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AAA World Article

The Breakdown

Understanding Auto Insurance: What Comprehensive Coverage Means

By Anthony Ricotta

AAA World Article

It could be a rough storm that tosses a heavy oak branch across the hood of your car. Or a bouncing stone on the highway that cracks your windshield. It could even be a deer or other animal that innocently wanders into the roadway in front of you. Whether your car is traveling on the road or parked at home in your driveway, any number of things could happen, causing hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage. Does your auto insurance cover these types of incidents? If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, the answer is likely yes.

What exactly is comprehensive coverage? It’s insurance that covers damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Comprehensive is sometimes referred to in an auto policy as “Other Than Collision” coverage. In addition to coverage for damage caused by storms and road hazards, it may cover your vehicle for theft, flood, fire, vandalism and other specific perils.

Comprehensive coverage is usually sold along with collision insurance. Just as the name implies, collision insurance covers damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car or object, or from your vehicle overturning.

In most cases, if your car is leased or financed, you are contractually required to carry both comprehensive and collision insurance. If you own your car outright, the coverage is optional, but it’s smart to carry it to protect your investment, especially if your car has a moderate to high value.

With collision and comprehensive coverage, a deductible usually applies. Your policy will pay for damages that exceed the deductible amount, which typically ranges from $250 to $1,000. Choosing a higher deductible will help lower your premium, but be prepared to pay the deductible amount in the event of a loss. 

To learn more tips and about other  automotive solutions AAA provides motorists and their vehicles, visit

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. AAA does not guarantee any particular outcome.

Disclaimer: The content contained in this article if for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any professional guidance. AAA does not guarantee any particular outcome.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of AAA World.

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