If you do not have a fancy stereo system, you might feel tempted to skip comprehensive coverage when building your car insurance plan. But, comprehensive coverage protects you from far more than just theft alone. Without this type of insurance, you would be on the hook for the full cost of repairs for windshield chips and cracks, damage caused by vandals, collisions involving animals and spontaneous engine fires. Here's what you need to know about these situations – and how to set up the right level of coverage for you.
Windshield Chips And Cracks
If your windshield is pelted with rocks kicked up by another vehicle, it could chip or crack and obscure your view. By foregoing repairs or replacement, you run the risk of receiving an infraction from driving with a broken windshield. Since rocks, not another vehicle, actually collided with your car, this type of damage is only covered by comprehensive, not collision. If you do not have this type of coverage, you will be paying for the damage out of pocket. Avoid the temptation to go to booths claiming to provide free rock chip repairs, as those companies just run the claim through your insurance as well.
Paint Destruction By Vandals
When vandals key your car, causing deep scratches across your clear coat of paint, you must have the damage repaired to keep it from spreading. You can have a body shop repair and respray the damaged panels by paint matching your stock vehicle color. Your insurance company will cover the damage under your comprehensive plan once you pay the deductible. If you do not have this type of coverage, the out of pocket cost may quickly eat up hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the damage location and severity.
Collisions Involving Animals
While traveling down the road, a deer, moose or other large animal could dart out in front of you and cause a serious accident. Collisions with large animals can completely total your vehicle and make it unsafe to even limp home. If you are covered with comprehensive, your insurance company will assess the damage and cut you a check for the replacement cost of your vehicle. Your comprehensive coverage allocation must equal or surpass the replacement cost of your vehicle to fully cover your expenses.
Spontaneous Engine Fire
It takes little more than a slight fuel leak onto a hot engine manifold to start an extensive fire in your engine bay. The fire may melt all of the plastic materials in your engine bay within just a few moments. The smoke tends to roll into the cabin area, filling the seats and carpet with lasting noxious odors. If the fire has a chance to spread, it could consume your entire vehicle. With comprehensive coverage, you can have your vehicle repaired and cleaned or replaced outright by your insurance company. Remember to select coverage that equals at least the full replacement cost of your vehicle to cover severe types of damage, like engine fires.
Selecting The Right Level Of Coverage
When you add comprehensive coverage to your insurance plan, you will need to determine the deductible amount you are comfortable paying. You will need to fulfill the selected deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in. You can select from $100 to $1000 dollar deductible amounts from most insurance providers. In general, selecting the lowest deductible will usually result in increased monthly premium charges, while higher deductibles decrease your premium rate. You will also need to select the amount of comprehensive coverage, in dollars, that you want to purchase for your vehicle. If you are unsure about what to select, you can work with your insurance agent to find the right balance for your budget and vehicle value.
Read more at a car insurance company's site.