Comprehensive insurance will pay for damages to your car that weren't caused by an auto accident – it covers vehicle damage or loss from fire, theft (except by an employee or member of your household), vandalism, falling of flying objects (including rock or gravel damage to your windshield), malicious mischief, lightning, windstorm, earthquake, hail, impact with animals. It does not cover loss or damage to contents of any vehicle, tires or any part of the vehicle as a result of mechanical breakdown, rust, corrosion, wear and tear, freezing or explosion within the combustion chamber - unless the damage is caused by one of the general losses covered.
Because comprehensive insurance deals specifically with vehicle damage, the type of vehicle you drive will affect the premium you pay, along with where you live.
The price of your comprehensive insurance will depend mainly on the type of vehicle you drive because it deals specifically with vehicle damage. Where you live will also affect the premium you pay.
Comprehensive coverage usually does not pay for the total loss. You generally have a deductible, an amount you must pay out of your own pocket before your insurance payment takes effect. Suppose, for example, that you have a $300 deductible. On a loss of $1,000, you would pay the first $300 and your insurance company would pay the remaining $700. The lower your deductible, the higher your premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. You have to decide how much you can afford to pay for repairs if your car is damaged, versus how much you want to pay for your premiums.
Like collision automobile insurance, comprehensive coverage will pay up to the fair market value of your car. As your car ages and its value declines, the amount you would collect for a total loss declines as well. Your insurance company reimburses you for the actual cash value of your car or its parts, at the time of the loss.
The actual value of the car can be significantly lower than the cost of replacing your vehicle (or your loan balance.) If your car is financed or leased, you will need gap insurance to reimburse you for the difference between what you owe and what the car is worth.
You can check the Kelley Blue Book or the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide to see what is your car fair market value.
Although it's not legally required in any state, you will probably need comprehensive insurance if you're driving a car purchased from a dealership or financed through a lender.