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Physical damage coverage protects your vehicle, regardless if it's moving or parked, from every potential hazard on this planet. This includes, but is not limited to, damage sustained through collisions with other vehicles, theft, fire, flood, earthquakes, vandalism, toppling trees, wayward wildlife, deep potholes and road debris.
This does not cover maintenance caused by normal road use, such as replacing a muffler or changing the oil.
Physical damage coverage protects your wallet from the nuances of fate. Regardless of how safe you drive or how careful you park, you still can't predict some rube keying the driver side of your car, or gumball-sized hail tumbling out of the sky and dimpling the hood of your vehicle, or getting sideswiped by a speeding taxi.
If you lease your vehicle or carry a loan, physical damage coverage, in most cases, is mandatory. Otherwise, it's optional if you own your car.
If you have the luxury of option, it's highly recommended to carry physical damage coverage if you own a vehicle with high Blue Book value. On the other hand, if you drive an old beater that's valued at less than $3,000, you may want to think twice about covering it. In some instances, depending on the damage, it may be cheaper to replace than to repair.
This coverage protects you from:
- Any collision with another vehicle, regardless of fault
- Any single car accident, such as spinning out on ice and flipping over
- Any damage caused by driving over a pothole
Coverage is usually offered with a deductible ranging from $250 to $1,000. A deductible is the amount of repair costs you pay out of your pocket. For instance, if you have a $2,000 repair bill and a $250 deductible, your insurance company would pay $1,750. So if you opt for a low deductible, your premium (insurance cost) will be higher. And vice versa.
The advantage of this coverage is that you'll be financially protected regardless of fault.
This pertains to any sustained damage that's not vehicle related. Or, in other words, protects you against the inadvertent. Some examples include:
- Hitting a deer
- A tree limb crashing down upon your car
- Ice storm
- Cracked windshield, depending on your state of residence
Though comprehensive coverage is optional if you own your vehicle, carrying it is advisable. It becomes especially beneficial following a natural disaster, such as a flood or tornado, providing needed financial comfort during an otherwise difficult circumstance.
You can choose deductible amounts of $250, $500 and $1,000. The higher the deductible the lower your premium. The choice is yours. If you live in a city that is considered a high risk area for theft and vandalism, expect to pay a slightly higher premium.
Fire and Theft Coverage
Fire and theft coverage falls under comprehensive insurance; all the more reason for maintaining that coverage.
Some insurance carriers do offer Fire and Theft With Combined Additional Coverage (CAC), but it only applies to certain heavy trucks. To qualify you must have either liability or collision insurance.
This policy protects you in the event of:
- Wind damage
- Hail damage
- Impact with wildlife
- Lightning damage
- Damage during transportation
When selecting a deductible for Fire and Theft With CAC you must also provide the estimated value of your truck, taking into account age, condition and any attached equipment.
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