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'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.

  1. What is comprehensive car insurance
  2. Cheap car insurance with a comprehensive claim
  3. Comprehensive vs. collision claims: Which costs more?
  4. How to save after a comprehensive claim
  5. Additional resources

 


 

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 comprehensive auto insurance 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 $31 over the course of a standard six-month policy, on average. NationwideState Farm, and GEICO offer the cheapest car insurance policies after a comprehensive claim.

6-month premium w/ no claim
6-month premium w/ comprehensive claim
Allstate - $945
$950
Farmers - $797
$820
GEICO - $657
$657
Liberty - $797
$844
Nationwide - $654
$675
Progressive - $788
$900
State Farm - $655
$664

 

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!

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Comprehensive vs. collision claims: which cost 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 $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.

 


 

How to save 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 coverage you don't need

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%

 

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.

 
Double-check for 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.

 
Use 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.

 

Shop around for a new auto insurance policy

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.

 

 

Related content

If you’re looking for additional information on the claims process — or car insurance in general — see our related content:

 

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Recent Questions:

What is a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?

Can a lender dictate what my deductible is?

Unfortunately, the terms of your loan can dictate what your coverage deductibles must be. Your lienholder may not necessarily notice right away if you change your deductible, but if they catch on they will add force-placed insurance, also known as collateral protection insurance, as a part of your monthly payments.

Will a comprehensive claim on my motorcycle affect my car insurance rates?

Your comprehensive claim will show up on your reports for auto insurance even if it was done for a motorcycle. The good news is if this is your first comp claim, it's considered not-at-fault, and most companies will not adjust your rates.

I was driving and the car in front of me hit a deer and I ran over it. Why won't my insurance cover it under comprehensive?

Hitting an animal is almost always covered under comprehensive coverage. Unless something else had happened, I would seek additional assistance with this claim because they should not be denying it.

How will my rate be impacted by opening a comprehensive claim? How is fault decided?

If it is considered comprehensive, there would be no fault on the claim so you can take that out of the equation. Comp claims are best summed up as your responsibility but not your fault.