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Comprehensive Auto Insurance – Other Than Collision

Comprehensive coverage, more commonly known these days as "Other Than Collision", is a first party coverage (for your vehicle) that many people do not think about very much until they have a need for it.

Insurance companies tend to call this coverage "Other Than Collision" anymore because it better describes what it does. Your more common types of losses that would fall under this coverage are losses like vehicle fires, vandalism and theft (partial or total). Be mindful in regard to vehicle fires that the cause of the fire may not be covered (faulty line or some mechanical problem) but the resulting damage likely will be covered. For instance, if your heating system or a / c system was faulty and caught fire, those items would probably not be covered in the claim – only the damage the fire caused to the rest of the vehicle.

We all know about vandalism … someone keys or spray paints your vehicle, breaks your windows, throws heavy objects that cause dents. Of course, let's not forget the attempted (or actual!) Theft of things inside your vehicle where the key lock is damaged in the process. The list goes on but you get the idea.

We mentioned theft, partial and total. Partial theft would obviously be things like the installed stereo, the hubcaps, the wheels, vehicle striped (!), Etc. Make note here that personal items in your vehicle that may be stolen from your vehicle are not covered under your Auto policy. Brief cases, computers, cameras, tools – whatever is not an attached part of the vehicle – will have to be claimed under your Homeowner's or Renter's Policy. Total theft is just that, the vehicle is stolen – lock, stock and barrel! It may be recovered with no damage, minor damage, lots of damage, is a total loss or not recovered at all.

Any of these types of losses are appraised for value to repair / replace in order to restore your vehicle to its like-kind pre-loss condition. This would mean finding parts for that year vehicle, etc. Sometimes there are items that would have to be purchased new but depreciation would be applied. If your vehicle is 4 years old and your installed stereo is stolen, the company may have to purchase a new one but they will use a fixed formula to depreciate the new one's price to account for the 4 years of use. Tires are replaced this way, as well. Depreciation may seem hard to swallow when you are dealing with the loss but it is appropriate. The job of your insurance coverage is to make you whole again, not better your situation. A lot of people do not understand that. And, having already suffered the irritation and inconvenience of the loss, they may now have to pay out of pocket to get back to where they were before the loss. I've been there. Not fun. But it is standard operating procedure. The alternative is to have to pay 100% of the loss yourself – or be without.

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