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Exclusions to Comprehensive Auto Insurance

There are many exclusions to comprehensive auto insurance, in spite of what its name might suggest. Comprehensive auto insurance is thought by many outside the car insurance industry as a generally all-inclusive form of insurance. Many people think it includes collision coverage as well, although in reality collision insurance requires a whole separate auto insurance policy. Collision and comprehensive insurance work together to give the insured policy holder a wide base of protection. Comprehensive insurance for your car picks up where collision leaves off, taking care of non-collision concerns. But it does not cover everything, and there are limitations and exclusions to comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive Insurance Definition

To begin any discussion of comprehensive auto insurance an its limitations and exclusions, it is useful to include a brief definition of what exactly is meany by the term comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive, as mentioned previously, works where collision does not, to protect your car in non-accident circumstances. Comprehensive auto insurance deals with any covered non-collision damages and losses that might be sustained by your car from a variety of sources and situations.

For example, any damage sustained by your insured car while it parked in your garage or outside your house would be a comprehensive insurance issue. If your car was damaged in a garage fire or in a flood in your garage following a major storm, you would file a claim against your comprehensive policy to recover damages to use in dealing with repairs and restoration. If your vehicle was stolen and recovered by law enforcement authorities, but sustained damage in the course of the theft, this damage would be an issue covered by comprehensive coverage. If a hail storm hit your home town and damaged your car while it was parked outside your home, your comprehensive policy would be the place to start in filing a claim to get the damage fixed. And any damage done by animals or through acts of vandalism would be comprehensive issues as well.

As clearly indicated by this sampling of claim events, there is a great deal of value in carrying a comprehensive auto insurance policy, because its coverage does stretch pretty far. In a lot of cases, it's a great investment to protect your car with comprehensive coverage for just that reason. But comprehensive car insurance does not cover everything, and there are definitely limitations to the reach of its protection for your vehicle. These limitations do not necessarily detract from its value if you know about them ahead of time. But they might affect your decision on whether to include comprehensive auto coverage in your insurance policy as you put your plan together.

Comprehensive Does Not Cover Everything

Not everything under the sun is included in auto comprehensive coverage. There are certain exclusions and limits you should be aware of. An exhaustive list of definitions, exclusions and limitations can be obtained in writing from any qualified auto insurance provider. For the purposes of this discussion a sampling of some of the more common exclusions suffices to demonstrate the limited nature of comprehensive auto insurance.

There are certain specific limitations regarding particular instances that are not covered by comprehensive auto insurance. For example, damage to a vehicle resulting from a lack of normal maintenance is never an issue allowing the policy holder to make a claim. Carrying comprehensive automobile coverage does not preclude you from having to take care of your car. Comprehensive insurance also does not cover intentional malicious abuse by the policy holder. Any claim made following such abuse is fraudulent, and can get you into a lot of trouble. It is just not worth trying anything like this. The chance of getting caught are high, because adjusters know what they are doing, and they are trained to spot signs of this type of activity.

Likewise, normal wear and tear or mechanical breakdown of a vehicle are not covered by comprehensive insurance. For example, if your truck's transmission goes, if it is not under warranty by the manufacturer you are likely going to have to pay out of pocket for its repair or replacement. Comprehensive insurance is not an all-encompassing insurance form that takes care of anything and everything. Another good example of this point is in the fact that damage to tires is usually not covered by comprehensive. The only way you can normally make a claim on tire damage is when the vehicle itself is also damaged. Check with your individual insurer about tire vandalism incidents and their specific policy on covering these types of events.

When a car is broken into, there are certain types of damages covered by auto comprehensive insurance, but also limitations to that protection provided by comprehensive. For example, if someone smashes a window to break into your car, the broken window and any other damage to the vehicle itself will be covered by your comprehensive policy. But certain other damages or losses will not be covered. If you had CDs or a laptop or any other personal belongings stolen from the car or damaged in the break-in, your personal losses will not be covered. These losses may be covered by homeowners or renters insurance, however, depending on what was taken and where your car was at the time of the break-in.

Other Examples of Comprehensive Exclusions

There are also other types of exclusions and limitations on your comprehensive policy that you should be aware of. In most cases there will be no comprehensive coverage for damage sustained by a vehicle being used for purposes like transporting people or property for compensation, by vehicles being used for racing, or for losses to electronics or other custom parts not declared in the original policy application. This last exclusion is important for music enthusiasts who put money into their sound systems in their cars. Do not think you have automatic protection for whatever you put into your car. You have to declare additions like custom equipment if you want it insured against loss.

Another type of limit to keep in mind is the financial limit of compensation auto insurance protection. You should bear in mind that unless explicitly stated otherwise, the overall limit of your policy is based on the market value of the car. If you have put a lot of money into extras like tires, sound systems and paint, do not think you can get it all back in a total loss. It just is not realistic to think this way. In all likelihood, the check you receive will fall short of your investment in the vehicle by a long shot. Keep this in mind before dropping a lot of money into a car you do not own outright.

There are certainly other limitations and exclusions to comprehensive auto insurance policies. This guide is not meant to present an exhaustive, but rather a representative list to give you a better idea of the kinds of things compensation insurance does cover as well as the kinds of things it does not. Comprehensive auto insurance is a great asset to include in your insurance policy if your car's value justifies the expense of making this purchase. But make any such purchase wisely.

 

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