that is older and has a low cash value, you are probably wasting your money by including comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy.

Once you have paid your deductible, comprehensive coverage will pay what is left, up to the current value of the car or the limits of your policy.

Once the current book value has been reached, the insurance company will not pay for any more damage.

If your car is not worth very much, you are probably paying more for your comprehensive premiums than your repairs or vehicle replacement would cost.

The recommendation from Consumer Reports is that you should cancel comprehensive coverage once the cost surpasses ten percent of the book value for the vehicle. You can find out more at Consumer Reports’ website.

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What if the tree falling happened on my property?

Although comprehensive auto coverage will cover a tree falling on your car, if it happened on your own property, there is a possibility that your car insurance company will try to fight paying it.

In the event it happened on property, they will try to defer it to your homeowners insurance.

Not all companies will do this, but in the event it may happen, you should check with both your car insurance and home insurance companies to make certain that you have enough coverage either way. If you insure both your home and car with the same company, it probably won’t be as much of an issue.

What is my next step if I have damage from a falling tree?

 

If your car gets hit by a tree and you have comprehensive coverage, your next step is to file a claim with your insurance company. You can call your agent to find out what to do, you can call the toll-free claims number of your insurance company, or you can usually file a claim online.

Once you have filed the claim, you will be given instructions as to how to proceed. You will either be given the names of a few approved auto body shops or you may be able to choose your own.

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Do all insurance companies offer comprehensive insurance coverage?

Pretty much all insurance companies offer comprehensive car coverage. There are some companies that advertise very low rates and this is because they mostly offer the most basic of coverage. These companies, however, do usually offer comprehensive coverage for a higher premium.

When you are looking for car insurance, speak with an agent about whether comprehensive coverage is a good choice for you or if your car isn’t worth having that type of coverage associated with it and you are better off saving money on your monthly or yearly premium.

If you are currently driving an older car and buy a new one, be sure to speak with your agent and add comprehensive coverage so you are covered.

Enter your zip code below and compare car insurance rates now!

References:

  1. http://www.postandcourier.com/business/if-a-tree-falls-on-your-home-or-vehicle-who/article_47abd427-413d-5500-ae3c-d878cf18be79.html
  2. http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/auto-insurance/comprehensive-auto-insurance-cover.htm
  3. http://www.consumerreports.org
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/a-tree-fell-on-my-car-527079
  5. http://www.thesimpledollar.com/when-should-you-downgrade-your-car-insurance/