Do I Need Comprehensive Insurance?

| December 18, 2012

car smashed by tree

Most states require drivers to carry liability coverage when they purchase car insurance, but comprehensive coverage is often considered optional. Whether you should carry comprehensive insurance is largely a personal decision.

Let’s take a closer look at what comprehensive car insurance is and why you may or may not want to carry it. If in need of car insurance, shop around in your community by going to DexKnows.

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your auto other than collision damage. This means you have coverage if your car is stolen or damaged somehow other than in an accident, such as if someone vandalized it or shattered a window trying to break into it.

It also covers natural disasters, like if a tree limb fell on your car during a storm.

While comprehensive insurance sounds like it would cover everything, that isn’t the case. Collision insurance pays for damage to your car caused by a crash. Liability coverage, broken down into property damage liability and bodily injury liability, covers damage to other cars and their drivers and passengers if you are found at fault in an accident.

The most you can recover under comprehensive car insurance coverage is up to the market value of the car.

Do you need comprehensive insurance?

If you lease a car, it’s probably not up to you. Many lease agreements require you to carry comprehensive insurance. The same likely goes if you borrowed money from the bank, because the lender will want to protect its investment.

Otherwise, it likely depends on the value of your car. If your car is new or near new and is in excellent condition, then it’s wise to protect your own investment. If, on the other hand, it’s an older model car and not in the greatest condition, it may not make economic sense to pay the additional premiums.

There’s a catch to that. If you do not carry comprehensive damage and something happens to your car, such as someone vandalizing it or a tree limb falling on it, it will totally be up to you to fix the damages. So if you live in an area prone to break-ins or vandalism, think twice before opting out of this coverage when you buy car insurance.

If you are worried about the catch, you can increase your deductible in order to reduce your premium. That means that if you have a deductible of $250, you pay to cover the first $250 worth of damage. But don’t increase the deductible to the point where you can’t afford to pay it if something happens.

Comprehensive coverage is just one part of buying car insurance. If you have questions or need car insurance, find a provider in your area by scanning through the DexKnows listings.

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Category: Insurance

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.