Do You Need Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Should You Buy Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Do you need comprehensive auto insurance?

Do you need comprehensive auto insurance?

When you buy insurance, you will notice that you can choose between different types of car insurance. Of course, almost every vehicle owner needs to purchase liability auto insurance to conform with financial responsibility laws in their state. However, state laws do not require the purchase of comprehensive or collision insurance. If you need a loan to buy a new or used vehicle, your lender will require comprehensive and collision coverage, but what should you do if your vehicle is already paid for and you get to choose.

Definition of Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Most types of auto insurance cover your vehicle in case of an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle against non-accident damage. Some examples are hail, floods, vandalism, and other covered situations that could damage your car that do not involve an actual car wreck.

Do You Need Comprehensive Car Insurance?

You might ask yourself some of the same questions that you would ask yourself when you decide if you need collision auto insurance. If your vehicle suffers damage, can you pay to repair or replace it if you need to. For example, if you drive an old beater, you might not care to repair a few scratches or dents from a hail storm. But if a bad storm renders your vehicle unusable, what would you do? You need to balance the extra cost of comprehensive car insurance against the pain you would suffer if you needed to repair a vehicle that was damaged or lost because of non-accident damage.

In some cases, you should assess your risk. If you live in an area that floods a lot, you might risk having flood damage. If not, the risk may be low. On the other hand, most drivers can buy very affordable comprehensive auto insurance, so this extra protection might be worth a few bucks a month.

Save Money on Comprehensive With a Higher Deductible:

  • If you would like the extra security, but want cheap comprehensive car insurance, you can always raise the deductible. That is sort of compromise between having no comprehensive at all and having really robust protection.
  • Raising the deductible is probably a good idea if you decide that you probably will not even bother to get minor dings and scratches fixed, but you just want coverage in case something really damaging happens.

Also, if you need rental car insurance frequently, your own policy will cover the same way that your car is covered. So, having non-accident auto insurance may be more important on a new rental car than your old old car.

Shop Around for the Best Comprehensive Car Insurance Rates

In any case, you can save money on all types of car insurance, comprehensive, collision, and liability insurance, by shopping around for a company who will offer you the best car insurance rates.

Do You Need to Buy Rental Car Insurance at the Counter?

Is Your Rental Car Covered?

Who is going to pay for this mess?

Who is going to pay for this mess?

This has got to be the question that causes travelers at the counter than any other. You get to the rental car counter, and the smiling attendant offers you insurance for your rental car, and you have no idea if you should buy it or not. For one thing, it tends to add a lot to your car rental price. For another thing, you think you vaguely remember something about being covered by your existing auto policy or a credit card.

What you shouldn’t do is guess. You may be adequately covered, but you may not be. It is better to find out before you rent a car than afterwards.

Car Owner Insurance on Rental Cars

If you already own a car, you are probably covered as well as you are for vehicles you own. For instance, if you have liability insurance on your own car, you probably have it on the rental. But your old car might be 10 years old, and you are planning to rent a late-model vehicle. If you are worried about damage to that vehicle in case you cause an accident or suddenly drive into a hail storm, you also need comprehensive and collision.

Tip: Before you rent, call your agent and find out how you are covered when you rent a car.

It might be helpful to review the basic kinds of auto insurance that may be included in a policy:

  • Liability covers damage to the other guy in case you cause a wreck, and it is usually required to be a legal driver in each state.
  • Collision covers damages to your car, or your rented car, in case you cause an accident.
  • Comprehensive covers the car if it gets damaged for some reason besides an accident. Vandalism, theft, or storms might be included.

What About Credit Card Car Insurance?

Now your credit card may cover damage to the rental car. What they may not cover is liability. If you call your credit card company to make sure, you might be fine with a combination of your own liability and your credit card’s coverage.

What if You Don’t Own a Car and Want to Rent?

Lots of people rent cars who do not choose to own one. If you are in a hurry and waiting at the counter, your best option might be to pick up the counter policy. You need to make sure you get liability at the least, but you probably should consider comprehensive and collision to keep you off the hook for repairs.

If you plan ahead, you could shop for non-owner car insurance. This is typically cheaper that insurance for people who own a car, but it might only provide liability. So, if it doesn’t cover everything, consider the ways you can cover damage to the car you intend to rent.

Don’t Take the Keys Before You’re Covered

Nobody plans to have an accident but plenty of people only realized that they weren’t covered until after they had an auto accident. If you already know you are going to rent a car, figure out how you are going to handle rental car insurance. Even if you’re standing at the rental counter, you can always use your cell phone to call your agent and credit card company.