What is comprehensive insurance and how do claims impact auto insurance rates?
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's colliding with something (that would be handled via collision coverage). On average, a comprehensive claim will raise your premium by $31 every six months.
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:
Below are some of the more typical examples of comprehensive claims:
Costs associated with routine wear and tear are not covered by comprehensive auto insurance. Insurance strictly restricts coverage on maintenance costs.
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:
Learn more about the differences between collision and comprehensive auto insurance.
Using a methodology outlined here, we found a comprehensive claim raises auto insurance rates by $31 over the course of a standard six-month policy, on average. Nationwide, State Farm, and GEICO offer the cheapest car insurance policies after a comprehensive claim.
|Insurance company||6-month premium — no claims||6-month premium — 1 comprehensive claim|
While Nationwide provides the cheapest rate 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!
Filing multiple comprehensive claims will raise your insurance rates by $60 over a standard six-month policy, on average (methodology). USAA offers the cheapest rates in this scenario, at $523 per six-month term.
Because you must be a military member or be related to military personnel to qualify for its coverage, USAA is not for everyone. If that’s the case for you, consider Nationwide and GEICO as alternatives. This data reflects rates for a single 30-year-old male driver with two comprehensive claims.
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 $303 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 Nationwide increases six-month premiums by $21. If Nationwide continues to price the policy at this rate for at three years, the $21 surcharge adds up to $126 extra.
Depending on the insurance company and situation, a comprehensive claim can be expensive. Here are some cost-cutting solutions to consider:
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.
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.
Average of $130
Average of 10-25%
State Farm Drive Safe & Save
Up to 15%
Up to 40%
Liberty Mutual RightTrack
Average of 5-30%
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.
Most discounts will not drastically reduce your premium. However, they can help you save. Consider the below discounts when shopping for a new policy.
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:
For more information regarding whether or not to file a claim, see our guide.
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.
If you’re looking for additional information on the claims process — or car insurance in general — see our related content: