Comprehensive auto insurance is one of three main components of a broad auto insurance plan. Liability and collision insurance are the other two. Comprehensive coverage essentially protects against most types of direct and accidental damages not related to a collision.
Liability usually is the only state-mandated auto insurance coverage, as it covers you for injury or damage to others. Comprehensive protection is a common inclusion on a full auto insurance policy. It covers you for most types of natural or accidental causes of vehicle damage not caused by a collision.
According to Nationwide and Allstate overviews of Comprehensive Auto Insurance, coverage can include damage caused by contact with a bird or animal, falling or flying objects, theft or larceny, fire, windstorm, hail, water or flood, malicious mischief or vandalism, riot or civil commotion, breakage of glass, explosion or earthquake.
Rates for comprehensive auto benefits are affected by crime rates, weather conditions, driving history and other potential causes of damage. Some auto owners opt not to include comprehensive coverage in policies for less valuable vehicles, or they simply prefer to take their chances and avoid comprehensive premiums.