Comprehensive Insurance

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Comprehensive insurance, when applied to auto insurance in the United States, is insurance which offers a level of cover that covers a large range of risk possibilities. Unlike automobile liability insurance which is the minimum level of coverage that is required by most states, comprehensive insurance is not limited to 3rd party damage coverage and includes protection for you and your vehicle, in case of fire, theft, etc.

What does automobile liability insurance mean?

Automobile liability insurance covers you for damage to 3rd parties, in respect of both people and property; your insurer will pay benefits based on claims for either.

What does comprehensive insurance offer in addition to automobile liability insurance?

comprehensive insuranceThe exact additional benefits of comprehensive insurance vary depending on the policy but in general terms, your comprehensive insurance may cover some or all of the following scenarios:

  • Fire – if your car were to catch fire or be damaged in a fire, a comprehensive insurance policy would typically offer some form of benefit for the repairs or replacement of the damaged vehicle
  • Theft (or attempted theft) – while it is recommended that you install an anti-theft recovery device for lower insurance premiums, and a better chance of having your vehicle recovered if it is stolen, theft coverage will protect you in case of the loss of the vehicle. In the case of attempted theft, the policy covers you against damage incurred to the car during the attempt.
  • Vandalism – if your car is damaged through an act of vandalism this coverage ensures that your insurance company will pay towards the repairs.
  • Animal Collision – animal collisions are often excluded from automobile liability insurance coverage, and you will need comprehensive insurance to offset this risk. This is particularly important to drivers in rural and/or farming communities.
  • Weather – severe weather conditions can result in damage to cars and vehicles, and most comprehensive insurance policies pay benefits in this instance.
  • Force Majeure (“Acts of God”) – many major insurers will provide insurance against incidents that are outside of human control as part of their comprehensive insurance offerings. This means that in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, hurricane, tropical storm, tsunami, etc. you will be protected by the insurer against the loss of your vehicle or any damage caused to that vehicle by the event.

If you are unsure about your current level of comprehensive insurance coverage you should review your insurance contract or contact your insurer to determine what level of protection you receive.

(To read more about comprehensive insurance outside of our glossary, please read our more detailed article on the subject.) 

Comprehensive Insurance Definitions Elsewhere


  Comments: 4

  1. Kirsten Stromstad

    We have a question, we are importing a car from UK to USA (it is currently in transit) and our insurance does not cover third party liability. Is this something you could cover and make an offer? The car will stay for only 1 month in L.A (month of August) and will be driven by the owner who is resident in UK.
    Thank you for your help
    Kind regards,

    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi Kirsten,
      Most standard insurance policies in the US cover third party liability. Third-party liability is what’s required by US law to drive a vehicle on the road. It will cover you if you’re responsible for someone else’s injuries and property damage. It’s usually split into three different limits: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, and you’ll be able to select those limits when you buy a policy. Whoever is driving the car will also need to make sure they are licensed to drive in the US. If they don’t have a US drivers license, they should be able to get an international drivers license.

  2. Gabriel Indihar

    I would like to have an insurance for a car I’m buying in the US for 1 month.
    I’d like to cover third parties liabilities, no my car which is a Chrysler 300 (cheap car)

    I’m a non us resident. Do you have any offer?



    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi Gabriel,
      You should be able to get auto insurance on your car from a company like Progressive or GEICO. Third-party liability is what is on every auto insurance policy, and is usually broken down into split limits. There’s a limit for bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. You’ll want to acquire an international drivers license so that you can legally drive while in the US. Getting insurance on your car will likely be dependent upon showing your international drivers license, but once you get that, buying an insurance policy should be straightforward.

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