Comprehensive Auto Insurance Explained

What is comprehensive auto insurance? Comprehensive, when talking about car insurance coverage, does not mean "full coverage" insurance, as its name suggests. Comprehensive coverage, also known as other-than-collision (OTC) coverage, covers your vehicle in pretty much all cases that don't involve accidents with other vehicles, and it is one of the most popular types of auto insurance coverage despite being optional.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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Comprehensive coverage is one of the most popular types of auto insurance coverage. While comprehensive coverage may be optional, many people still choose to include this form of coverage on their policies. Comprehensive coverage, also known as other-than-collision (OTC) coverage, covers your vehicle in pretty much all cases that don’t involve accidents with other vehicles. We’ll talk more about the instances in which comprehensive coverage might be needed below.

The word ‘comprehensive’ is an adjective meaning “complete,” or “including all aspects or elements of something.” When it comes to auto insurance, however, this is not the case. Comprehensive, when talking about car insurance coverage, does not mean “full coverage” insurance, as its name suggests. Keep in mind that comprehensive coverage does not protect from scenarios involving collisions. Comprehensive coverage cannot be substituted for liability coverage, which is required in almost all 50 states.

Why Get Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is not for everybody. Those that choose to get this type of coverage usually do so for newer, more expensive vehicles. For many people, comprehensive coverage is well worth the higher premiums. For others, comprehensive coverage might just be an unneeded expense.

Comprehensive coverage can protect you in a wide variety of unfortunate scenarios. Many people think that comprehensive coverage covers everything that your basic auto insurance policy does not cover. This, however, is just a myth. While comprehensive coverage will cover a variety of different scenarios, it does not cover everything.

What Comprehensive Coverage Does Not Cover:

Comprehensive Auto Insurance Can Protect You in These Instances:

As you can see, the broad umbrella of protection insurance companies provide is quite desirable, especially if you invested a lot of money into your vehicle. Those living in areas prone to these unpredictable events may find comprehensive coverage rather useful.

Make sure you read the terms of your policy carefully to be 100% confident that you have coverage in specific scenarios. Remember that no two insurance policies are the same (and you should be reading it thoroughly anyhow).

Not Sure If Comprehensive Coverage Is for You? This Is What Insurers Typically Recommend:

  • Leased Vehicles – The bank typically requires comprehensive auto insurance for leased or financed vehicles.
  • Newer Vehicles – If you’ve spent a lot of money on a new car, or even on a higher-end used vehicle, comprehensive coverage may be worth getting to protect your purchase.
  • Older Vehicles – Most older cars aren’t worth covering with this extra layer of protection. From a financial perspective, it may not be worth it (but for some protecting an older car is well worth it). Those with collector cars should find coverage with a company that specializes in this demographic.

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Shopping for Comprehensive Coverage

At 4AutoInsuranceQuote, we’ve made your search for comprehensive coverage as effortless as possible. To begin, all you have to do is enter your zip code at the top of the page. By doing so, you will get quotes for full auto coverage policies from multiple companies.

Once you’ve inputted your information on our brief questionnaire, we will connect you with the companies that best fit your needs, at the best price we can find.

Remember to choose your deductible wisely. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. We still suggest, however, that you set your deductible at an amount you can easily afford.

A good strategy is to set some standards for yourself before looking at offers from various companies – and stick to them! Once you start looking at prices, you may be tempted to over-insure or under-insure your vehicles.

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