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Overinsured or Underinsured? Comparing Comprehensive Car Insurance

Getting involved in a car accident and finding out that you’re underinsured is a bad, bad thing. But overinsuring yourself isn’t exactly the best solution, either. Sure, it’s always great to discover that you’re covered when the stuff hits the fan. However, sometimes it can be even worse to find out that you’ve been busy throwing money away on excessive insurance. So how do you strike a balance between the two extremes? First, let's compare comprehensive car insurance with basic coverage to find out.

What’s Comprehensive Car Insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance covers you for damage that occurs to your car as the result of a non-collision. An example would be if a herd of deer were to suddenly charge out in front of you while you were doing 85 on the freeway. Comprehensive also covers you in the event that your car gets swept away in a flood, or scorched in a fire, or gets stolen and gutted and left for dead under some random overpass. If you’re driving around (or parked) and any of these hazards occur and all you have is standard collision insurance, you’ll be officially out of luck and stuck with a hefty repair bill to take care of all by yourself.

When Do You Need Comprehensive?
Buying comprehensive car insurance is more often than not a judgment call that you’ll have to make. In some cases, if your car is worth a lot and you’ve got a bank loan to pay it off your lender might require that you get minimum comprehensive coverage to protect their investment. Otherwise, you’re free to ramp up the level of coverage as you see fit. Of course, the higher your level of coverage, the more money you’ll be asked to pay for your insurance premiums. It may be a good idea to seriously compare comprehensive car insurance rates if any of the following apply:

• You’re upside down in your car loan and you owe more than the car’s worth.
• You live in a high crime area that increases the chances of your car being stolen.
• Your daily commute takes you through deer crossing areas.
• You believe in Murphy’s Law, stating that whatever can go wrong will go wrong.

On the other hand, comprehensive car insurance may be a bad idea if any of the following are true:

• Your car’s a beater not worth the cost to insure it.
• Any theft would be a blessing in disguise.
• You’re independently wealthy and/or perfectly capable of paying for damages out of pocket without feeling the crunch.

Putting it to the Test
If you want to find out how much money you’ll be saving by eliminating comprehensive coverage on your car (or how much more money you’ll be spending by adding or ramping up your level of comprehensive coverage) all you have to do is compare auto insurance rates online with what you’re paying now. You can get online car insurance quotes quickly and accurately without even having to call your insurance agent. As a rule, you should be comparing auto insurance plans on a regular basis to make sure you’re not paying too much.

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