Comprehensive insurance is an extensive auto insurance policy that covers accidents and damage other than collision. Covered damage includes natural disasters and damages from human causes, such as theft. After purchasing an auto liability insurance coverage in Texas, you have the option of choosing an additional policy for wider coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers you if your car is damaged by a hailstorm, spray-painted by someone, dented by an animal, or destroyed by rioters; pretty much most possible damage other than a collision with another vehicle.
Understanding the purpose of comprehensive insurance, as well as its advantages and disadvantages is crucial in determining if it is a good fit for you.
Comprehensive insurance in Texas is an optional auto insurance that offers financial security to vehicle owners whose cars have been damaged or destroyed by other events other than collisions/accidents. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage pays the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your car.
The primary purpose of comprehensive insurance in Texas is to help vehicle owners reduce financial uncertainty with regard to their vehicles. In addition, it aims to protect the assets of vehicle owners and make accidental loss manageable in the event of any damage to the vehicle, other than collision. Comprehensive insurance also covers repair services in case your car breaks down.
Comprehensive insurance is for protecting Texas car owners from damages caused to their vehicles by other adverse events such as tornadoes, earthquakes, animal damages, and other natural disasters. It is also for providing legal and financial protection in case of third-party vehicle damage, property damage, as well as injuries to or death of a third-party individual caused by policyholders.
Apart from collision, one of the most common causes of vehicle damage in Texas is hail. In 2019, Texas Insurance companies received 785,000 hail damage claims. Meanwhile, Texas recorded 51,522 animal-related auto crashes between 2016 and 2021.
There are no theoretically recognized types of comprehensive insurance. In practice, Texas insurance companies offer various comprehensive insurance plans, all tailored to fit specific needs. After purchasing comprehensive insurance, the insured can subscribe to one or more add-ons to enhance their coverage. Specific add-ons can cover the following:
Roadside vehicle breakdown
Engine repair or replacement
Tire repair or replacement
Loss of personal belongings following an accident
Depreciation on new cars
Whether you need comprehensive insurance depends on the age of your car and the risk factors of needs you are exposed to. Comprehensive insurance coverage makes more financial sense for Texans whose vehicles are newer and/or being financed. Likewise, if you reside in or regularly visit an area where theft, vandalism, hail, and hitting an animal are common, then you need comprehensive insurance coverage.
Consider the cost of coverage versus the value of the asset. You may not need comprehensive insurance if your premium cost in a year is over 25% of your car’s current value. To properly answer the question “Do you need comprehensive insurance?” you need to know why you need the coverage.
You need comprehensive auto insurance because it is the most all-encompassing type of coverage for non vehicle-on-vehicle collision-related damage.
You need comprehensive insurance if:
You have a lease or loan on your vehicle. Most lenders in Texas require their debtors to have comprehensive insurance coverage until they settle their debts.
Your area has a high incidence of theft, vandalism, or severe weather rate.
You cannot afford to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or stolen.
You drive on busy highways where your windshield may be damaged by gravel and debris.
You live in a rural area with records of deer strikes or other wildlife-related accidents.
In addition to the above, having comprehensive insurance enables the policyholder to get their car’s actual cash value at the time of an incident. You need comprehensive insurance if your car is of high value. But how do you determine if the value is high? First, you will need to calculate your vehicle’s value and subtract the deductible you have selected on your policy. Whatever is left is the maximum limit the insurance provider will pay as the actual cash value (ACV). Next, compare the ACV with your monthly premium. If the difference is worth it, you may need comprehensive insurance.
Generally, you do not need comprehensive insurance if your annual premium exceeds 25% of your vehicle’s current value.
Speak to a state-licensed insurance agent before purchasing or dropping your comprehensive insurance coverage.
To determine how much comprehensive insurance coverage you need, you must to consider the following vital questions:
What is your vehicle’s worth?
How susceptible are you to risk?
Do you live in an area frequented by natural disasters?
How often do you park your car?
For instance, if your vehicle has a low appraised retail value, you may want to purchase less coverage, so you do not pay more premium than the claim payout. On the other hand, if your car is worth a lot, you may choose to buy enough coverage to give you your actual cash value or even get 10-20% over the stated ACV through programs like Car Replacement Assistance (CRA).
In the end, how much comprehensive coverage you need is solely dependent on how much you can afford and whether this is enough coverage in case your car is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.
When going over the possible coverage options, always consult with a state-licensed insurance professional.
No, Texas does not mandate the purchase of comprehensive insurance. Unlike auto liability insurance, which is a state minimum requirement, comprehensive insurance coverage is optional. This means if a law enforcement officer pulls you over, the only thing you will be asked for is proof of liability insurance, not proof of comprehensive insurance.
However, if there is a loan on your vehicle, your lender may require you to have comprehensive insurance coverage. Nonetheless, this is not a state requirement that can lead to a violation of any Texas law.
Speak to a state-licensed insurance agent for more information regarding purchasing comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive auto insurance works by paying for the repairs or replacement of a policyholder’s car after it is damaged by hail, fire, theft, animal-related accidents, and activities not within the policyholder’s control. It also pays for replacement if it is stolen and repairs if it is vandalized. However, while shopping for comprehensive insurance, you need to know what it protects and excludes. To answer this, you need to know what comprehensive insurance covers and what it does not cover.
Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for damage caused to your vehicle that is not the result of a vehicle collision. It covers the following:
Natural disasters like floods
A civil disturbance (like a riot that results in damage or destruction of your car)
Comprehensive insurance is good for protecting an insured car when it gets damaged by an event other than a collision with another vehicle by repairing and replacing the covered vehicle.
For example, if an insured parks their car and there is a hail storm, the driver’s comprehensive insurance coverage will cover damage like a broken windshield. Also, if the insured’s car is stolen, their comprehensive insurance will replace it at the actual cash value minus depreciation at the time of the theft.
Insurance coverage is also good for people with high-value cars. The coverage will pay them the actual cash value of their car in the event of theft or any other covered peril.
It is advisable to speak to a state-licensed insurance agent to learn more about the benefits of comprehensive insurance in Texas.
Comprehensive insurance includes repairs or replacement of the policyholder’s vehicle when it gets damaged by something other than a collision.
Comprehensive auto insurance is a personal auto insurance coverage that provides coverage only to the policyholder when their car is damaged by an event other than a collision.
Comprehensive auto insurance will cover your vehicle if a tree falls on your car as a result of a freak tornado. Also, if your car is stolen or destroyed during a riot, your comprehensive insurance will cover you. If you are traveling on the road and a deer runs into your vehicle, the chances of your fender bending or your windshield breaking are high. If your car gets damaged - your comprehensive insurance will help pay for your fender and windshield repairs.
Yes, comprehensive auto insurance covers the theft of your vehicle. Comprehensive auto insurance also covers scratches to your car caused by a falling object, animal attack, hail storm, or riot.
Yes, comprehensive auto insurance covers the theft of a catalytic converter. A catalytic converter is a car component that reduces harmful emissions from gas-powered vehicles. It is susceptible to theft because of its exposed location, and if it is stolen, your comprehensive auto insurance plan will provide coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance will pay the cost of repairs or replacing the catalytic converter. In addition, if there is another related damage done to the car due to the theft, your plan may cover it. However, it is best to read the fine print of your insurance policy to be sure this type of theft is expressly stated to be covered.
Yes, acts of vandalism against the vehicle covered by an active comprehensive auto policy are covered.
Yes, comprehensive auto insurance covers water damage to your vehicle caused by a flood. Water from flooding may damage your vehicle's engine and interior. Your comprehensive auto insurance coverage will pay for the repairs or pay the car's actual cash value if there is a total loss due to the flood.
Note that comprehensive auto insurance will not cover water damage caused by maintenance issues like leaks from a pipe in the engine or as a result of you leaving your car window open during a rainfall.
Comprehensive auto insurance only covers damage to cars by something other than a collision with another car. This means there are events that a policyholder cannot claim through comprehensive coverage.
For example, comprehensive auto insurance does not cover:
Wear and tear of the insured’s vehicle
Mechanical and electrical failure not caused by things covered under comprehensive insurance
Damage caused by an intentional act of the insured
Criminal actions (damages during your attempt to evade police)
Law enforcement impounding your vehicle
Comprehensive insurance excludes the following damage:
Damage caused by a vehicle collision. Whether you are at fault or have no fault in the accident, comprehensive insurance cannot provide protection. For instance, if another vehicle runs into your vehicle and breaks the fender, your comprehensive insurance cannot pay to repair or replace it. To be better protected, it is best to purchase collision insurance coverage in addition to comprehensive insurance.
Damage caused to other people’s cars or property. For example, if you run into another individual’s vehicle or crash into your neighbor’s fence, comprehensive insurance will not cover any damages incurred. Instead, your auto liability insurance coverage will protect you from incurring such liabilities.
Medical expenses of you or your passengers, including bodily damage sustained by another person in their vehicle. So if you sustain an injury while in your car when it is raining hail, your comprehensive insurance will cover only the vehicle’s repairs. Comprehensive auto insurance will not pay for your medical expenses. Liability insurance, which is the state minimum requirement, covers bodily injury done to others. While your medical payment insurance or personal injury protection will protect you and your passengers if you are at fault, if it is not at your fault, then the other driver’s liability insurance covers them.
Comprehensive auto insurance does not pay back the value of items inside your car. These are typically covered by the insured’s homeowners or renters insurance policy if they have an active policy.
Comprehensive auto insurance is mostly used to pay for repairs and replace an insured’s vehicle in an event other than a collision. To understand how it works and its common use, let us look at the what, when, and why?
Comprehensive auto insurance pays for repairs or the replacement of the insured’s vehicle after getting damaged by something other than a collision.
Comprehensive auto insurance is used when damage has been caused to the insured’s car by something other than a collision. The covered loss is usually caused by theft, hail, fire, and vandalism.
Comprehensive insurance works to ensure the insured will not be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses in repairing or replacing their damaged cars caused by something beyond their control. For example, if your windshield gets broken during a hail storm or the vehicle is stolen, you have no control of these causes, and this is why it is advisable to purchase comprehensive insurance.
