Almost all drivers across the country are at risk for damages that would be covered by comprehensive car insurance. Choosing this optional coverage may help put your mind at ease especially if you live in an area prone to theft, vandalism or natural disasters. Whether you live on the Florida coast, in an area with a lot of wildlife, or in a tornado-prone area, comprehensive insurance coverage is an important way to protect you from the potentially significant costs of non-collision damage to your vehicle.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) — Usually when a driver hits you, you can make a claim to their insurance company and get compensated by their liability coverage. But if that coverage isn’t enough to cover your expenses, or if you’re hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver, uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage pays you the difference. Sometimes required (in states that require insurance).
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Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage caused by incidents other than a car accident, including theft, fire, vandalism, weather, falling objects and animal damage. It isn't required by law, but it may be a good idea depending on the value of the car you're driving. In fact, drivers of leased or financed cars are often required to obtain this insurance in order to protect the car owner or lender's investment. Although separate from collision insurance, a driver must typically have collision insurance in order to be able to purchase comprehensive coverage [sources: Allstate, Maine Bureau of Insurance].
For car owners (and leasers), collision insurance is arguably the most important kind of coverage and in many states is required by law. This coverage, however, is limited to physical injuries and damage caused as the result of an accident. Anyone who has parked a car on a city street, in a flood zone or within range of egg-flinging teenagers likely knows that there are many other ways a car can be damaged. That's where comprehensive auto insurance comes in.
Myriad factors determine car insurance rates, including location, your age, your insurance history, your driving history, and the car you drive. If you've accumulated at-fault accidents or claims, your rate will increase. If your credit history is poor or your ZIP code has a large number of uninsured motorists, you might not be able to find cheap auto insurance.
Qualifying for this discount involves carrying two insurance policies with one company. Common bundling combinations include home-and-auto or renters-and-auto. The discount is greater for the former, with a homeowners-plus-auto combo saving an average of $110 per year, compared to $72 for a renters-and-auto pairing. The discount affects both policies. The estimated savings below refers only to the auto insurance policy discount.
How much you pay for comprehensive insurance coverage is determined differently than for basic coverages like property damage and personal injury liability. With those coverages, the amount of protection you buy dictates the cost. The cost of comprehensive insurance coverage, on the other hand, varies depending on the deductible you select. The higher the deductible, the less you'll spend on your premium — but the more you'll spend out of pocket if you file a claim.
This is pretty ridiculous considering the fact that: 1st, I had regularly asked my former insurance company for reviews and discounts; 2nd, I recently got a speeding ticket in a school zone (which I am a bit ashamed to say) just before I switched; and 3rd, that $1,100 savings was before I got an additional discount for bundling my home insurance on my policy (which is a lot lower now too).