Comprehensive car insurance is a type of coverage commonly found in many vehicle insurance policies, although its addition to basic liability protection is usually optional. While nearly every state's motor vehicle laws require that automobile owners operating their vehicles on public roads be indemnified against third party liability, they make no such requirements for maintaining comprehensive car insurance. A car insurance claim made against a basic liability policy, however, will only pay for losses suffered by "the other guy". Optional coverage such as comprehensive and collision are needed if a policyholder is to receive claim payments to offset his or her own personal losses.
For an insurance company, where assumption of risk is their business, someone making a claim is always bad news. When the company must pay out claims dollars, this means they are giving away profits. And while insurance companies expect to have to pay out a certain amount in claims every year, every policyholder making a claim against them is regarded as a higher risk than those who have never done so. Because of this higher risk factor, those with a negative claims history can expect to pay higher premiums as a result. Sometimes, after making one too many claims against a particular insurer, a policyholder's coverage may even be dropped altogether.
When figuring car insurance quotes, underwriters factor in a whole battery of statistical data in an effort to accurately project the relative risk of insuring a particular applicant. Among these are the age, make, and model of the vehicle to be covered, age and gender of the driver, and also his or her driving history, including any car insurance claim made against previous insurance carriers. If an applicant for an auto insurance quote is found to have made past claims, they are immediately viewed as a higher risk, which will almost certainly result in a higher policy cost quote.
Comprehensive car insurance is the part of a policy that covers loss to the insured vehicle in some way other than an actual collision. This could include theft, vandalism, fire, and acts of nature such as floods or hailstorms. While these are not considered collisions and may not show up on any police report as an accident, if a car insurance claim is made they become part of the car's history.
For minor damage inflicted, many policyholders will elect to not even file a claim against their comprehensive car insurance coverage since the amount for repairs may be not much more than the deductible amount that they must pay anyway, especially if they carry a relatively high deductible. This also saves them from the prospect of being subject to a rate increase.