The term "comprehensive coverage" sounds pretty impressive on your car insurance policy, and chances are that you are paying for some type of comprehensive coverage, especially if you have bought your car with a loan (banks regularly require the coverage to secure their investment). However, if you think that paying for comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from all types of potential damage, you may be mistaken. Under some circumstances, auto insurance companies won't pay out on a claim made under this coverage type, and understanding those situations is vital when evaluating your car insurance policy.
First of all, it's important to note what comprehensive car insurance will cover. Sometimes referred to as "other than collision insurance", the coverage type is designed to protect your car from any damage that occurs that is not related to an accident with another vehicle. For example, damages from animals like raccoons, floods, riots, auto theft, some natural disasters, or storm damage would all be covered by your comprehensive insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage will not include anything that occurs due to an accident. This is covered by a separate insurance type called collision insurance. Any damage that occurs to your car due to lack of mechanical maintenance will not be covered by either comprehensive or collision insurance, either. These are considered to be the fault of the driver, so claims will be refused. Injuries to any drivers and passengers are not covered. Some insurance companies also have exclusions built into their policies for specific types of national or state emergencies, in order to avoid massive losses in those types of events, or exclusions that prevent them from paying out damages for any property inside the car in an event or a theft. Exclusions vary from company to company and state to state (mainly due to state insurance law), so you'll have to check over your policy to determine what your policy will and will not cover.
When looking for car insurance quotes, be sure to carefully read the language describing coverage as "comprehensive", and be aware of any exclusions in your contract. If you are confused at all, ask your insurance agent to clarify the terms of your agreement. Consider buying additional types of insurance coverage if you're worried that your comprehensive coverage is not enough protection. You can offset the increased rates from the additional coverage by negotiating with your insurer or by looking around for other car insurance quotes and selecting one of your insurer's competitors. Comprehensive coverage will not cover everything, but it's an important part of your overall policy, and understanding it is very important.