Comprehensive and collision insurance are purchased by an insured for full coverage since auto liability insurance does not cover their liability. However, even though both offer protection in repairing or replacing the insured’s car, they have different coverage. Comprehensive insurance pays for your damaged vehicle caused by covered incidents like vandalism, theft, hail, flood, animal accidents. In contrast, collision covers the repairs or replacement of vehicle damage caused by a vehicle collision.
Yes, you need comprehensive insurance with your auto liability insurance. Auto liability insurance is a state-mandated requirement that protects the public from the damages caused by the insured and their vehicle. Since liability insurance does not cover the insured’s property, comprehensive insurance steps in with protecting the policyholder when something other than collision damages their car.
Even though it depends on the insured’s needs, it is advisable to have both because they both have different coverages. Collision will pay for repairs or replacing your damaged car if you hit another car or an object. Meanwhile, comprehensive insurance will cover you if something other than collision causes damage to your vehicle.
For instance, comprehensive insurance will cover your vehicle if you drive down the road and a deer runs out onto the road and hits your car. However, if the deer ran out, you maneuvered and ended up rear-ending the vehicle in front of you, the damage caused is your action, and only your collision insurance will cover your car’s repairs.
If you have already purchased your auto liability insurance as required by the law and are looking to protect yourself further, you can buy comprehensive insurance by speaking to a state-licensed insurance agent to help you shop for the most suitable insurer which matches your needs.
Any Texan who qualifies to purchase an auto insurance policy can get comprehensive insurance. Individuals who want to be covered in the event of something other than collision causing damage to their vehicle can purchase comprehensive auto insurance. Persons who do not want to be directly responsible for repairing or replacing their cars due to damages caused by hailstorms, flood vandalism, and theft can also get comprehensive insurance. Furthermore, a person who purchased a car with a loan may need comprehensive coverage.
Any individual within the legal age to drive with a valid driver’s license and who has purchased the state-required auto liability coverage qualifies for comprehensive insurance. You must have the legal right to stay in Texas or any other state in the United States before applying for comprehensive auto insurance.
Speak to a state-licensed insurance agent for more information about what qualifies you for this insurance coverage.
Individuals who do not want to pay out of their pockets for repairs or replacement of their vehicles when events like hailstorms, floods, vandalism, and theft occur need comprehensive insurance. Also, any individual who bought their car with a loan may need comprehensive insurance. Lenders financing your vehicle can require comprehensive insurance until you pay off the loan.
You should get Comprehensive insurance if:
The vehicle’s market value justifies the premium cost.
The insured lives in a severe weather area, which is susceptible to extreme weather like hail and flood.
You cannot afford to pay out of your own savings for repairs or replacing the vehicle if it is damaged.
You have a driver on your auto insurance policy who is younger than 25.
You do not have a large emergency fund to rely on if you need to replace or repair your damaged car.
If you have further questions about comprehensive insurance and why you may need it, speak to a state-licensed insurance agent to clarify any questions you may have.
Comprehensive insurance is beneficial to individuals who do not want to pay out of their pocket for repairs of damage done to their vehicle by something other than collision. However, before you purchase comprehensive insurance, you may want to consider the pros and cons:
It covers various unexpected events out of the control of an individual, like car theft, animal-related accidents, riots, floods, fire, and vandalism.
It helps cut out-of-pocket expenses on repairs and/or replacement of a valuable vehicle.
It may not be necessary for an older car with low value
It does not cover personal items in the vehicle in the case of theft.
Comprehensive insurance is worth it if the premium cost is a small fraction of the vehicle’s value. It can also be worth it if you find it hard to replace or repair the car out of pocket without comprehensive insurance coverage. Even though it is not required by Texas law, many lenders require you to purchase comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. If you fail to buy comprehensive insurance, it may lead to repossession or forced place insurance.
Comprehensive insurance protects your car, so you do not have full coverage under your auto insurance policy if you do not have comprehensive insurance. If your vehicle gets damaged by something other than a collision, you will have to pay out of pocket for the repairs and additional costs. Comprehensive insurance is not required under any Texas law, except if your car is financed and the lender requires you to have comprehensive insurance.
Suppose you decide not to get comprehensive insurance. In that case, it means any damage caused by hail, flood, fire, vandalism, riot, and even theft will have to be taken care of by you without assistance from your insurance company.
Comprehensive auto insurance is important because it protects an insured vehicle if it gets damaged by something other than a collision and things beyond its control. In case of a covered event, your insurance provider is responsible for assessing the damages and paying for repairs and/or replacing your vehicle.
If your comprehensive insurance lapses, you lose financial protection that pays for your vehicle’s repair or replacement. Comprehensive insurance lapses when an insured fails to make payment on time and the grace period of 31 days has expired; the policy will be canceled. The insured would have to pay out of pocket for the repairs and replacement. If you are still interested in having comprehensive insurance coverage, you should buy another plan with your former insurance provider or shop for new providers.
It is important to avoid lapsing your comprehensive insurance coverage. If you have difficulty paying, speak to your state-licensed insurance agent to advise you on the best available options.