Comprehensive coverage is physical damage coverage to the insured’s covered auto. To understand Comprehensive coverage you must first understand Collision. Collision is defined as a loss due to impact of the insured auto with another object or vehicle and includes the upset of the insured vehicle. Comprehensive is often referred to as Other Than Collision because it would pay almost every other type of direct, accidental loss to the vehicle other than collision (as long as it is not excluded by the policy).
Some examples of losses that would be considered Comprehensive losses are:
- Hail, water, or flood
- Contact with a bird or animal
- Glass breakage
Comprehensive coverage is not included on a standard auto policy. You must pay an extra premium for it. If you have a comprehensive loss then you will be subject to a deductible before insurance will kick in. It is highly advised that you include this coverage on newer vehicles. The older the vehicle gets, the less the coverage may benefit you.
There is a lot of confusion in the consumer world on whether or not they have to pay a deductible in the event of a glass breakage claim. Glass breakage falls under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage generally comes with a deductible (what the insured will pay before insurance kicks in).
Whether or not you must pay a deductible on glass claims largely depends on the state in which you are insured or the insurance carrier you are working with. In the state of Kentucky there is no deductible for glass breakage claims regardless of the insurance carrier. However, the damaged vehicle must carry comprehensive coverage at the time of loss.
Other states may be subject to deductibles for glass breakage; however, some insurance carriers do offer full glass coverage (no deductible) as an additional coverage on their policies. Consult with your agent if you have additional questions regarding how your policy reads.
Every summer as travel starts to increase we are met with the question, “Should I buy the rental companies insurance plan when I rent a car? Is it really worth it?” And every year we give our clients the same black and white answer… it depends.
The personal auto policy is designed to extend coverage to a rented vehicle at the broadest coverage the insured has on their current auto policy. Many people with older vehicles choose to only insure their vehicles for their liability since the value of the vehicle is diminished. If you do not have physical damage coverage on your vehicles then your personal auto policy would not extend physical damage to the rented vehicle either. In that situation you would definitely want to purchase the rental companies insurance to have coverage for damage to the vehicle. But considering that your current auto policy includes liability, physical damage and medical coverage then would it still be worth it to purchase the rental insurance?
It depends because there is more to consider. If you are involved in an accident in the rented vehicle then the rental company could put a hold on your credit card until your insurance company provides payment. This could significantly inconvenience you while traveling. There might be coverages like loss of income that the rental car company would be entitled to collect that your auto policy doesn’t provide. As Insurance Professionals we take the responsibility of educating on risk and advising our clients on best practices. We tend to lean toward purchasing the rental companies insurance. Purchasing the rental insurance can also allow you to keep your own insurance free from claim activity if you do have a loss while driving a rented vehicle. It can also provide you with the chance to lower your deductible if your current auto policy has high deductibles. If you are going to be renting a vehicle outside of the United States then we would highly recommend purchase rental insurance.
You might have heard your insurance agent say, “Insurance follows the car not the driver”. If your vehicle is insured, then someone borrowing your car with your permission would also be covered under your insurance policy. With that information, you may want to pause before letting anyone drive your vehicle. When you are trying to decide on letting someone borrow your car you more than likely are considering their personal driving habits and how much you trust them. But do you consider the impact it could have on your insurance if the borrower were involved in an accident in your vehicle?
Because insurance follows the car, your policy would act first in the event of an accident even if the borrower has their own insurance. Their insurance would not kick in until your limits were completely exhausted. Your policy is also the one that would take the rate increase that often comes with claim activity.
We don’t want to discourage you from being a good neighbor or exercising common safety practices. We all have had a friend move and need to borrow a truck or have taken a long road trip where the driving needed to be broken up into shifts. However, as insurance professionals we do need to make you aware that when you loan your car you are also loaning your insurance.