What Is a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    What Is a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?
    What Is a Comprehensive Car Insurance Claim?
    A comprehensive car insurance claim is a request made to your auto insurance company to be compensated for a loss that is covered under the comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. This loss may result from actual physical damage to the vehicle, or from the outright theft of your vehicle.
  • Distinction

    A comprehensive claim can be distinguished from a collision claim by the specific type of physical damage or loss that each covers. While a collision car insurance claim applies to damage caused by collision with another car or object, a comprehensive car insurance claim applies to damage or loss resulting from all other incidents other than collision. In fact, a comprehensive car insurance claim is often referred to as an "other-than-collision" claim.
  • Coverage

    A comprehensive car insurance claim will cover damage to your vehicle resulting from incidents that include fire, flood, earthquakes, wind, storms and riots. It will also be paid for theft, burglary and vandalism of the vehicle. Windshield damage is a common comprehensive car insurance claim, which often results from hail damage or flying rock such as a pebble from the road.


  • Deductible

    A comprehensive claim is paid out to pay the cost of a covered loss, less a comprehensive deductible. A deductible is the portion of a comprehensive car insurance claim that you are responsible for paying. It is "deducted" from the total claim amount, and must be paid by you out-of-pocket. You will select this amount at the time that you purchase your policy, and is usually in the amounts of 50, 100, 250, 500 or 1000.
  • Replacement Value

    When you file a comprehensive car insurance claim for a vehicle that is stolen or totaled, the insurance company will pay for the loss up to the actual cash value of the vehicle. Actual cash value is the appraised value of the vehicle -- its market value - at the time of the claim. You can use the Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds Private Party Value to estimate the maximum amount that can be paid out for your car for a comprehensive car insurance claim.
  • Proof

    Unlike a liability insurance claim, which covers another person's car or property, a comprehensive car insurance claim covers your own vehicle. What's more, because comprehensive claims are not considered to be your fault, you do not have the burden of proof that is required for most other types of auto insurance coverages. For example, if there is damage to your vehicle due to collision, determining who is a t fault is a requirement in the claims process. On the other hand, if a bird flies into your windshield and cracks it, the windshield will be fixed with no further investigation to determine fault.
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