Man Standing In front of Broken Down CarComprehensive car insurance is a type of coverage that is designed to pay for damage to insured vehicles that is not the result of a car accident. However, the key word in comprehensive coverage is “damage.” It is not designed to pay for, nor does it cover, mechanical problems unless those mechanical problems are the direct result of a covered event.

What Does My Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?
Comprehensive car insurance is separate from your liability insurance. It must specifically be purchased in order to have coverage on your car. Many people choose “full coverage” policies when their vehicles are financed; this typically includes a comprehensive policy to take care of non-accidental damage and devaluation of the vehicle until it is paid for.

Comprehensive car insurance covers a variety of issues and situations. In fact, it is one of the most flexible of all types of insurance. Comprehensive coverage will pay in the event that:

• Your car catches on fire. If your car catches on fire and burns, comprehensive will pay for the repairs unless the fire is due to another person’s negligence. In that case, that person’s insurance must pay for the damages.
• Your car is flooded. If your car floods due to a hurricane or other event, comprehensive coverage is generally responsible for the damages, especially if the car is parked at the time. If you drive into a river or lake accidentally, your own liability coverage may also pay some of the damages. Comprehensive also covers other types of weather damage such as hail.
• A tree falls on your car. If a tree or some other object falls on your car, comprehensive usually pays for the damages. If you can show that another person’s negligence resulted in the damaged, that person will usually have to pay to repair your vehicle.
• Your windshield breaks. Many comprehensive policies have a separate glass breakage rider, some of them with no deductible in case a rock or baseball lands on your windshield.
• Your car is stolen. Car theft is a major problem in some areas. A comprehensive policy will repair your stolen car if it is recovered or replace it if it is not. However, be sure you have a replacement value rider on your comprehensive policy or you will receive only the book value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage has its own deductible, or amount that you must pay before the insurance company pays for damages. The comprehensive deductible is in addition to any liability deductible and is set at the time the policy is purchased. You may set your liability deductible at $500, for example, but your comprehensive deductible at $1,000.

Some financing companies demand that your comprehensive, collision and liability deductibles be set at the lowest possible amount during the time the vehicle is financed; if the car is paid for, however, it is up to you to decide what constitutes a management deductible.

Is There Any Type of Car Insurance That Covers Mechanical Problems?
There is no “car insurance” that covers mechanical problems, although many dealerships and private companies sell “warranty” policies. If you purchase a warranty on your vehicle, either before or after the sale, you will be covered for a certain number and type of repairs through a pre-determined time period. In many ways, warranties are very similar to car insurance with one large exception: a warranty does not specify any responsibility for car break downs. No matter why your alternator quits, a warranty covers the work. Insurance, on the other hand, assigns fault for an accident or incident and pays accordingly.

What Should I Consider When Buying Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Whether you are buying a liability policy, a comprehensive policy or even a warranty for repairs, remember that what you are really purchasing is risk mitigation. You are lowering the risk that something will happen to your vehicle that you cannot pay for on your own. Because you are asking someone else to carry that risk, the amount you pay for this insurance will be directly related to how much of a risk that company considers you and your vehicle to be.

If you have a good driving record and have made no claims on your insurance in a long time, comprehensive coverage will be less expensive than if you are constantly filing claims or having accidents. A new car, on the other hand, may be more expensive to insure than an older one even if you have few or no claims history because it will be more expensive to repair.