When Will Comprehensive Coverage Pay for Your Car’s Damage?

Have you ever walked out of your door to find that a tree limb fell on your car during the night? Were you ever the victim of vehicle theft or vandalism? These are scary, upsetting and irritating experiences. You’ll likely face a few inconveniences as you try to repair or replace your vehicle and return to the road. However, if you have comprehensive damage insurance on your car insurance policy, then coverage will likely compensate you for the damage. Here’s how it works.  

Comprehensive Damage Insurance  
Car damage doesn’t just come from wrecks. They might occur anytime from a variety of hazards:  2 men and 2 women in a car

  • Falling objects might hit your car both when parked and on the road. Branches might fall out of trees or a piece of debris might hit your car during high winds.  

  • Fire risks exist both from the vehicle’s internal systems and external threats. An unexpected problem under the hood might cause a blaze. Lightning might even strike the car in the wrong place.  

  • Water damage might occur from flash flooding.  

  • Vandalism can result in broken glassed, dents, scratches, damaged tires, stolen parts and interior ruin.  

  • When theft occurs, the vehicle might be a total loss if the police cannot recover the car.  

  • Hitting an animal might not only cause a big mess, but also damage the vehicle significantly. 


If the worst does occur, then you can turn to comprehensive damage insurance if your car insurance offers it. It can help you pay for repairs to the vehicle. It doesn’t automatically come with many policies. So, always ask your agent to include it on your coverage when signing up.  

How Your Policy Pays  
If you find that your vehicle has damage, then call your insurance provider. They can evaluate the damage and tell you if you qualify to file under comprehensive coverage. They will evaluate the value of the damage and determine how much they will pay you for the repairs.  

Your policy will likely include a deductible. Your insurer will subtract the deductible from the total damage value before sending you a settlement. So, if your policy has a $1,000 deductible, and you have $3,500 in damage, then your insurer pays you $2,500 while you cover the remaining $1,000. Damage below the cost of the deductible has no coverage.  

When the car is a total loss, your insurer will likely pay out the cash value of the car, minus the deductible. This is the value of the car at the time of the damage, not the value of a new car. If you want more coverage, see if your insurer offers replacement value coverage for totaled cars.