Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years Laura Walker

UPDATED: Apr 25, 2022

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The Concise Case

  • Car insurance will cover most types of accidental damage if you have comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage will pay for accidental damage not caused by a collision
  • Full coverage auto insurance is comprised of both comprehensive and collision insurance 

Does auto insurance cover accidental damage? What does car insurance cover, and what coverage do you need to be protected? We need a little auto insurance 101.

What your car insurance will cover depends on what kind of coverage you have. If you’re confused about how car insurance works when it comes to accidental damage, you’re not alone. But we’re here to help.

We’ll cover what type of insurance you need to cover various kinds of accidental damage, from backing into something to a tree branch landing on your hood.

Read on to learn what you need to know to buy the right car insurance coverage. But before you do, enter your ZIP code to compare rates for car insurance that covers all kinds of accidental damage.

Does auto insurance cover accidental damage?

Yes, if you have the right coverage.

A full coverage auto insurance policy will cover most types of accidental damage. Accidental damage can happen in a number of different ways.

Of course, the most common type of accidental damage is from an accident. If you’re involved in a collision, and you’re not at fault, the other driver’s insurance will pay for your damage. However, if you have collision coverage, your insurance will pay no matter who is at fault.

So what about accidental damage that isn’t caused by a collision?

Non-collision accidental damage is covered by auto comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive coverage handles damage to your car caused by:

  • Natural disasters
  • Fire
  • Riots/vandalism
  • Vehicle theft
  • Theft
  • Fallen objects
  • Animals

On average, comprehensive auto insurance adds about $11 per month to your monthly rate.

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What is full coverage insurance?

Is comprehensive insurance full coverage? What do you need to have full coverage? Comprehensive coverage is one-half of what is known as full coverage. Full coverage combines comprehensive and collision coverage.

Collision coverage covers damage caused by a collision, as the name implies. Comprehensive coverage covers damage from incidents other than collisions, such as a broken windshield from a flying rock or a tree branch falling on your car during a storm.

Both of these examples are types of accidental damage that would only be covered if you have comprehensive insurance. However, a hit-and-run accident where another car hits yours and leaves the scene falls under collision.

The average cost of full coverage is approximately $196 per month. USAA, State Farm, and GEICO have some of the lowest rates for full coverage auto insurance.

What’s the best coverage for accidental damage?

The best coverage for accidental damage depends on what caused the damage. If your car is hit by another car while parked on the street, that is covered by collision. If someone keys your car in the same location, it’s covered by comprehensive.

To fully protect yourself from accidental damage, it’s best to have both collision and comprehensive.

The combination of collision and comprehensive effectively grants you full coverage. These are options that you will need to add to your policy, as no state law requires either one. However, if you have a loan on your car, your lender will require you to have full coverage.

To compare rates for full coverage insurance that covers all kinds of accidental damage, type your ZIP code in the free tool below.