Comprehensive insurance is coverage that helps pay for the replacement or repair of your vehicle in the event of theft or damage in an incident other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage, sometimes called non-collision coverage, generally covers damage caused by fire, vandalism, or the fall of objects (such as a tree or hail). To avoid paying for damages like this out of your pocket, you need comprehensive insurance. A windshield broken by hail would be covered by comprehensive insurance, while a windshield broken by a traffic accident would be covered by your collision insurance or by the other driver's liability insurance.
What is comprehensive coverage compared to collision coverage? You could say that they are two halves of a whole. Collision insurance covers you if your car is damaged by another vehicle, a stationary object, or if it rolls over. If you're in a collision, you're covered by collision insurance. Quite simple, right? By contrast, comprehensive insurance covers just about everything else.
As mentioned above, comprehensive coverage covers you in case your car is damaged by anything from theft to natural disasters. You could say that the collision is for when you hit something else, and the complete one is for when something else hits you (as long as that other thing isn't another car). Comprehensive insurance is an auto insurance policy that covers certain damages to your vehicle that are not caused by a collision with another car. Because insurers base their rates on several factors unrelated to the insurance policy you take out, such as the car you drive, where you live, and theft rates in your area, your own price may vary.
The amount you pay before your insurance company gives you the rest to cover the costs of repairing or replacing the car. Since you also pay for roadside assistance (a fairly inexpensive supplement), your insurer will even pay for towing the car to a repair shop. Since you also pay for rental reimbursement coverage in your car insurance policy (an add-on that is normally only available after purchasing comprehensive insurance and collision insurance), your insurer covers the cost of the rental car while yours is in the garage. The higher your deductible, the lower your car insurance costs, but the more you'll have to pay out of pocket if you file a claim.
Your insurance company sends an insurance adjuster to inspect your car and calculate initial repair costs. Comprehensive car insurance reimburses you for repairing or replacing your car after non-traffic-related causes, such as fire, vandalism, or hitting a deer. Comprehensive car insurance covers a variety of accidents that are not related to traffic and isn't always simple. So, as long as you're not financing or leasing your car and have enough cash to cover unexpected repair or replacement costs, you might want to consider ditching comprehensive insurance if your car isn't worth much.
This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provision, limitation, or exclusion that is expressly stated in any insurance policy. NerdWallet recommends that drivers compare prices and compare auto insurance quotes regularly to get a lower rate, especially after filing a claim. That's why it's best to consider full coverage insurance (which includes comprehensive, collision, and state-required types of coverage) when comparing the cost of comprehensive car insurance.