In Plain English

Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle in the event of all kinds of unexpected, non-accident types of blunders, including (but not limited to!) weather damage, theft, and fire.

Posted on: Jun 03, 2015

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Trying to make sense of the different types of car insurance can be as confusing as keeping Game of Thrones storylines straight. Don’t lose your head (ahem). Instead, read on, so you can make sense of comprehensive insurance, which covers the odds and ends beyond accidents.

Comprehensive Insurance

Collision and comprehensive insurance are often sold together in insurance policies, and that’s for good reason: Comprehensive insurance covers many miscellaneous blunders not covered by collision. Those non-collision incidents include: theft of your car, weather incidents like hail or lightning damage, or an unexpected encounter with an animal in the road. Think of comprehensive coverage as covering anything other than an accident that causes damage to your vehicle.  In fact, comprehensive in Virginia is actually called "Other Than Collision" coverage.

You might choose comprehensive insurance if…

  • You drive a nice or nice-ish car, and wouldn’t want to pay out of pocket in the event that it was stolen, trampled on by elephants, or lit on fire.
  • You’re particularly afraid of kleptomaniacs.



Is comprehensive insurance required?

Comprehensive insurance is not required unless you are buying a financed vehicle, in which case you’ll need comprehensive and collision in order to drive off the lot.

Does comprehensive insurance cover hit and runs?

Comprehensive insurance is solely for non-collision accidents so it would not cover a hit and run. Depending on your coverage, either collision insurance or uninsured motorist insurance would be your best bet when it comes to dealing with a driver that has hit your car and fled the scene.  

Does comprehensive insurance cover rental cars?

Comprehensive coverage does not cover rental reimbursement to pay for a rental car if your car is damaged or stolen.

Does comprehensive insurance cover glass damage?

Comprehensive insurance should cover glass damage from occurrences like a cracked windshield, broken sunroof, or shattered window if the damage is a result of inclement weather, vandalism, car theft, or a non-collision accident (striking a bird while driving, for instance) but you will want to check the fine print with your company as this can vary.  

Does comprehensive insurance cover flood damage?

Yes, in the case of flood damage, comprehensive insurance should have you covered.

Does comprehensive insurance cover hail damage?

Yes, hail damage, as well as other severe weather incidents like tornado, lightning and hurricane damage, are covered by comprehensive insurance.

Wind, flood, hail claims in 2013

Is comprehensive insurance the same as full coverage?

It is a common misconception that comprehensive insurance is full coverage, but what most people (insurance agents don’t actually use this term) mean by “full coverage” is both comprehensive and collision coverage.

Do I need comprehensive insurance on an old car?

While a vehicle’s value depreciates greatly over time, the costs of parts and labor often don't plunge in the same way. Imagine if a non-collision incident were to occur (keep in mind this could range from a random act of vandalism to a felled tree branch damaging your car) and your current vehicle needed a major repair. If it wouldn’t be worth it to repair your old car—and you have the ability to/would rather replace it instead—than comprehensive insurance may be unnecessary.

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

The cost of comprehensive car insurance varies widely depending on a number of factors such as age, vehicle, and location. See quotes from hundreds of carriers in seconds at