Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Auto insurance is mandatory in 47 states if you want to register your car or drive legally
  • Comprehensive auto insurance provides coverage for repairs to your car if it is damaged due to events other than accidents
  •  Although it is relatively inexpensive when compared to other kinds of insurance, it may also be the most important kind of insurance to purchase in order to protect you from lawsuits
  • Comparison websites allow you to request quotes from a number of insurance companies with a single request

Auto insurance is mandatory in 47 states if you want to register your car or drive legally. Although comprehensive car insurance is not legally mandatory, if your car is leased or financed, your lender will require you to carry this type of insurance in addition to collision and liability coverage.

When choosing a company offering car insurance, it is important to compare rates and features from at least three different companies before making a buying choice.

Enter your ZIP code in our free quote tool to compare car insurance quotes from different car insurance companies for FREE!

Table of Contents

What is comprehensive car insurance?

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Comprehensive auto insurance provides coverage for repairs to your car if it is damaged due to evens other than accidents. If your car is damaged due to hail, being hit by a falling tree limb or by being hit by an animal, then those repairs are covered under your comprehensive coverage policy.

Comprehensive car insurance also pays for damages due to vandalism or if your car is stolen.

Most insurance companies will only provide comprehensive coverage as part of other insurance coverage, including liability and collision coverage.

If you want to purchase a car insurance policy with only comprehensive coverage, you will be required to place your car in storage and on blocks so that it is not possible to drive before an insurance company will provide you with a policy.

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The Importance of Liability Auto Insurance

Liability car insurance is mandatory insurance in most states. Although it is relatively inexpensive when compared to other kinds of insurance, it may also be the most important kind of insurance to purchase in order to protect you from lawsuits.

Liability auto insurance pays for repairs to another person’s car if you cause an accident.

It also pays for medical expenses if there are injuries to the other driver or their passengers. However, it does not provide for payments for repairs to your own car.

Additionally, it does not pay for medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured. Other types of insurance pay for these expenses.

Mandatory liability insurance limits are often very low. However, this amount of coverage rarely pays for the real expenses related to accidents. According to the American Automobile Association, the average property damage costs in a car accident often exceed $100,000.

This amount can skyrocket if you hit something like a light pole or a traffic signal box, since those items are often worth more than $300,000 to replace.

If the accident involves injuries, medical expenses can be more than $150,000 and rise into millions of dollars if there is a fatality.

Minimum liability auto insurance only covers a very small portion of the costs resulting from an accident.

However, even if you have liability insurance in place and it does not fully cover the total expenses that result from the accident, you are still legally responsible for paying those costs.

If you have assets, such as a home, a business, stocks or other valuable items, they may be subject to forfeiture to pay for accident costs and the legal expenses in defending yourself.

As a result of all of this, most insurance experts advise that it is smart to buy as much liability insurance as you can afford. This will provide you with the maximum amount of financial protection possible if you cause an accident.

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Insurance Comparison Websites

Insurance comparison websites can provide a wealth of information. Often, they have articles on topics of interest that answer many common questions about auto insurance.

Additionally, they also may have a forum available for consumers to leave comments or ask questions about different auto insurance providers.

Comparison websites allow you to request quotes from a number of insurance companies with a single request. Often, auto insurance companies and brokers contract with comparison websites for the opportunity to provide quotes for coverage.

In addition to basic information, you will also need to provide an email address and telephone number with your request.

Insurance Companies

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You can also request a car insurance premium quote directly from insurance companies. Most insurance companies have websites that provide detailed information regarding the different types of coverage they offer and additional benefits for policyholders.

You can also request rate quotes in-person from company representatives and over the telephone.

Auto insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product.

When you are buying car insurance, make sure that you compare rates and look for insurance that will fit your needs as much as possible for the best price possible.

Before making a purchasing choice, ask about ways your rates can be lowered and save yourself some additional money in the process.

Better yet, compare quotes from different companies all at once for FREE when you enter your ZIP code in our comparison tool.

References:

  1. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements
  2. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/06/carinsurance.asp
  3. https://wallethub.com/edu/comprehensive-vs-collision/10023/
  4. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability.asp
  5. http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finance/insurance/how-much-car-insurance-do-you-need/