What is a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?

What is comprehensive insurance and how do claims impact auto insurance rates?

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What is a comprehensive claim for auto insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is an optional addition available with most car insurance policies. It covers damage caused by or related to theft, animals, vandalism, and weather. You should think of it as coverage that doesn’t cover your vehicle colliding with something — that would be handled via collision coverage. On average, a comprehensive claim will raise your premium by $36 every six months.

  1. Comprehensive car insurance defined
  2. Cheap car insurance with a comprehensive claim
  3. Car insurance costs with multiple claims
  4. Comprehensive vs. collision claims: Which costs more?
  5. How to save after a comprehensive claim

 


 

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive coverage insures against damage that does not occur as a result of colliding with another car. Below are some common examples of when comprehensive coverage could be used to cover a claim:

What does a comprehensive auto insurance policy cover?

Below are some of the more typical examples of comprehensive claims:

  • Flood damage and weather-related occurrences like hailstorms
  • Damage caused by animals (insects, rodents, etc.)
  • Collision with a deer or other animal (the one exception to rule stated above)
  • Stolen car or vandalism

Costs associated with routine wear-and-tear are not covered by comprehensive auto insurance. Insurance strictly restricts coverage on maintenance costs.

Comprehensive vs. collision: what's covered?

Collision and comprehensive coverage work together to protect against physical damage to your vehicle. In an accident, your collision insurance covers your vehicle when it collides with another object. Examples of this include:

  • A collision with another vehicle or vehicles
  • A crash into a fixed object, such as a pole or a wall

Learn more about the differences between collision and comprehensive auto insurance.

 


 

Finding cheap car insurance after a comprehensive claim

Using a methodology outlined here, we found a comprehensive claim raises auto insurance rates by $36 over the course of a standard six-month policy, on average. USAA, GEICO, and State Farm offer the cheapest car insurance policies after a comprehensive claim.

Insurance Company6-Month Premium — No Claims6-Month Premium — 1 Comprehensive Claim
Allstate$944$949
Farmers$762$786
GEICO$638$638
Liberty Mutual$823$829
Nationwide$673$673
Progressive$802$908
State Farm$656$656
USAA$474$474

While these companies provide the cheapest rates based on our research, your circumstances could differ. What you pay for car insurance will ultimately depend on you and your driving history. Enter your ZIP code below to compare personalized quotes!

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Finding cheap car insurance with two comprehensive claims

Filing multiple comprehensive claims will raise your insurance rates by $82 over a standard six-month policy, on average (methodology). USAA offers the cheapest rates in this scenario, at $484 per six-month term.

Insurer
6-Month Premium — 2 Comprehensive Claims
Monthly Premium after 2 Comp Claims
Allstate
$951
$158
Farmers
$814
$135
GEICO
$684
$114
Liberty Mutual
$830
$138
Nationwide
$673
$112
Progressive
$1,046
$174
State Farm
$656
$109
USAA
$484
$80


Because you must be a military member or be related to military personnel to qualify for its coverage, USAA is not for everyone. If you don't qualify for USAA coverage, look into State Farm and Nationwide
This data reflects rates for a single 30-year-old male driver with two comprehensive claims.

 

Comprehensive vs. collision: which claim costs more?

Comprehensive claims tend to cost much less than collision or liability insurance claims. Insurance providers tend to see comprehensive claims as occurring outside the control of the driver. On average, a collision claim will raise your premium $384 for a standard six-month policy.

Another important note to keep in mind is the accident surcharge most insurance companies will assess. After a ticket or claim, you can be rated, i.e., charged for three to five years. For example, a comprehensive claim with Farmers increases six-month premiums by $24. If Farmers continues to price the policy at this rate for three years, the $24 surcharge adds up to $144 extra.

 


 

How to save on insurance after a comprehensive claim

Depending on the insurance company and situation, a comprehensive claim can be expensive. Here are some cost-cutting solutions to consider:

Don’t pay for extra coverage

The value of your car can determine whether or not you need comprehensive or collision coverage.If your car is worth less than $4,000, it's typically recommended to drop these coverages. These insurance coverages, while required if have a leased or financed vehicle, are not legally required in any state in the US.

You can determine the value of your vehicle with the help of Kelley Blue Book or NADA Online. If you do need these coverages but still want to save, consider raising your deductible. Deductibles and premiums have an inverse relationship: a higher deductible will lower how much you pay for your insurance policy each month.

Consider a usage-based insurance policy

Usage-based insurance programs use in-car and/or mobile telematics devices to monitor the way you drive and to determine your premium. With telematics-based insurance, the more safely you drive, the less you will pay for auto insurance. Below are estimated savings from major auto insurance providers.

Program

Estimated Savings

Progressive SnapShot

Average of $130

Allstate Drivewise

Average of 10-25%

State Farm Drive Safe & Save

Up to 15%

Esurance DriveSense

Varies

Nationwide SmartRide

Up to 40%

Liberty Mutual RightTrack

Average of 5-30%

GEICO DriveEasy

Varies

Aside from the aforementioned companies, consider additional providers such as Root and Metromile. Root derives auto insurance premiums from clients' driving habits, while Metromile offers pay-as-you-go, mileage-based auto insurance.

Use discounts

Most discounts will not drastically reduce your premium. However, they can help you save. Consider the below discounts when shopping for a new policy.

Rely on your coverage sparingly

Although we’ve outlined that comprehensive claims are not that expensive, having multiple claims can put you at risk to be dropped by your insurance provider. While it can vary, three claims within a three-year period may result in policy non-renewal or cancellation.

This rule can apply to roadside assistance and windshield claims as well as your liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

If you’re unsure of whether to file a claim after a car accident, take the following steps:

  1. Get an estimate of the damages.
  2. Use our State of Insurance analysis to see how much an accident (comprehensive or collision) would raise your rates in your state. Remember: this cost could continue for three years.
  3. If the cost of the out-of-pocket repair costs is less than the rate increase plus your deductible, pay for it yourself.

For more information regarding whether or not to file a claim, see our guide.

Compare rates often

One of the best ways to save is to see if other insurance companies are offering lower rates. Insurance quotes are free and easy to find. The Zebra can provide you with a number of auto insurance quotes, allowing you to find a great policy with a premium that fits your budget.

 

 

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Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

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