Comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy provides extensive coverage to your car.  Comprehensive coverage can sometimes be referred to as comp or “OTC – Other than Collision”. When someone says, “full coverage auto insurance“, that normally implies comprehensive and collision coverage.

What is Comprehensive Coverage?

When you think of the damages that can occur to your car, they tend to fall into two categories, collision and ‘other than collision’. Comprehensive is normally less expensive than collision and it’s not uncommon that consumers carry a lower deductible for comp.  Comp claims are normally viewed as out of your control, and therefore insurance companies don’t increase your premium, the same way an at-fault accident will increase your car insurance prices.  However, if you file a lot of comprehensive claims, you may find it difficult to switch to a new insurance carrier.  Insurance companies might view you as someone who turn in a lot of claims, or is careless about where you park your car.

In most cases, if damage occurs to your car while you’re driving, it’s going to be a collision claim.  The exception to this rule is hitting an animal with your car.  Hitting an animal with your car is viewed as out of your control, so it’s considered comprehensive.  If you’re driving down the highway and a deer jets in front of your car, insurance-wise, you’re better off hitting the deer rather than swerving to miss the deer.  If you swerve to miss the deer, and instead hit another car or object, now you have an at-fault accident and a collision claim.  An at fault accident will increase your car insurance and you might have a higher collision deductible.

What does Comprehensive Coverage cover?

  • HailOTC coverage
  • Flood
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Chipped and cracked windshields
  • Hitting an animal with your car
  • Many other scenarios

What’s Required?

The law does not mandate that you carry comprehensive coverage.  However, if you have a loan on the car or you’re leasing the car, the bank holding title to the car will mandate that you carry comp and collision coverage.  Some lien holders require deductibles of less than $1,000 or $500.  The lower your deductible, the more expensive your car insurance will be.