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Comprehensive Coverage Definition: What Comprehensive Coverage Is (and Isn’t)

what is comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive insurance is a car insurance policy that covers certain damages to your vehicle that are not caused by a collision with another car. Comprehensive auto insurance is supplementary, meaning it’s an optional coverage which can be added to an insurance policy. For maximum protection, you can pair comprehensive coverage with liability and collision coverage, or choose classic car insurance that provides flexible usage and coverage designed specifically for classic cars.

But what does comprehensive insurance mean for you? Here’s an example: you’re dashing out of your house for work in the morning and as you’re opening the driver’s side door of your car, you realize a baseball-sized chunk of hail has crashed through your windshield. You think to yourself, all windshield damage is equal under my state-minimum insurance policy, right? Wrong. To avoid paying for damages like this out of pocket, you need comprehensive insurance. A windshield shattered by hail would be covered by comprehensive insurance, while a windshield shattered by a traffic accident would be covered by either your collision insurance or the other driver’s liability insurance.

What comprehensive insurance covers

Every accident is unique – whether comprehensive insurance covers your accident is determined by a wide set of circumstances. Here are a few types of damage that may be covered by comprehensive insurance:

Find out more about what is covered by Nationwide comprehensive auto insurance.

Is there a difference between comprehensive coverage and full coverage?

Yes. Some people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably, but there is an important difference, namely that most insurance providers do not offer anything called “full coverage.” In other words, there is no single auto insurance policy that covers everything.

As mentioned, comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage that can be added to your state-required liability insurance which provides additional protection for accidents not caused by a vehicular collision. Rather than having one super policy, you can pair different types of coverage. Learn more about comprehensive coverage and get a quote today so you can build a custom policy that’s right for you.

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