Most of us have a clear understanding of the conventional purpose of car insurance. If you’re involved in an automobile collision, you need a way to recover financially from any bodily or property damage inflicted upon yourself and others. Of course there are a range of coverage types that offer different levels of protection. Some consumers opt for basic liability insurance, which offers varying reimbursement for accidents you cause and is traditionally required under state law. This type of coverage doesn’t offer much help for you and your vehicle in the event of an accident, but it usually meets minimum legal compliance.

However, the experts at HUB International advocate for comprehensive coverage whenever possible, not simply because this type of plan provides a safety net for parties at both ends of the accident fault spectrum. In fact, there are a number of ways that comprehensive auto insurance policies protect you and your family from loss – safeguards that may not seem obvious at first glance.

Let’s look at eight events covered by comprehensive auto insurance of which you may not be aware:

  1. Earthquake and Flood Damage - You may be familiar with the exclusion of natural disaster damage from your homeowner’s insurance policy. But did you know comprehensive car insurance will be there for you no matter what Mother Nature brings? In addition to earthquake and flood loss, hurricanes, tornados and volcano eruptions are just some of the weather-related catastrophes covered when damage to your car results. 
  2. Fire - An automobile fire occurs every 96 seconds in the United States, and some of these originate with a manufacturer’s defect. But whether the fire is the result of a collision or an auto maker's flaw, you can rest assured that your comprehensive auto insurance policy will help you recover from a loss.
  3. Small Animal Damage - Depending on your geographic location, small critters of varying types can gnaw through wiring, scratch paint or inflict other damage. Your comprehensive policy may offer protection. Note: Not all comprehensive auto policies cover this type of loss, so be sure to check. 
  4. Celestial Events - In addition to offering protection in the unlikely event that your car is felled by a meteor or asteroid, this type of coverage extends to almost any type of object that falls from the sky. Hail stones, downed trees, errant baseballs – damage caused by any of these phenomena would be covered under a comprehensive auto insurance policy. 
  5. Riot Activity - Residents of Ferguson, Missouri experienced millions of dollars in damages to business and private property during the November 2014 riots. While riots of that magnitude may seem unlikely, even parades and other public events in your community could degenerate into disorderly behavior. If your vehicle becomes collateral damage, you’ll be glad you have comprehensive coverage. 
  6. Collisions with Nature - Over a million deer/vehicle collisions occur in the U.S. every year. If you’ve ever been party to one of these incidents, you know that damage to your car can be extensive. Campers and national park visitors will also be grateful for comprehensive coverage in the event that a wild animal becomes interested in the family vehicle. 
  7. Theft - Almost 700,000 vehicles were stolen across the country last year according to the FBI, resulting in billions of dollars of damages in insurance claims, legal fees, law enforcement and criminal justice costs. While it’s never fun to be the victim of theft, the right insurance coverage can get you back on the road.
  8. Windshield Damage - While a cracked or shattered windshield is a common occurrence, did you know that it is illegal in many states to drive with any damage whatsoever? A hairline fissure can quickly become a hazard to yourself and other drivers, which is why comprehensive auto coverage will help you replace damaged glass quickly.
Although comprehensive auto insurance is optional, for these eight reasons and more, we strongly encourage individuals and families to view it as a necessity. There are simply too many variables and risks that pose a threat to your vehicle, and many plans can be purchased for less than you might think.