Comprehensive Auto Insurance Explained

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.comprehensive coverage

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 provide protection from scenarios involving collisions. Comprehensive coverage cannot be substituted for collision 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 large 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 closely to be 100% sure when you’re covered in certain 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 – Comprehensive auto insurance is typically required for leased or financed vehicles by the financiers.
  • 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.

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.  (But we still suggest you set your deductible at an amount you can always afford.)

(Rule of thumb – 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.)


  Comments: 4

  1. I was forced off the road by an unknown driver and damaged my car. Can my deductible be waived when the other driver was not identified?

    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi John,
      Deductibles can never be waived, the only thing that happens is if the other person’s insurance pays for your damages, in which case you don’t have to pay a deductible since they pay for everything. At this point, you could try to file the claim under your Underinsured Motorist Property Damage coverage. Insurance companies tend to have strict definitions of these claims, however, so you might not be able to do it. If you have that coverage, usually it comes with either no deductible or a $250 deductible, which is probably lower than your comprehensive deductible. Otherwise, it will be a Comprehensive claim and you would have to pay your deductible.

  2. William Saxton

    Is there any insurance that replaces my car if it’s totaled by a deer

    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi William,
      Hitting a deer, or any other animal falls under Comprehensive coverage. If you had Comp coverage at the time of the accident, then you would be covered. The insurance company would pay the actual cash value, or market value, of your car. Comprehensive coverage usually has a deductible, which would come off the claims check that they write you. If you didn’t have Comp coverage at the time of the accident, then you wouldn’t be covered. You can still put it on if you have another claim in the future, but it wouldn’t cover any past accidents.

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