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Comprehensive Coverage: A Simple Guide

Comprehensive coverage is one of those terms that many drivers have heard but may not fully understand. However, that is where our expertise comes in. Sometimes referred to as “other than collision”, comprehensive is a coverage on your auto insurance and not the policy itself.

To make it simple: Comprehensive coverage protects your car from damage that is out of your control. So if you experience a covered event (like hitting a deer), you pay a deductible and insurance pays for the repairs.

So what exactly does it cover? And how does it work? Let us guide you…

Alternatively, you can view our visual guide here:

Visual Guide to Comprehensive

What Does Comprehensive Coverage Actually Cover?

Like we mentioned above, comprehensive coverage protects your car from damage outside of your control. If you live in our area (the Northeast, Pennsylvania to be more specific), you may want to consider this type of coverage to protect against the following:

  • Accidents with Deer (and other animals)
  • Storms, hail, wind, and floods
  • Windshield and glass damage
  • Rocks falling off vehicles
  • Falling trees/limbs

Other covered events no matter where you reside:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Riots
  • Explosions
  • Earthquakes

Additionally, be careful not to confuse comprehensive coverage with collision. If you get into a fender bender or back into another car, those events fall under collision. This is why, as we mentioned before, comprehensive is also referred to as “other than collision”.

Quick tip: You may see the term “other than collision” actually listed on your policy.

How Does Comprehensive Coverage Work?

Hitting a deer falls under comprehensive coverage on your auto insuranceIf you lease or finance your car, you are more than likely required to have comprehensive coverage. Otherwise, the decision is yours. But consider this:

In 2018, the average cost of an animal strike claim was $3,875, compared with $2,424 in 2006.<span class="su-quote-cite"><a href="https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/deer-season-means-animal-strike-season-on-the-roads" target="_blank">Highway Data Loss Institute</a></span>

Because of rising vehicle costs, this number will likely continue to rise. With that in mind, here’s how comprehensive coverage actually works:

1: You’re driving down a road at dusk and you hit a deer (poor guy!) causing $4,000 in damages to your vehicle.

2: You file a claim with your insurance company so that they will cover your repairs (luckily you have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy, at least in our example).

3: Your car gets repaired. With comprehensive coverage in place, you pay your deductible – $500 for example – and your insurance company pays the remaining $3,500.

Just the Beginning

As we mentioned before, you may be required to have comprehensive coverage if you lease or finance your car. But if it’s up to you, “other than collision” is a good option to keep in mind.

It’s also important to know that not all auto insurance in created equally. For instance, Erie’s Comprehensive Coverage includes auto glass repair, which waives the deductible for repairs and provides new wiper blades if your windshield needs to be replaced.

Better Car Insurance
If you’re thinking about buying a new car or are wondering whether you have the right coverage, our agents can help. Simply reach out to us or request a quote (below) and we will be in touch to help you with any questions. That’s what we’re here for.
A Quote May Be a Good Idea


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