Auto Insurance: Comprehensive Coverage

This grab bag of coverages can protect you and your vehicle from theft, fire and forces of nature.

A combination of liability, collision, medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance would seem to take care of all conceivable risks. Yet none of that insurance would necessarily cover losses to your vehicle from these hazards: theft of the car or some of its contents, collision with an animal, glass breakage, falling objects, fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood, malicious mischief, vandalism or riots.

Comprehensive insurance, which is optional, will cover those losses, usually up to the car's cash value and sometimes subject to a deductible.

In some areas, if you keep your car in a garage or off-street parking area or if the car has a good anti-theft device — for instance, one that prevents the car from being started — you can get a reduction in your comprehensive-coverage premium.

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Comprehensive coverage also entitles you to some compensation for renting a car if yours is stolen. Check your policy to see how much the policy would pay per day and for how long; different companies pay different amounts, subject to state requirements.