Liability coverage is required in most states. It is often referred to as Bodily Injury Liability and provides coverage in case of bodily injury or death from a car accident for which you are responsible.
Comprehensive car insurance is a type of car insurance designed to protect against the expenses of physical damage to a car. It is sometimes referred to as “other than collision” (OTC) coverage, or “Comp”. What exactly is this type of coverage and what does it cover?
Components of Comprehensive Car Insurance
Physical Damage coverage is optional in most states. It covers the cost of damage repairs to your car that occurred as an accident covered under your policy. Coverage is applied after the deductible is paid.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are distinct components of physical damage coverage. Collision covers the cost to repair the damage to your car when it is in a car accident. Comprehensive covers physical damage to your vehicle for things that do not fall within a car accident such as vandalism. Some insurance companies will allow the purchase of only comprehensive coverage and not collision in certain situations.
Comprehensive coverage does not mean coverage for any and all damage to a vehicle; it pays for the cost of damages from non-collision related incidents. You should also understand that comprehensive coverage only covers damage to the vehicle, not any compensation for personal items in the car that were damaged or stolen or for damage caused by regular wear and tear on the vehicle.
Comprehensive Car Insurance Covers:
- Glass breakage*
- Damage from an animal
- Hail, water, or flooding
- Flying, propelled or falling objects
*Comprehensive does not cover theft or vandalism caused by family members or employees.
What is the Cost of Comprehensive Coverage?
The cost of comprehensive insurance varies by insurance company and a combination of the following factors: the age of the driver, the driver’s experience, the value of the car, the area where the car will be driven, and the estimated annual mileage. Policy deductibles range from $200 to $1,200; a higher deductible brings a lower insurance premium.
You will want to evaluate the cost of the coverage against the value of your vehicle; it is typically not advisable for older cars to carry comprehensive coverage since the cash value of the car could be very low. If your car is worth more than $4,000 or you find that it is a target for theft, coverage is recommended.
When am I required to Carry Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive is not required by any state but if your car is either financed or leased the financing company will usually require physical damage coverage.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!