It could be a rough storm that tosses a heavy oak branch across your hood. Or a bouncing stone that lands on your windshield with a crack. It could even be a deer or other animal that innocently wanders into the roadway in front of you. Whether on the road or parked at home in your driveway, any number of things could happen, causing hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage to your car. Does your auto insurance cover these types of incidents? If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, the answer is yes. But what does comprehensive auto insurance really mean?

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What exactly is comprehensive auto insurance coverage?

It′s insurance that covers damage to your car, truck, SUV, crossover, van or other vehicle not caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. Some auto insurance policies refer to comprehensive coverage as “Other Than Collision” coverage. In addition to covering damage caused by storms and road hazards, it covers your vehicle for theft, flood, fire, vandalism, and other specific perils. People usually purchase comprehensive coverage for their car along with collision insurance. Just as the name implies, collision insurance covers damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car or object, or from your vehicle overturning.

In most cases, if your car is leased or financed, you are contractually required to carry comprehensive and collision insurance. If you own your car outright, the coverage is optional — but it′s smart to carry it to protect your investment, especially if your car has a moderate to high value.

With collision and comprehensive coverage, a deductible usually applies. Your policy will pay for damages that exceed the deductible amount, which typically ranges from $250 to $1,000. Choosing a higher deductible will help lower your premium, but keep in mind that you need to be prepared to pay the deductible amount in the event of a loss.

10 questions to ask your insurance agent

Understanding auto insurance is important to make sure you have the right coverage in place. For more information, contact your local AAA office to speak with an insurance professional or visit

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Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Winter weather, while beautiful, can also lead to a lot of issues. It’s important to be prepared for driving and road conditions.  Prepare for winter weather with: